If you can’t commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner.
A few months before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you discover.
The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary.
Whether you have school aged children or not, when it comes time to sell, you’ll learn that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values.
Look for an exclusive buyer agent, if possible, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.
When picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points — a portion of the interest that you pay at closing — in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you stay in the house for a long time — say five to seven years or more — it’s usually a better deal to take the points. The lower interest rate will save you more in the long run.
Getting pre-approved will you save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.
Your opening bid should be based on the sales trend of similar homes in the neighborhood. So before making it, consider sales of similar homes in the last three months. If homes have recently sold at 5 percent less than the asking price, you should make a bid that’s about eight to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.
Your lender will require a home appraisal. But that’s just the bank’s way of determining whether the house is worth the price you’ve agreed to pay. You should hire your own home inspector, preferably an engineer with experience in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying. His or her job will be to point out potential problems that could require costly repairs down the road.
If you price your home right at or just above market value, you have the best chance of selling your property for the highest price, with the least amount of trouble and in the shortest period of time. Buyers are comparison shoppers and they won’t pay more for your house than they would pay for another similar one. An overpriced house will sit on the market longer and eventually sell for less.
You should evaluate the list price of your home. If it has not gone under contract after 10 people have looked at it, or within 30 days of listing, whichever comes first.
Presentation is Everything
Tidy up the grounds-porches-garage. Keep lawn trimmed and edged. Trim overgrown shrubs.
Your front door gives a vital first impression. Be sure it is scrubbed clean or painted if necessary.
$100 worth of paint may balance $500 in a price cut.
Don’t forget to have all light sockets filled with bulbs. Potential buyers will feel a glowing warmth when you turn on all your lights for an evening inspection.
Wash dishes, put away clothes, straighten up newspapers, etc. Rid all closets, cabinets, and drawers of unnecessary clutter.
Keep pets out of the way when showing. Air out your home if a pet odor is evident.
Avoid having too many people present during inspections. The potential buyer will feel like an intruder and will hurry through the house.
Leave showing to the salesperson. You will be called if needed.Don’t discuss anything concerning the sale with customer. Let the REALTOR® discuss price, terms, possession, and other factors with the customer. He/she is eminently qualified to bring negotiations to a favorable conclusion.