Putting your home on the market is a life-changing decision and, for some people, it may involve conflicting feelings.
Ideally, all members of your family should be on board with the decision to sell. If you, your spouse, or your kids are ambivalent or even against the idea of moving, it could send a negative message to prospective buyers, estate agents, and others. Helping your family stay positive and motivated can ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction.
A common stumbling block for many sellers is the inclination to attach too much sentimental value to their home. While you may associate your home with fond family memories, years of hard work, and thousands of dollars in home improvements, your actual selling price should be a reflection of market conditions and the price comparable houses in your neighborhood recently sold for.
Based on a comparative analysis, your real estate agent can help you come up with a realistic asking price that will reflect both its market value and major improvements you've made in recent years. Although remodeling your kitchen or bathrooms will not provide you with a dollar-for-dollar return on investment (ROI) when it comes time to sell, prospective buyers will be much more attracted to a home that's been updated and well maintained.
When selling your home, perhaps the most important principle to keep in mind is that "You don't get a second chance to make a great first impression." By minimizing the negatives and making the most of your home's attributes, you'll be increasing the probability of selling your house within the shortest period of time
Keeping your home meticulously clean for every showing can often be a challenge, but it's a goal worth striving for. Other ways to make a favorable impression on potential buyers is to focus on maximizing your home's curb appeal and minimizing clutter -- both inside and out. While it may seem like a tall order to declutter your home, keep your lawn looking manicured, and apply fresh coats of paint where needed, you'd be surprised at how much you can accomplish by setting your mind to it. One simple but effective strategy for getting things done is to create checklists of priorities, projects, and important tasks that need to be completed. When you commit goals to writing and review your priority list every day, you'll tend to be much more organized, action oriented, and focused.
Although a lot of people take a sense of humble pride in saying that their home is "a work in progress," once it's on the market, you need to have as many of those rough edges smoothed out, as possible! Putting your best foot forward for every showing could make the difference between a fast sale and a house which lingers on the market for months!
Being in the market for a new home can be both an exciting experience and a scary one! It not only represents a huge financial commitment, but it also forces you to step out of your "comfort zone."
That's especially true if you're a first-time home buyer. When you make the switch from being a renter to a home owner, you no longer have the "luxury" of depending on your landlord for repairs, yard maintenance, or help with plumbing emergencies. Now, when the AC quits or the furnace conks out, the responsibility (and cost) of getting it fixed rests squarely on your shoulders!
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the possibility of incurring major expenses during the first couple years of owning a home. While there are (usually) no guarantees that household mechanical systems won't fail or that other crises won't befall you as a new homeowner, there are choices you can make that will reduce the chances of being saddled with unexpected expenses.
Buying a home with a newer roof, energy-efficient appliances, updated HVAC system, and a dry basement are four ways you can sidestep many predictable problems down the road. Wear and tear will eventually take its toll on everything from hot water heaters to microwave ovens, but if you can postpone having to replace appliances, roofs, and climate-control systems for several years or more, it will be a lot easier on you and your budget!
So all things being equal, home ownership will be more pleasurable and affordable if you choose a home with recent upgrades, replacements, and improvements -- preferably, those done within the past five or ten years. Besides comparing the maintenance history of houses you're considering, there's also the essential step of hiring an experienced structural inspector. When you've narrowed down your house-buying possibilities to one preferred home, a property inspector can help you identify "red flags" and potential problems before you close on that house.
As your real estate agent will probably tell you, if any major problems are identified in the home inspection process, you may be in a position to renegotiate the agreement or withdraw your offer, entirely. Since legalities are often complex and every real estate transaction is different, however, it's always essential to consult with an experienced real estate attorney whenever questions, problems, or complications arise in a real estate purchase or sale.
While it's a good idea to "expect the unexpected" when purchasing and moving into a new home, it pays to work with a team of trusted advisors. Working with a seasoned real estate agent, a knowledgeable real estate attorney, and a reputable property inspector will help make sure that your experience is both satisfying and relatively problem free! Knowing what you want and being adamant about what matters most to you should also serve you well in the house buying process.
Let's face it – there is no shortage of buyers competing for the top residences. However, there are many things you can do to rise above the homebuying competition, and these include:
1. Review the Local Housing Market
The housing market fluctuates. In some instances, the housing market may favor buyers. Or, in other cases, it may favor sellers.
If you analyze the local housing market closely, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. You then can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
To distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's market, you may want to look at available houses in your city or town. If homes are selling just days after they become available, a seller's market may be in place. Comparatively, if houses linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time, the real estate sector likely favors buyers.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
With pre-approval for a mortgage, you will know how much you can spend on a house. Then, you can narrow your house search to residences that fall within your price range.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of lenders. These financial institutions can teach you about many mortgage options and help you choose home financing that suits you perfectly.
Of course, selecting a mortgage can be difficult, regardless of whether you are a first-time or experienced homebuyer. But if you ask mortgage questions and perform a comprehensive home financing analysis, you can choose the right mortgage without delay.
3. Establish Homebuying Criteria
Homebuying criteria is a must, particularly for those who want to seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. Because if you enter the real estate market with homebuying criteria in hand, you can speed up the process of finding your dream residence.
As you craft homebuying criteria, you should try to define your dream house. Think about the features you want to find in a home. You next can include these features as "must-haves" on your list of homebuying criteria.
In addition, consider where you want to reside. If you hone your house search to residences in a select group of cities and towns, you may be able to quickly discover a great home that you can enjoy for years to come.
For those who require extra help during the homebuying journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent, too. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can receive in-depth assistance as you pursue your ideal house.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to navigate any housing market, at any time. He or she will help you search for residences that match your expectations. Plus, if you have any homebuying concerns, a real estate agent will address them right away.
Gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers – use the aforementioned tips, and you accelerate the process of finding and purchasing your dream residence.
The amount of money you will need to ensure you can purchase a house varies based on a number of factors. For example, if you want to purchase a house in a big city, you may need to save more money than you likely would require to buy a residence in a small town. Meanwhile, your decision to choose a fixed-rate mortgage over an adjustable-rate mortgage – or vice-versa – can impact your monthly housing costs. And let's not forget about the costs of home utilities like electricity and water, either.
Ultimately, it helps to put together a homebuying budget before you embark on a house search. Because if you know how much money you have at your disposal, you can map out your house search accordingly. And as a result, you can minimize the risk of spending too much to acquire your dream residence.
Let's now take a look at three tips to help you craft an effective homebuying budget.
1. Evaluate Your Current Expenses
An in-depth assessment of your current monthly expenses is key. If you conduct an expense evaluation, you can find out how much you spend on various must-haves and wants. You then can take steps to reduce your monthly expenses and increase your savings for a new home.
It also never hurts to consult with a financial planner. If you have a financial planner at your side, you can gain expert insights to help you evaluate your current expenses. Plus, you can work with a financial planner to determine the best course of action so you can eventually buy your dream residence.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions and explore your mortgage options – you will be happy you did. If you assess your mortgage options closely, you can find one that complements your finances. And once you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will know how much you can spend on a house.
Generally, it is beneficial to meet with as many banks and credit unions as you can. If you consult with myriad lenders, you can receive extensive insights into many mortgage options. Best of all, you will be better equipped than ever before to find the lowest-possible interest rate on a mortgage.
3. Consider Your Down Payment Options
The down payment required for a home purchase varies, but it commonly ranges between 5 percent and 20 percent of a house's total price. If you account for a down payment as you craft a homebuying budget, you can use this total to plan ahead for the property buying journey.
Lastly, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as you prepare to launch a home search. In addition to helping you find your dream residence, a real estate agent can put you in touch with potential lenders and offer plenty of guidance throughout the property buying journey.
Ready to pursue a home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you create a successful homebuying budget.