Tips for Buying and Selling at the Same Time

Either buying or selling a home can be extremely stressful, it can be even more overwhelming if one is trying to do both at the same time. The good news is that this happens all the time and by following a few simple tips, both buying and selling can be a seamless process.

Tips for Buying and Selling at the Same Time

The good news is that you’re planning to move any way. Before you list your home for sale, why not start packing now? Take personal items and excess furnishings and pack them up and move them to storage. Not only will your home look larger and neater, you are getting a start on the move.

Next, make sure your agent, or agents, understands the timeline and requirements. There are many standard contingencies which can protect you from owning two homes at once, or none at all. Not only can the purchase of your new home be contingent on successfully closing on your current one but you can also reverse the process and ensure you find a replacement before the close as well.

Finally, get the entire family involved. Be excited about the change and create a moving plan in which everyone has a task and there is a plan for the move itself. By taking a few initial steps, moving can be fun and easy!

The A Team

Credit at Closing vs. Repairs

When your listing receives an accepted offer, expect the buyer to enlist the services of a home inspector before the contract is complete. Even a brand-new home isn’t perfect. Buyers often use home inspections to negotiate during the buying process.

Home Inspection Purpose
A home inspection is designed to ensure there aren’t any significant defects in the home. A buyer wants to know if the roof is in good condition, the air conditioning and heating system work well and there are no noticeable leaks or other potentially costly issues. However, the inspection is not designed to give the buyer more power in the negotiations of the agreed upon selling price or enlist the seller to fix a long punch list of items. Expect to make accommodations for unsatisfactory items but a seller shouldn’t be fixing every tiny detail.

Credits vs. Repairs
If something does come up that needs to be repaired, it is often best to aim for a credit at closing versus repairing the item. Repair work can be costly, time consuming and come with unexpected issues. Doing what you can to avoid repairing items is in your best interest as an agent. A credit for the expected cost of the repair is a valid way to address the concern. For example, offer a credit toward a new roof instead of having the roof replaced by the homeowner. Potential issues that can arise from repairs include:

  • Buyers have their own ideas of what the repair should look like
  • Buyers can nitpick the entire process
  • Potential closing delay
  • Often longer than expected repair timelines

Home Repair Negotiation
Negotiations are a part of any home selling process. A happy buyer makes selling the home easier on everyone and leads to more referrals for you. As a good realtor you are there to help guide your clients every step of the way.

The A Team

Investment: Rent or Flip

There are a wide variety of ways to invest in real estate; one can make money in any of these options, one can also lose their money. To be successful in real estate investing, it’s critical that you identify what skills you have and your tolerance for risk. Then choose a type of investment that works for you and repeat that model.

Investors can make great profits by both flipping properties as well as holding them as rentals. The difference really boils down to a few considerations. First, what kind of income are you seeking? Active or Passive? Actively buying, fixing and flipping properties is quick cash that requires careful timing and effort. Rental properties on the other hand offer passive long-term income which accumulates over time. Additionally the property value increases during this time. The downside is that one must invest time in property maintenance and tenant management.

The second concern is risk. Flipping a property is not traditional investing where one buys and holds an investment. Flipping is really speculation. When buying a flipper, one must carefully gauge the cost of refurbishment, remodeling and the cost of the holding time into the price valuation, then carefully market the home and realize the profit. Any number of variances can go wrong which could cause the value to drop and profits to reduce or even disappear, such as a delay in remodeling or a slow real estate market.

Both types of investments can bring nice profits. Determining what’s best for you and your talents is important in choosing the best option for your financial goal.

The A Team

Top 7 Winter DIY Projects

Winter months bring cold days and long nights. While you wait for the weather to warm up so you can get out into the garden, there are still plenty of great DIY projects to tackle, even in the winter. Here are 7 terrific ideas for the “Do it Yourself-er” in you.

  1. Paint Your Walls – Paint an accent wall or an entire room with a fresh color.
  2. De-clutter – Sure this sounds like a fancy name for house cleaning, but de-cluttering is more than that. Remove excess furnishings to make your rooms seem larger and more inviting.
  3. Update Your Kitchen –A new back splash or cabinet pulls can quickly change the look and feel of your kitchen.
  4. Add Insulation – This will provide instant satisfaction as those cold, drafty rooms feel warm and cozy. If you have some real skill, you can include changing out old windows or doors as well.
  5. Smarten Up – This is a great time to automate your home with Smart devices. Add security cameras, a smart thermostat or smart lights and plugs.
  6. Build Something – For the handy, winter months are a great time to add cabinets, a TV hutch or bookshelves to your home.
  7. Re-Grout Your Tile – From kitchen counters to floors, re-grouting can freshen up the room.

The A Team

How Rising Interest Rates Affect Purchasing Power

You probably instinctively realize that rising interest rates will affect home buyers. The interest rate you pay can make a big difference in the size of the home loan you will qualify for as well as the price of the home you’ll be able to buy. Mortgage brokers use the monthly mortgage payment to determine how much you can afford to pay. Of course the larger the payment, the harder it is to qualify.

Interest Rate And Its Effect On Affordability
All mortgage payments include principal and interest as part of the total cost. Lenders use this payment to determine how much you can borrow for the home loan. Commonly, you can have 31-35% of your total monthly gross income as a loan payment. It follows that you want the principal portion of your home mortgage payment to be as high as it can be so you qualify for a more expensive home.

Risks Of Waiting To Buy
We are still seeing all-time low rates but more increases are predicted. A home mortgage is the best hedge against inflation. By purchasing a home now, you lock in your monthly housing cost, which as we’ve already seen is the largest monthly expense for most families.

Interest rates are one of the biggest factors that affect your ability to finance a home purchase. Along with your credit score and employment history, the amount of interest you pay on the loan has a big impact on affordability.

The A Team

Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

With the start of the New Year, thoughts naturally turn to change. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to sell your home, then making the right resolutions can help you sell your home quickly and for the best possible return.

  • Move Up Spring Cleaning – Time to do your spring cleaning now. Declutter, depersonalize and make the home look roomier.

  • Stage Your Home – Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, this is the time to rearrange your furniture to make your rooms look bigger and brighter.

  • Think it Through – Before you spend money on renovations and upgrades, think carefully and don’t overspend by guessing.

  • Take Care of Neglected Repairs – This is a great time to hire a handyman or break out the tool belt to take care of deferred maintenance and take care of minor repairs.

  • Interview Real Estate Agents – Hiring a real estate agent is critical to your success. Take the time to interview a number of agents and choose the right one for your needs.

  • Check out the Competition – Go see homes listed for sale in your area and adjust your timing, staging and pricing based on the market.

  • Prepare Mentally – Selling a home can be stressful. Be prepared for low offers, picky buyers, drop-by agents and odd terms. Prepare yourself now so you will take them in stride when you’re on the market.

Holiday Decor for Less

The holiday season is here. Decorating magazines and store fronts are filled with beautiful wreaths, themed pillows and festive decorations, but this can be expensive. Decking the halls doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Add some freshness to your home this season with these inexpensive ideas

DIY Ornament Wreath – Find some inexpensive ornaments and use your hot glue gun to attach to a wreath shape.

Fresh Greenery – Extra cuttings from the tree or even an evergreen in your yard add charm to your front door, table or mantle.

Candles – Real or fake, candles create ambiance throughout the home. Use silver or white candle sticks and holders to contrast with fresh greens for a modern look.

Candy Canes – Fill jars or glassware with multi-colored candy canes and leave on coffee tables and dressers.

Wrap Your Gifts Early – Nestle wrapped presents under the tree or in piles in corners. Use festive, colorful paper to add to the charm of the room.

Holiday Pillows – Discount stores offer inexpensive holiday pillows to through on sofas, beds and chairs.

Fairy Lights – Adding battery powered light strands to wreaths, tucked in greens and trimmings and clear bowls filled with ornaments can add a sparkle to the room.

These are just a few tips for decorating your home this year for less money, and have fun doing it.

Happy Decorating!

The A Team