It’s time to get started
If you’re in the market for a home or want to sell, the coming months may be your best bet. That’s because spring and summer are the ideal times, according to Barbara Lane, a real estate guru from San Antonio. “More people tend to move around the end of the school year so you have the most choices when it comes to homes on the market,” she explains.
Lane suggests starting your search three to five months prior to your move-in day. “That way with the help of a real estate professional, you can get a better understanding of what’s available in your price range, desired neighborhoods, and other home requirements,” she states.
Plan to finance your home? Make sure you’ve talked to a loan officer who will review your financial situation and discuss your budget, price range, and current financing options. Be prepared to show documentation of your employment and financial status to help you get loan pre-approval. Bring income tax records from the past two years along with last month’s bank statement and pay stubs. Other documentation may also be required. They’ll tell you about the downpayment you’ll need based on the loan you qualify for. Just make sure you feel comfortable with the estimated monthly payments. You don’t want to sink all your money into your house and then end up struggling to pay your bills or having to give up the joys of life like vacations, dining out, and entertainment.
Finding the right realtor is another important step. Look for an experienced professional who works with your best interests in mind, not one whose top motivation is making the biggest commission possible. Choose someone who is a good listener and guides you through the process with information to help you make informed decisions. Remember to ask for client references. After all, you want to make sure you select someone you can trust with what will more than likely be your largest investment.
Thinking of selling your home yourself without a realtor? Consider this. A real estate agent could actually help you sell quicker at the best asking price. Here’s why. Agencies offer marketing machinery that packs a heavy punch when it comes to your home’s exposure on several websites.
Real estate professionals can determine the best price for your home with a market analysis. This research reveals what buyers are will pay for comparable homes. Agents can then make adjustments to your home price for upgraded features or make deductions for remodeling or repairs that may be needed.
Realtors can also stage your home and are experts on curb appeal to accentuate the positive to prospective buyers. An agent can make sure folks who visit your home have loan pre-approval. Paperwork in selling a home is complicated and having an experienced agent handle the documentation helps assure that all forms have been completed.
Whether you’re searching for a new or existing home, it’s important to manage your expectations, especially if you and your partner have different priorities.
“Buyers should each make a list of their requirements, mesh the two lists together, then place the most important three to five requirements at the top. Be prepared to compromise on the others,” Lane explains.
If your dream home is an existing home, Lane recommends having an inspection done by a licensed professional before you sign on the dotted line. “The inspection is important to not only find out about the condition of the home but also potential repairs that may be needed which may not be evident to the buyer,” she adds.
According to Lane, the most important factors to consider in a home are its location, the quality of the construction, and its resale potential for your long-term wealth investment. After all, who doesn’t want as big a payoff as possible when it comes time to sell? That way you can reinvest the money from the sale of your home in that retirement house you’ve been hoping for on the beach or in the mountains. Now that sounds like a dream home.
By Perla Sarabia Johnson