My goal is to make the buying and selling process as easy as possible. I hope you find this information helpful on the journey to your next home.
Do you have questions about mortgage financing or need help finding a lender? I can help! Contact me for more information.
Buying & Selling Tips
* DO use a real estate agent to help with your purchase - my services as a buyer's agent are FREE and I'll be on YOUR side. Agents know where some of the best deals are and can give advice about location, inspections, and many other aspects of buying a home. Also, entering into a negotiation without representation puts you at a disadvantage. Real estate agents are experienced negotiators and can handle the details for you through closing.
* Get pre-approved by a lender BEFORE you go shopping for a home! This lets you know if you will qualify for a loan, if you have credit issues, and exactly how much house you can afford. Saves time for both you and your real estate agent, not to mention the disappointment of missing out on a home because of loan or credit issues.
* Use a local lender - most real estate professionals agree that loans made by local banks and mortgage companies close much more quickly and efficiently. In fact, some home sellers are requesting that agents only bring offers from buyers that are pre-approved with a local lender.
* Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer — you risk losing out on the home of your dreams and a great home won’t stay on the market long.
* Accept that no house is ever perfect. There is virtually always a compromise. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Focus on what's most important to you and let the minor things go.
* Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Put yourself in the seller's shoes - when selling YOUR home, of course you hope to sell for maximum value.
* I will be happy to provide a free market analysis at obligation to you before listing your home for sale.
* It's a great idea to get a market-value appraisal from a local appraiser before listing your home for sale. Research shows that unrealistic pricing is one of the biggest reasons that homes sell slowly... sometimes very slowly. The real estate market is always changing so even if you've had an appraisal in the past, a current one will help you and your agent to determine a realistic selling price for your home. Note: A refinancing appraisal is NOT the same as a market value appraisal and is often higher than market value.
* Consider getting a home inspection of your own before you put it on the market. Most buyers will get a home inspection so it's best to go ahead and repair known issues before your home is listed for sale. This helps streamline your "To Do" list and makes for fewer surprises later.
* Be cautious about remodeling your home to help it sell better. By all means, DO spruce up inside and out: freshen paint, make repairs where needed, replace burned out bulbs and remove clutter. But expensive upgrades may be best left to buyer - you may not get your money back for big upgrades and your design choices may not match a buyer's taste.
* Organize and clean. Less is more when it's time to sell you home - buyers have more trouble envisioning themselves in a home when distracted by the current owner's possessions. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment - you're moving anyway so this also jump-starts the packing process. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make your home sparkle.
* Spruce up the curb appeal. Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Make sure your home's exterior and yard are neat and attractive.
What is appraised value?
* Appraisals provide an objective opinion of value, but it’s not an exact science so appraisals may differ.
* For buying and selling purposes, appraisals are usually based on market value — what the property could probably be sold for. Other types of value include insurance value, replacement value, and assessed value for property tax purposes.
* An appraisal obtained for refinancing purposes is NOT the same as a market value appraisal - a refinancing appraisal is often higher, which can be misleading to owners.
* Appraised value is not a constant number. Changes in market conditions can dramatically alter appraised value.
* Appraised value doesn’t take into account special considerations, like the need to sell rapidly.
* Lenders usually use either the appraised value or the sale price, whichever is less, to determine the amount of the mortgage they will offer.
Should I sell my current home before buying the next one?
That depends. There are several ways to purchase your next home.
- If you are renting, check to see when your lease is up and what costs are involved if you move out early. Sometimes it's worth it to pay the fees to move out early if you find a great buy on the house you're looking for.
- If you currently own a home you may choose to get pre-approved to buy your next home while waiting for your current home to sell. The advantage is that you can grab your dream home before someone else buys it. This option isn't for everyone as you will have two house payments along with double utilities & other expenses until your current home sells. - If you prefer not to have two mortgages temporarily then we can list your home for sale while searching for your next one. Once we find a buyer for your current home we'll make an offer on your new one. This can involve asking the seller of the new home to grant a contingency or first right of refusal but these have conditions attached. Contact me to learn more about how this works.
New Construction vs. Existing Homes
* New construction is popular in our area and the array of choices is impressive. DO use a real estate agent when purchasing or building a new home so that you have representation of your own when negotiating with the builder. Many people believe they will get a better price by dealing directly with the builder, but this is NOT the case. A good buyer's agent will ask questions you may not think of and is there to protect your interests. I offer this service at no charge to you!
* Buyers owe it to themselves to check out all options in their price range. Sometimes existing homes have owner-added extras like additional landscaping, swimming pools, fences, interior upgrades, etc. Often the price is lower than if you added those extras yourself to a new or existing home.