Buying or selling a home is one of the most important decisions
a person will have to make in their lifetime. This experience
can be daunting unless you are working together with a professional
real estate broker who understands the process. If you are
thinking of engaging in the buying process, contact me.
When Selling a Home:
A seller should never underestimate the importance of making a
good first impression on a potential buyer. Here are a few simple
tips that can help increase your home’s appeal and value:
An Appealing Exterior:
Keep the front walkway swept
Remove newspapers, bikes and toys from the front walk or yard
Park extra cars away from the property
Trim back the shrubs
Apply a fresh coat of exterior paint if necessary
Clean windows and window coverings
Keep plumbing and all appliances in working order
Maintain all sealants (sink, tub, window, shower, etc.) in good condition
Make sure roof and gutters are in good condition
Mow the lawn frequently and plant flowers, hire a professional
landscaping company if necessary
A Clean and Inviting Interior:
Keep the kitchen and bathrooms spotless
Vacuum carpets and keep floor surfaces clean
Accent living and dining rooms with freshly cut flowers
Put dishes and laundry away
Open drapes and turn on lights to enhance the atmosphere
Keep closets neat
Put toys away
Switch off the television
Keep pets out of the way and pet areas clean and odor-free
Make safe jewelry, cash, prescription medication and other valuables
Avoid clutter to enhance the spaciousness of your home
Generally speaking, potential buyers usually feel more comfortable
when owners are not present. If an interested party is unaccompanied
by an agent and request to see your property, please refer them
to your real estate professional for an appointment. If you are
leaving town, even for a weekend, remember to leave the number
where you can be reached so that offers can be made promptly.
When Buying a Home:
Your first step in the process of buying a home is to determine
how much you can afford to borrow. A basic rule of thumb is that
a lender will want your monthly mortgage payment to be no more
than 29% of your monthly gross income.
Mortgages and Home Buying Programs
There are many different kinds of mortgage programs available.
It is best to do some research about the pros and cons of each
program. A real estate broker can help you understand the steps
you will need to take, and can refer you to a reputable mortgage
broker or service. There are also special home buying programs
available from various organizations and many local governments
that offer special home buying programs to help first-time home
buyers and those in a lower income bracket. Get informed - you
may be surprised to discover what you are eligible for!
Determine Your Search Criteria
Begin your home search by focusing on the location where you want
to buy, and the amenities you want in a home. Determine how much
square footage you want, how many bedrooms and baths you need, etc.
Knowing what you're looking for will not only help you focus your
search but will also help your real estate broker understand your
needs so that he/she can best assist you in the process.
Shopping for a Home
There are several avenues to take once you begin your home search.
Your real estate broker can supply you with listings, based on your
search criteria. You may also look for property on the Internet,
and then ask your broker to set up an appointment to show you the
house. Reading the real estate section of your local newspaper,
or driving around neighborhoods that interest you is also a viable
strategy. It is important to see as many open houses as possible,
so that you can develop an understanding of the market, and get a
solid idea of what is available in your price range.
The Home Inspection
Once you have made an offer on a home, you will need to schedule
a home inspection, conducted by an independent authorized inspector.
It is extremely import to hire a reputable inspector so that you know
exactly what you are buying. Do not hesitate to ask friends, family,
and co-workers for advice. If you are satisfied with the results of
the inspection, then you can proceed to the Purchase and Sales
agreement. If the inspector finds problems with the property, you may
want to negotiate with the seller to lower the price, or to pay for
Your lender will require you to get an appraisal of the house you
want to buy, to make sure it is worth the money that you are borrowing.
You may select your own appraiser, or you may ask your real estate
broker to help you with this task.
Lenders require that you have homeowners insurance, to protect both
your interests and theirs. Like everything else, be sure to shop around
for insurance that fits your needs.
Settlement or Closing
Finally, you are ready for the closing. Be sure to read everything
before you sign! You should have both your real estate broker and
an attorney present at the closing to ensure that all is in order.