How Do You Sell Your Mortgaged Property After a Redundancy?

One of the worst things that could happen to anybody is losing their job while they are still in their prime, especially with accumulating debts in the horizon. Sometimes, it can be helped, and at other times, it is simply not anybody’s fault. But when this happens, families are left in the mire of confusion.

What happens to your monthly bills, like energy, water and heating? Can you get more employment before your savings run out? And what about the mortgage on your property? If you cannot continue to live there, how do you sell quickly before the “repo” man comes to render you homeless? For Matt, it all felt like a nightmare, but it was real life.

Matt’s conundrum

“I’m in a pickle!” Matt complained to his friends.

He worked at a construction firm that dealt in cement and other building materials in Sheffield. Unfortunately, as Brexit became a certainty, Matt’s job (and a few other colleagues’) became an uncertainty.

The construction company received most of its bulk materials from France. Although experts had warned how breaking away from the EU would affect building imports, Matt’s company had reassured its workers that everything would be alright. But they were wrong.

After the Prime Minister’s speech in January 2017, it was confirmed that Britain was going ahead with its exit from the EU. The construction industry took a hit as building projects around the country halted temporarily, following a market uncertainty. Demand for building materials began to plummet, and Matt’s firm recoiled in the after-effect.

It wasn’t until the Prime Minister triggered Article 50 on March 29 that the reality dawned in. The company’s major supplier in France reduced its supplies to Matt’s company, and the financial pressure took its toll. Matt and a few other workers were laid off in May because their roles were considered “redundant at this time”.

“I have a wee bit of debt from my car and bike, and I plan to clear them by downsizing my house,” he explained. “I intend to move into a less demanding property, but I need to sell the present one quickly because my mortgage is accumulating,” Matt told his friends as they shared a pitcher of beer at the pub.

The problem of selling a mortgaged property the traditional way

It might seem like Matt is in a quandary, especially when it comes to selling a house that still has a lingering mortgage debt. Many buyers looking for a home would rather buy one without the extra hassle. Moreover, traditional real estate agencies would charge cut-throat fees to take Matt’s home off the market, thus reducing his already battered savings. And this is only if they can sell it on time, because many high-street agencies take months, sometimes years, to sell a property. So how can he resolve his situation?

Sure, the best option is for him to get a new job. That is a priority, but it is also important to clear any debts and resolve his mortgage problem, as it is getting him nowhere. It was during this time that Phil, one of Matt’s long-time friends, told him about the option of quickcash buyers.

“Quick cash buyers? What are they, a club?” he inquired cluelessly.

What happens to your mortgage when you become redundant?

If, like Matt, you have recently been made redundant, you will begin to wonder what the future holds for you. One of the biggest concerns you will have is how you can pay your outstanding bills while you search for a new job.

While some people will miss the little luxuries they have grown accustomed to, like weekend spa treatments or getaway holidays in the countryside, others worry about bills like petrol and electricity. And the most pressing concern for most people is, “How do I continue to pay for my monthly mortgage fees?”

If you are struggling to offset your mortgage, it is imperative that you take quick action, because when you fall behind in mortgage payments, it will lead to an arrears. If the bank discovers you are out of a job and they think you are not doing anything to resolve the problem, they will take legal action, which could mean a repossession of your home.

While there are certain benefits, like the Housing Costs Payment Contribution or Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), which are entitled to help redundant individuals make up a part of their costs, it can only go so far. More so, if you don’t get a job soon enough, it is back to square one.

If you just sit and wait for the “repo” man to take over the home, the bank will hold you legally liable for the mortgage payments, building insurance, and other property costs associated with selling the property on their terms. The solution is to sell on your own terms. This is where the quick cash buyers come in.

Who are quick cash buyers?

Quick cash buyers are not a club or anything of that sort. They are simply businesses that help homeowners sell their properties in emergencies. They buy it with cash. Say you need to sell your house quickly because of a relocation, or a divorce, or the death of a loved one, their services come in handy for meeting sales deadlines. In the case of redundancy, they are an ideal solution.

Quick-cash buyers are not only a fast way to sell your property, but a cheaper solution too. They achieve this because they are extremely liquid. Unlike traditional estate agencies, who rely on bank funds that require a lot of paperwork and time, these businesses have their own money, thus eliminating bottlenecks and the extra cost of processing fees.

What’s more, some quick cash buyers are often well-known in the mortgage industry. With their long-term relationship with various lenders, they can easily come to an agreement with your debt. This means you don’t have to worry about lingering mortgage debts, because they will absorb everything when they buy your house with cash.

Another advantage of this service is that you don’t need to repair your home or repaint it. Many quick-cash buyers will buy your property despite its physical condition. That is less costs to worry about!

The caveat however, is that you will most likely sell your house at a lower price than the original market value. But it beats being repossessed, homeless or paying your lender’s litigation fees.

Their services often include a free property valuation. However, ensure the professional is a RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) approved expert, or you can do the research yourself with a comparative study of recently sold homes in the neighbourhood. Also, verify the genuineness of the buyer.

This solution is good news for Matt, who can now go on to clear his car and bike debts, buy a cheaper house, and focus on getting a new job. All with peace of mind.

Preparing for mortgage issues in the event of a redundancy

It is easy to think there could have been a better way, and it is true, with prior knowledge and adequate preparation. Nobody wishes to be laid off, but you never know, sometimes a new government policy can change things and you find your company downsizing.

In Wales and Scotland, certain grants in the form of Mortgage Rescue Scheme help people facing a redundancy, but since they are not available in England, the best solution is preparation.

Here are some ways to prepare a safe landing:

Have a savings buffer

Every homeowner should have at least 6 months’ worth of income saved in an emergency fund. For certainty, this sum should be closer to 12 months’ worth of salary savings. It will provide a buffer to prevent you from reeling in an unexpected event such as a redundancy, an accident, or illness.

Prepare a good budget

No homeowner should do without a budget; it is a necessity. Have a good idea of exactly how much income you earn each month, from your regular salary to business proceeds or investment earnings. Then, calculate your monthly expenditures: some of this will be fixed costs, with the mortgage payments taking priority.

Other than that, the rest are variable costs like groceries, entertainment, luxuries and so on. Prepare a cashflow table, and whenever you notice your expenses exceeding income, cut down on the excesses. This way you keep your cashflow positive.

Look out for insurance opportunities

There are some insurance policies designed to help people who are out of work for some time. A mortgage protection insurance will continue to cover your mortgage payments in certain situations like a sudden illness or redundancy. Make sure you read the terms and conditions thoroughly to avoid misconceptions (hire a lawyer if possible).

While at work, ensure you are getting the necessary benefits you are entitled to. For example, if you have children, you could be entitled to features of a working tax credit. Always have multiple alternatives for another job if you suspect an impending lay off. This means your networking activity must never end.

Note that a redundancy is not the only time you will need to sell your house quickly. Suppose you get a new job in a different city? Remember, the quick-cash buyers are always at your service.

Published on 31st October 2017

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