Hunting for a new home online a is a great place to start your search but keep in mind that you don’t see everything. Real estate agents are great at highlighting the features of a house listing online but to make the most of your time, keep these three things in mind:
Identify your Housing Needs Preferences are important when house searching. A house may not have everything you want but it will have most of the things. Be realistic about pricing and keep in mind the must-have items that will definitely be needed because this will help narrow your search.
Stay up to Date When you start your search, make sure you go to sites with up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service. Realtors post their most current homes for sale through this. Many sites fail to remove listings that are already off the market, and this can lead to you trying to sort through them and find the recent ones.
Pictures can be Deceiving Photographers capture listings at their best. They use different strategies and tools to boost the appeal of the home like creative editing and expensive camera equipment known for its effects. What they don’t show is unappealing parts, like an undone bathroom or small closet.
Go See The Listing After After you have chosen a house that’s appealing to you, schedule a showing with your real estate agent. This is the opportunity to see every part of the house in person and see if it’s a good fit.
Searching online is a great way to learn more about the house you’re looking for. Even if you’re still unsure about moving, house hunting online gives potential sellers the basic information.
Selling your home on your own as a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) can be tempting. With real estate commissions amounting to as much as 7% of the sales price, many owners consider selling their homes on their own to save money. Selling as a FSBO is more complicated than it might seem, but if you can avoid the most common mistakes, you will have a better chance at a good outcome.
• Not Pricing the Home Properly – Doing market research on your own is tough. Too often a FSBO is not priced correctly. • Not Advertising Properly – Marketing a home is more than an ad in the local newspaper. FSBO sellers can utilize online tools like Zillow and Trulia, just like the agents. • Saying Too Much To Buyers – Homeowners are rightly proud of their homes, but telling buyers everything they know about the home, good or bad, can turn off a potential buyer. • Not Disclosing Problems or Defects – Just because the home is being sold by the seller, it doesn’t mean they are not subject to the laws governing seller disclosures. • Not Negotiating Terms – Not only the price, but the terms are negotiable.
Selling a home without an agent can be successful. Without doing the proper research ahead of time to know what to expect, it might end up costing more in the long run.
Closing costs help facilitate the sale of a home and both buyers and sellers pitch in. Some closing costs can be paid before the home is officially sold and others are paid at the end.
However, closing costs aren’t set into stone and they can be negotiable. You can ask your real estate agent or lender with help in estimating your actual closing costs. Look over everything to make sure all the numbers are right and then you plan accordingly in how you’re going to lower them.
Loyalty Programs Some banks offer assistance to buyers when they use them to help pay for the purchase. It’s a way for a bank to reward loyal customers. \
Closing at the End of the Month Schedule your closing at the end of the month so you don’t have to pay the per diem interest for so many days.
Get Multiple Quotes Get estimates from different lenders because you’re looking for the best package of closing costs and interest rates. There might be something better out there.
Junk Fees There may be some fees a lender charges that may be negotiable, such as origination fee, processing fee, or application fee. Make sure to ask if what you are being quoted is the best they can offer.
Title Costs Sometimes title insurance and settlement are bundled together. You may be able to find a title and settlement company that is less expensive.
Negotiate With the Seller You can try to negotiate with the seller in paying for some of your closing costs. Buyers can ask for credit or to cover lender expenses during the offer and negotiation process.
You’ve heard the term “curb appeal.” You don’t need to have a green thumb to make some simple changes to your yard which will delight your potential buyers. A weekend project is all you need to make these easy landscaping and yard changes.
• Add color; seasonal flowers in pots by the front door or beds in the front yard add brightness to the home • Native plants; create a lower maintenance environment with native plants who thrive in your area • Outdoor lighting; with so many solar options, it’s easy to add a glow • Garden accents; fountains, benches and garden art create interest and a sense of luxury • Vegetable and herb gardens; consider a raised bed in a portion of the yard or large pots filled with tasty plants • BBQs and furniture sets; while more expensive, adding furniture arranged to showcase the outdoor lifestyle will appeal to buyers and enhance your yard
As the weather becomes warmer, buyers naturally spend more time in the yard. Give them a reason to imagine themselves enjoying this summer in their new home.
Selling a home can be a stressful time, there is so much to think about; keeping the home clean, heading out on a moment’s notice to accommodate last minute showings, not to mention planning a move. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed.
Then you get that great offer and enter escrow. You’re relieved until you realize there’s a home inspection coming. Even a home meticulously maintained can have hidden issues. The good news is that you can prepare for the home inspection and make sure you pass with flying colors.
Items to Check before a Home Inspection
Doors, windows, cabinets and drawers – check that they slide smoothly
Run water in sinks, tubs and showers – snake any that drain slowly
Evidence of water leaks – Garage ceiling, under sinks, around water heaters, etc.
GFIs – check your local code and put GFI plugs where required
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors must be in working order
Gutters and Roof – replace any missing roof tiles and clean gutters
HVAC – Consider a HVAC servicing to replace filters and check for problems
Water Heater – is it properly strapped and vented
Deferred maintenance – anything that has been neglected should be addressed before the home inspection
Check out your crawl space, is there moisture issues, standing water anywhere?
Have your HVAC serviced if you haven’t done so recently.
The best defense is a good offense. This is true in home inspections too! The best way to ensure you have a great home inspection is to have a pre-listing home inspection. It could be the best couple hundred dollars you can spend – uncover the issues before the buyer does.
Once a buyer and seller agree on a sales price, the contract is then sent to the lender for the loan approval process. One of the first things the lender will do is to order an independent appraisal. The appraiser will use local data to determine a value for the subject property. The main purpose is to protect the lender in the event of borrower default by ensuring that the property is actually worth what the buyer is willing to pay, but this also protects the buyer from over-paying as well.
Determining Value The process appraiser use to determine value is relatively simple. They start by searching for local comparable properties which have closed recently. They choose the 2 or 3 which most closely match the subject property and use them for comparison. Since these comparable homes have closed recently, they are assumed to represent market value.
Once the appraiser has the comparable properties identified, they will then compare the subject property to them. They will add or subtract value for size, location, amenities, features, upgrades and so on until they have a value for the subject property. This is then reported to the lender in the form of a final appraisal.
Buyers notice everything – good and bad. From the moment they walk in the front door, they are trying to determine if this is the right home for them and their family. If you have your home listed for sale, paying attention to what the buyers notice can mean the difference between an offer and a missed opportunity.
8 Things Buyers Notice as Soon as they Walk In
Light – A bright home is inviting. Make sure you fill your home with lots of natural light or a soft evening glow.
Smell – Nothing is less inviting than a strong odor. Even candles and air fresheners can be overwhelming. Less is more and make sure nothing unpleasant is lingering.
Space – Remove any unneeded furniture and offer a spacious home which flows.
Ceilings – Of course you can’t make your ceilings higher, but make sure they are free from water stains because buyers will look up.
Pictures and Personal Items – Remove personalization as much as possible so the buyers can imagine their family in the home.
Outdated Furnishings and Fixtures – If your home is filled with hand-me-downs, consider a professional stager. Old wall paper or outdated paint colors should be replaced as well.
Dirty, Grimy Rooms – Most important, clean everything thoroughly. Nothing is less appealing than a dirty home.
Let’s make sure your home is move-in ready and staged to sell!