Selling a House Remotely & Out-of-State Sellers

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Selling a home today can be achieved in a number of different ways. In most cases, sellers looking for a good local realtor are often selling their own home or another nearby property, where they can meet with agents face to face. Other times, the seller is out of the area, or even the state! These sellers look for agents with good reviews and testimonials to get a sense of their capabilities and production.

Karen Anderson & The Prestige Team are among the top agents in the Los Angeles South Bay. We have helped numerous out-of-area owners remodel, repair, stage, and sell their properties with huge success. If you are looking to sell a property in our area but need to do it remotely, we can definitely help!

Selling a Property Remotely

It may come as a surprise, but a lot of investors start out by acquiring property that is located outside of the area they live in, often out of the state! This can be due to several factors, but typically it comes down to the budget of the investor. However, unlike buying a home, where physically seeing and inspecting the property are of great importance, selling a property does not typically require the seller to be present for the transaction. As a seller, you are only required to disclose material and known facts about the property, but that can be accomplished without needing to be at the property. Furthermore, as an out-of-state investor, your disclosure requirements are also minimal due to the fact that you are out of the area and do not physically visit the property often (in most cases). 

Even if you are out of the area, you can sell your home remotely from the comfort of your home without needing to visit the property. Our team has personally sold several homes for clients we never met in person. If you are an investor and have a rental property due to become vacant or are just considering selling remotely, here is what we recommend and what you can expect.

Find a Good Realtor

If you want to sell a property that is out of state, the first step is to locate a good realtor in the area your property is located. This can be done by searching online and comparing reviews, testimonials, websites, social media platforms, and their overall reputation in the area. 

Look for an agent that has sold at least a few rental or investment homes in your area. Interview a few and decide which would be the best fit for your and your property’s needs. If your property was a rental, odds are it could use updates or upgrades. In that case, you will want a ‘hands-on’ agent that can handle getting your property ready for the market. Of course, this all depends on the budget we are working with and whether or not the seller is willing to update the property.

Update/Upgrade or As-is?

Most income properties located out of state tend to need some type of update due to wear and tear from the previous tenant. Although some sellers shy away from updating the property prior to listing it for sale, we highly recommend it because, when done properly, the return is well worth the effort. Updated, move-in ready homes sell much faster and for more money compared to similar as-is listings. However, knowing where to spend and where to save is vital. 

We have extensive experience remodeling homes specifically for the purpose of selling for a higher price, so we know exactly how to update your home within your budget. See our concierge real estate page for more info. 

Even though we always suggest prepping a property prior to listing on the market, in some cases there is either not enough budget, time, or the property is partially or fully occupied. Regardless of the tenancy, it is very important to properly present the property.

Proper Presentation

No matter what market we currently find ourselves in, a properly presented property will sell for more money and spend less time on the market compared to similar homes that are vacant. Staging a home for sale is simple to do on vacant properties. Income properties, however, do tend to pose a challenge for presentation, in particular when occupied by one or more tenants. 

Tenants are not required to have a presentable unit, so if one tenant does not allow the agent or stager to give the place a makeover and/or makes it difficult to see a unit in person, it can be very hard to show the space properly. In situations like this, having a good agent with experience with these types of transactions is invaluable, and is why it is our very first tip when selling out of state. Another major factor to consider is the current real estate market.

Know The Market, Know Your Leverage

Knowing where you stand as a seller in the current real estate market is extremely important, especially if you are out of the area. As we have seen this year, changes in interest rates can have a significant impact on your leverage as a seller. The recent increase in interest rates has caused many buyers to back out from the market, as monthly payments have increased significantly, especially for buyers with lower down payments.

With fewer buyers in the market, sellers are now losing some of the leverage they’ve had on the market for the last several years, which gives buyers who can still buy property an opportunity to negotiate. Your specific market may be different, so it is very important to get a sense demand prior to setting your listing price.

Price it Right

Deciding on a price is often one of the largest hurdles to clear when getting ready to sell a property. As a seller, you want the most you can get for your property. Although that is our main goal when selling your home, getting to that point can sometimes seem counterintuitive to some sellers. Coming up with a sale price often starts with a comparative market analysis (CMA) of the property. This report shows recent activity in the market to give us an idea of what the buyers are paying for properties like yours. Noting the trend of the market (rising, falling, or staying balanced) is also of great importance.

When presented properly, we believe a property is nearly impossible to sell for below market value because the market tends to attract multiple buyers, leading to bidding wars. Of course, listing the property extremely below the market value is not advised, as some buyers could speculate that something may be wrong with the property. Once the property is well presented and priced, it can be listed on the market for sale. 

Listed For Sale

Listing the property for sale on the open market is an exciting time! All the hard work has already been done (hopefully), so now it is time for your expert agent to spread the word through their marketing channels: social media, online marketing, print marketing, and more depending on the location and property. Though it is hard to give a general answer of how to properly market a property, it is much easier to promote good looking listings than as-is listings.


Once promotions are underway, accommodating showings is the next hurdle. 

Showing Income Property

Property showings are often determined by whether or not the home is vacant. Since we are mainly referring to income properties, it is important to distinguish the differences in showing vacant vs occupied properties.

Vacant properties, as mentioned previously, are pretty straightforward to show because they are typically available to see with short notice or none at all. Lockboxes and Supra boxes make it easy for agents with interested buyers to show your property.  Open houses are also very simple to set up, especially if more than one is needed. These kinds of properties are easy to show and can be ideal for some buyers, such as buyers looking to live in one unit and receive income from the additional units. Once in escrow, inspections and appraisals are very easy to schedule. The downsides to vacant properties are few, but if a buyer is relying on current income on the property to qualify for the purchase, they may not be able to qualify.

Partially or fully occupied properties tend to be more challenging to show because we are potentially dealing with multiple schedules and varying availability. For these kinds of properties, again, it pays to have a realtor with experience in dealing with income properties and tenants. Having the agent establish a showing schedule with the tenants is vital because that will determine when the property can be seen by buyers. We typically like to establish contact with the tenants early and make them aware of the situation and how to accommodate showings. Ideally, we decide on one or two days over a weekend to hold a short open house and drive potential buyers there to see the property with plenty of notice. 

Escrow & Closing

Once we receive offers and decide on a buyer, escrow and closing on income property is pretty standard compared to your typical home purchase; inspections, appraisal (if dealing with a loan), request for repairs, contingencies, etc. 

For more information, visit our escrow process page! 

Have a question about your particular real estate needs? Message us with the form below or give us a call at 310-936-6683!