New Year’s Resolutions for Buyers, Sellers & Renters in 2013
You want to set yourself up for an efficient and successful home search. You can shorten the amount of time it takes to find and buy a home by considering a few suggestions.
To start, make your first stop your lender. This will save time once you‘re ready to make offers and indicate you are a serious buyer. An offer from a pre-qualified buyer sends a favorable message to the seller you are ready and able to close; an asset that will bode well for you especially when offering less than list price. Working with a lender first also helps clarify what you can afford before you begin to search for homes.
Make sure all funds you need to close are liquid and easy to access. This will assure you can move fast on submitting an offer when you find just the right home.
Before working with a realtor, test the waters by searching for homes on the internet to establish what type of home and area best suits your needs and budget. You can find out crucial information about area schools, amenities and services that are likely to influence where you want to live.
Start some initial packing. You are going to have to pack up your belongings anyway so, whatever you can do without in the short term, pack it up. This will lessen your load and reduce stress when it comes time to make your big move.
You want to put your best foot forward when potential buyers begin to tour your home. The better your home shows, the more interest it is going to receive. Word travels fast among realtors when a home is easy to show and draws favorable attention from potential buyers.
First, tackle those easy-to-fix projects like squeaky hinges, torn screens or light touch up paint. If you have more substantial issues that need to be fixed but, you choose not to repair before moving, get three bids from area contractors to educate yourself on what it will cost the next homeowner to resolve. For instance, if a major appliance such as your water heater or air conditioner is likely to fail the home inspection, be prepared to offer a credit to your potential buyer. Those few bids will give you the knowledge you need to negotiate a reasonable and fair credit and eliminate any concern that could obstruct a successful sale.
Potential buyers like to see homes that look clean, uncluttered and smell fresh. Thorough and frequent cleaning is cost-effective and will help your home stand out as one that appears well cared for and buyers can imagine as their own. Invest in a few inexpensive air fresheners to add a pleasant scent and continually remove any clutter.
Empty closets of any items you don’t need in the short term. Over-crowded closets and storage areas give the appearance of less than suitable storage; which is not a message you want to send to a potential buyer. Besides, packing extraneous items up makes for a few less boxes to worry about when it comes time to move.
De-personalize. Buyers need to imagine your home as their home. Try to pack away overly personal items like family photos so your home offers a less personalized appearance. This small effort will help your buyers see themselves in the rooms of your home.
Make a “Show Plan” with any family or friends living in the home. This means, have a game plan when you know potential buyers are headed to your home. This should take no more than 5 minutes time and will help keep everyone cooperating to keep your home show-worthy. Ideas include, putting away all toys or at least isolating them to one area. Put away anything lying around like clothing, magazines, hobbies or sports gear. If there are dishes in the sink wash them and clean any surrounded counters. If larger or noisy animals are part of the family, consider taking them for a relaxing walk once you see the potential buyers arrive.
Like buyers, you are best served to begin your search on the internet so by the time you contact a realtor, you have a good idea of the exact type of home, area and budget that best suits your needs.
Good specifics to address with your realtor include:
-Your intended time frame to lease;
-What amenities are most important to you (i.e., pool, golf, proximity to highways, etc)
-Whether or not you need to accommodate pets;
-Let you realtor know the age of all occupants;
-Share issues such as if you own a recreational vehicle you will need to park or a car
that due to size or commercial lettering, may cause an issue with HOA regulations.
The more your realtor knows about you and the other occupants, the quicker they can hone in on a productive search and find you just the right new address.
Isolate all funds needed for deposits into one, easily accessible account.
Consider getting a professional credit check done which can be presented with your offer to lease, this will bode very well for you as a potential tenant.
Get three written personal reference letters from colleagues at work, neighbors or if possible, your current landlord. Along with a credit report, reference letters present a very favorable picture to your potential new landlord.
Research the cost and coverage of renters insurance. You may not need to protect the home itself but, as a renter you need to protect the contents.
The New Year is nearly upon us. A few resolutions can help all of us buying, selling or renting in 2013 experience a more productive and successful real estate transaction.
Best of health and happiness to you at your new address in 2013!!
Copyright 2012: Valerie Anne Martinetti