I can't tell from your post whether your townhouse is still listed with a Realtor. If it is talk to him or her about a short sale as a potential option..
Going the rental route is a direction that many people in your same situation are electing to do. It a matter of cutting your losses and waiting for the right time to sell.
On the other hand, if your HOA wdoes not allow rentals you find yourself amid another problem. We suggest being in touch with your HOA to outline your delima suggesting they reconsider their regulation.
We would also suggest consulting a real estate attorney for their perspective.
Best of luck
the Eckler Team
First, you need to do an honest appraisal of the area's rental prices. If your payment is $2000 and the area rentals are $1500, then you either need to be ready to lose money every month (of course it is less of a loss than you would be experiencing otherwise, but for a specific time frame), or you need to find an alternative (short sale, losing money on the sale, etc.).
Second, find out from your HOA if you are allowed to rent the property. If not, can you get a variance.
Third, start to look at how to market the property.
Now, if you need to sell the property, you need to look at why it hasn't gotten showings. Are the pictures ugly? Is it grossly overpriced compared to the comps? Are the restrictions (seller needs 24 your to show, appointment only, etc.)?
There are a lot of variables to everything. A good agent can talk over all of your options... and a good agent isn't going to be shy about options that don't profit them... they should look out for your best interests.
So what makes a buyer buy a home? It's a buyer's market, buyers want value. If you are unwilling or unable to price your home to sell, then renting it out is a great alternative. Check with a CPA on the tax implications during and most importantly, WHEN YOU DECIDE TO SELL. I became an accidental real estate investor and it was a rewarding experience.
I too am a resident of Buford and I try to keep updated on the real estate activity in the area. I'm sorry to hear of the challenges you're facing with the sale of your home. I'm sure you've already had a discussion about renting the property with your listing agent. Really, that person should be your source of information on this matter.
One question though. Is there anything distinctive about your home? You know, most of the real estate agent community is claiming incorrectly that down payment assistance has gone away. It would be interesting to see if activity picked up because of a sign in your lawn advertising the availability of down payment assitance for the purchase of your home. Again, please check with your agent on this strategy and see if it works.
All my best.
REALTORÂ® / Consultant - Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
You've gotten advice on this before: http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Selling/HOA_covenants-64472--.
Your listing agreement was supposed to be up in November. What happened? It's worthwhile to consult with a professional on selling.
As far as renting goes. If I didn't have a real estate license, I'd tell you to rent it out but don't advertise it "publicly" - note: craigs list is not public.
If I'm here officially and I sort of am, I'll tell you to consult with your HOA. If you're under what you owe, ask them to consider what another short sale or foreclosure will do the neighborhood? Renting is better than that.