Buying or selling a home can sometimes be both exciting and nerve wracking.
Preparation, Planning, and Information are key to a successful transaction. Navigating through the real estate process can be complicated even on a good day. Your real estate professional can ease the burden and help to keep you on track.
Prospective Buyers and Sellers should never feel pressured to make decisions. Take the time to become well informed. Here are some quick tips to get you started. For additional information, be sure to sign up for our email Newsletter to be delivered to you each week. You'll be kept up to date with the latest in real estate news. Click on Newsletter to register or Contact Me for any assistance you need!
- Know your budget. A pre-qualification process will give you an informed opinion on what you can afford.
- Gather information on the true cost of home ownership - taxes, insurance, closing costs, and upkeep.
- Pre-approval is based on the documentation and verified information you supply concerning your income, employment and cash flow. This process is a sign of your intent to the seller and proves you are credit worthy.
- Know your neighborhoods and decide where you want to live. Is it important to be close to your job or services such as restaurants and entertainment? Or would you rather live in a more secluded area? Talk to your potential neighbors and visit the area during different times of the day.
- Decide what kind of house would work best for you. Will you be more comfortable in a colonial 2 story or a condominium? What are the important elements in a home - a big back yard, a large kitchen and dining area for entertaining, a garage? Keep alist and make sure your Real Estate professional knows what you want!
- If your search includes new homes, choose a reputable builder and make sure you have in writing the cost of the 'bare bones' plus an itemized list of any upgrades. And know that a new house may cost a bit more than one that is pre-existing. (Tip: Check on any hidden operating costs such as homeowners' association fees.)
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- If you have decided to trade up, look at your budget and make a realistic determination of how much more you can spend. Include any extra costs a larger home might require such as upkeep, utilities or new furniture. Go through the pre-qualifying process for more accurate information on the kind of mortgage you will need.
Trading down has it's own set of considerations. Reliable professional tax and financial assistance will help you to not end up paying more than necessary in this area. Your real estate agent is someone who is neutral and may be able to offer you the best advice.
- Take care of the small repairs you may have overlooked such as a sticking door or broken windowpane. Fresh paint inside and out will go a long way in adding to your home's appeal, as will a newly trimmed lawn, a few seasonal flowers and the elimination of all clutter. And most important of all, clean, scrub and polish till your home sparkles!
- Home Staging is something you may want to consider to present your home in its best light. Builders have been doing this with their model homes for years and it provides the finishing touches that will give your house emotional appeal. This will consist of such things as creating fragrant aromas in the kitchen, making sure fresh towels and soap are in the bath, placing fresh flowers in a vase, rearranging furniture to create a welcome feeling and brightening up rooms with proper lighting.
- If your kitchen or bath need updating, it may be better financially to offer an incentive to a prospective purchaser rather than tackle the expense and trouble of doing the work ahead of a sale. Save your resources for your new home and place your efforts into the cosmetic improvements that will create a cheery and comfortable appearance.
- Consider having a yard sale to clear your space of any possessions you do not plan to take with you or the things that have been hiding in the basement, attic or garage. Or, call your favorite charity and get a tax credit for the donation.
- Take time to think about the emotional detachment that will be necessary. After all, this house has provided you shelter and comfort and there are a lot of memories tied up there. You must now look at your home as simply a piece of property - an investment that has served you well.
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