Buyer & Seller Guide
Whether moving on, moving up or buying your first home, get ready to find the home of your dreams. I can offer tips on what you should look for, how to negotiate a great deal, how to protect yourself along the way, and more.
Step 1: Defining What You Want
Start by creating a prioritized list of features you want in your next home and the reasons why. Use it as your search guide, but remember that depending on your funding, you will probably need to make some compromises. In addition, talk to me about where you want to live. Location is a huge part of any move. Let my experience help their narrow down your choices by sharing market trends and local information like neighborhood statistics and community links.
Step 2: Figuring Out What Your Can Afford
Now that you know what you want, it's time to see what you can afford. You can start by crunching the numbers yourself using our mortgage calculator.
When you're ready to move to the next step, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage. This process can often be performed in under an hour and it accomplishes two important goals. First, it will tell you how much house you can afford and what your monthly payments would be. Second, it tells the seller that you can afford to buy their home.
By definition, a pre-approved buyer has an approved mortgage subject to an appraisal of the property. Many times a buyer can use this pre-approved status as leverage during the negotiation process.
Step 3: Shopping for Homes
Once you know what community you'd like to live in and have an idea of how much house you can afford, its time to start checking out actual properties. Beginning this search online can help save you time since it can help you target homes that meet your search criteria. Our home notifier can even email you when properties come on the market that meets your search criteria.
Next, begin visiting homes in person. I'll arrange visits with you that are in your target area and price range. When comparing homes, make sure to look at all aspects of the property. Is the property tax approximately the same? Are both the houses renovated? Do they both have the same amount of bedrooms and bathrooms? Are both houses located on the same or similar streets? Does either house have any encumbrances?
Remember to keep an open mind when you are looking at homes. Use a virtual home planner to help you imagine what the house could become with you as the owner.
Step 4: Making an Offer
Once you find the home you want, we can discuss making an offer for the house. Typically this is a very difficult and trying time since both parties have totally different goals. In most cases it is better to have a third party, such as a real estate professional, negotiate the offer. If you have any personal interaction with the homeowner, don't give out any information about your move, your current housing status, financial status or your feelings about their property - positive or negative. This could hurt you in future negotiations.
Step 5: Inspections and Insurance
After your offer is accepted we will need to set up and coordinate a home inspection. You will also need to arrange for homeowners insurance and finalize the mortgage. I can assist you in recommending a certified home inspector as well as help with interpretation of the inspection.
This is a major step in the buying process and there are many potential problems that can be discovered during this period. These include a leaky roof, a foundation problem, mould and wall cracks, to name a few. These problems happen all the time. The difference between closing on your dream home and starting the process all over again is what occurs during the negotiations between you and the seller.
As your CENTURY 21® Real Estate Professional I can help make these discussions go more smoothly.
Step 6: The Final Closing
Once you close, it's official - you own the house! But there might be a few things you want to do before you lay out the welcome mat. These include arranging for an alarm system, turning on the electricity, subscribing to the local paper, cleaning or replacing the carpet, arranging for lawn services, etc. This could also be a good time to make some needed renovations.
Knowledge can be the key to a speedier home sale. Learn all you can about selling from appraisals to negotiations …as well as how a CENTURY 21 professional can help you market your home for the quickest sale with the best price possible.
Step 1: Creating a Marketing Plan
Creating a marketing plan for your home will help distinguish it in your local marketplace and attract buyers to your property. This may include advertising in the newspaper, posting your listing on the Internet, holding an open house and more. As your CENTURY 21 Sales Professional I have a proven marketing strategy customized to your property. Its purpose is to sell your home at the best price possible in the shortest amount of time.
A key part of the marketing plan is setting the list price. If a home is priced to low, it may cost you money. If a home is priced too high, potential buyers may be scared away. To determine the best asking price I will review the cost of recently sold homes, evaluate the competition and study marketplace trends. I am trained to use this information to help you reach the right asking price. It is also helpful to discuss other terms and conditions, such as timing and items that can be included with the sale of the home. Both of these can make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
Now it's time to get your home ready for the spotlight. Start with a good cleaning, then eliminate any clutter, add a fresh coat of paint and tidy up the yard. As your real estate professional talk to me about other tips that can help boost your home's curb appeal and impress potential buyers once they're in the door. .
In addition, we can work together so you are aware of all the local laws. This information can be obtained by the specific local and federal government agencies or from your local CENTURY 21 Office.
In some cases, a home sale can also be an invitation for danger. Here are some things you can do to make the process safer.
- Ask for identification
- Ask for pre-approval letters
- Lock up and hide collectibles and valuables
- Remember "For Sale" signs bring in buyers. Do not allow your children to open doors to strangers.
- If you have pets, make sure they are controlled
- Remove any dangerous items
- Talk to me about additional safety tips to help protect you and your family.
A buyer has made an offer - now it is time to negotiate. As your real estate professional you can rely on me to guide you through this process. Together we will arrive at an acceptable price, terms and conditions. Once you have accepted an offer, help keep the deal together by meeting deadlines and criteria, including home inspections, appropriate buyer visits, scheduled deposits and other steps. In fact, during this period there may be a renegotiation of the accepted offer price depending on the outcomes of these visits. As the closing nears, you may also need to perform repairs or do additional work to the house as agreed upon in your contract. In addition, you will need to have the house "broom clean" prior to the closing so that the buyer can complete a final walk through. When you finally arrive at the closing table, be prepared with the appropriate certificates and approvals legally required.Once the money has exchanged hands and all the papers signed it's time to hand over the keys and concentrate on your next big project - getting YOUR new home in order.
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