Buying & Selling Tips
Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
Get your finances in order.
Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.
Find a house you can afford.
As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.
Hire a professional.
While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.
Do your homework.
Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.
Think long term.
Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.
You Never Get Another Chance To Make the First Impression.
Paint or stain your front door; add polish to brass fixtures such as address numbers and door knobs; trim the bushes; plant colorful flowers; and lay down a new welcome mat.
Cut The Clutter.
Have a garage sale to get rid of unwanted items; straighten the cupboards and closets; get rid of piles of paper that you haven’t had time to read.
Clean and Shine.
Make sure your home is spotless and fresh-smelling. You may want to hire a professional carpet cleaner and air out any smoke or pet odors.
Your Taste May Be Unique. Tone down the colors and the wallpaper prints by painting or papering rooms in neutral colors like beige and white. These appeal to a greater number of people. Spackle is cheap. Fill holes and cracks first.
Fix Leaky Roofs and Other Moisture Problems.
Water stains on the basement walls or bedroom ceilings can raise a red flag for potential buyers. If you cannot afford to fix water damage, explain the problems to the buyers…you will be liable for any problems you know about but don’t disclose.
Pay Special Attention To The Bathrooms.
A bathroom must be sparkling. Buy new towels to be hung for showings only. Keep tubs and toilets clean. Keep all personal items out of sight.
Don’t Let Your Kitchen Look Lived In.
Keep counter tops free of clutter; straighten up your cupboards and fix loose fixtures. Keep garbage changed.
Make Small Repairs.
Little things are a mark of quality. Tighten loose knobs; fix leaky faucets; oil squeaky door hinges, fix screens.
Brighten Things Up.
Make sure all the light bulbs are in working order. For night time showings, keep the lights on. For day time showings, open up the curtains and let the sun shine in.
Keep a Low Profile.
Nobody knows your home as well as you do. But RE/MAX Sales Associates know buyers, what they need and what they want. Your RE/MAX Associate will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.