Home Buyers and Sellers: Hold Off On the Realtor Until You Do These Things
It doesn’t matter if you are in the market for a new home or trying to sell your current home – the first thing most of us think to do is call up a realtor. While a realtor is definitely an expert in the process, there are several things you can do before hiring one to make your life and their job easier. Once you are ready, real estate agent Pat Cooper suggests that you pick a realtor who has a proven record, a fantastic reputation, and a company that is behind the agent with the tools and marketing to get the job done. This will ensure that all your prep work pays off.
From a Buyer Standpoint:
Tackle the Mortgage
Just uttering the word “mortgage” is enough to make anyone shudder but it is a necessity when you are buying a home. Cooper recommends that buyers talk with a mortgage lender or their bank to see what they qualify to borrow. A word of caution: don’t go with the first lender you come across. In addition to getting mortgage pre-approval, look into other ways to finance your new home, such as first-time homebuyer loans, VA loans, or builder financing programs – this article explains in greater detail.
Know What You Want
Looking at homes is fun and exciting, but you’ll make better use of everyone’s time if you know what you need in your future home. Perhaps you’d like a patio or granite countertops, but instead of focus on things that can be added later, think about the future. For example, if you plan to expand your family, you might need an extra bedroom or two. If you have a family member with mobility issues or plan to age in place, a one-story home might be a better option. Look at things outside of the home itself, such as the location, which is a factor that can’t be changed. Is the potential home close to work and school? Child-friendly? Pet-friendly? Safe? Easily accessible? Close to important amenities such as healthcare, recreation, shopping, etc.?
From a Seller Standpoint:
Prepare Your Home
Once your home is on the market, the requests for showings will start pouring in, so it’s best to get a head start on getting it first-impression ready. Cooper recommends that homeowners declutter as much as possible. They should make sure the exterior of their home and yard make a good first impression as that is the first thing buyers will see. To put it simply, you need to clean the entirety of your home, including those places you don’t often think about, such as the tops of high cabinets, baseboards, and ceiling fan blades. Everything should be cleared off of counters and have a place other than stuffed in a closet. If necessary, put items in storage, or host a yard sale so that potential buyers can see the storage potential. Spruce up the outside of your home as well by adding curb appeal with these budget-friendly ideas.
Get an Inspection
After all the cleaning and decluttering, it might seem like your home is in good working order, but there could be underlying issues. It is recommended by Cooper that sellers should prepare their home by either having an inspection done by a professional, or at the very least, making sure that all of their systems, appliances, plumbing, and roof are in good condition. By having your home inspected, you can uncover any problems and make repairs, or reduce your asking price to compensate. It is up to you to decide what repairs to make, but any big issues – such as a leaky roof or a busted HVAC – are worth fixing. If you choose not to make repairs, keep in mind that most states require full disclosure of any known problems.
A Pet-free environment
Now that your home is ready for the public, be sure that your dog, or other pets, are out of the house when you have an open house or when potential buyers are viewing your home. Even though you’re an animal lover, everyone who comes into your home may not be, or they may simply have allergies to your breed. If your schedule won’t allow you to take your dog during a viewing, opt to board your dog with someone you can trust, or ask a friend to take your pooch for a walk.
Finding your new home or selling your current one is exciting and scary all bundled into one. By following the tips above, there is no need to fear. You’ll feel prepared, and your realtor will be ready to take the lead.
Article provided by Natalie Jones from HomeownerBliss.info.