Kimberly and John Solio's Blog
If you plan to sell a house, it can be easy to try to rush through the home selling cycle. However, doing so may do more harm than good, particularly for home sellers who want to maximize their profits.
Ultimately, a wait and see approach can be beneficial for a home seller. Some of the key reasons to consider taking a wait and see approach to selling a house include:
1. You can clean your house from top to bottom.
A messy home is unlikely to generate interest from large groups of homebuyers. Comparatively, a neat, tidy and pristine home is sure to stir up plenty of interest once it reaches the real estate market.
If you spend some time enhancing your house's interior and exterior, the benefits can be substantial. In addition to making your residence more attractive to homebuyers, you may be able to raise your chances of receiving offers at or above your initial asking price.
To clean your house's interior, you should spend some time mopping the floors, wiping down walls and ceilings and doing whatever you can to make each room look great. Meanwhile, to improve your house's exterior, you may want to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and do everything possible to ensure your house has plenty of curb appeal.
2. You can conduct a comprehensive home appraisal.
A home seller who immediately adds a residence to the real estate market might not understand what his or her house is worth based on the current housing market's conditions. As such, this home seller risks pricing his or her house too high or too low.
Conversely, if you perform a home appraisal, you can set a competitive price for your residence from day one. This appraisal also will enable you to identify your home's strengths and weaknesses and find ways to transform assorted weaknesses into strengths.
Employ an experienced home appraiser to evaluate your house – you'll be glad you did. With a top-notch home appraiser at your side, you can receive the expert insights that you need to price your house appropriately.
3. You can discover the right real estate agent.
When it comes to selling a house, why should you be forced to work with an inferior real estate agent? Unfortunately, if you rush to add your residence to the real estate market, you may select the first real estate agent that you meet. And in this scenario, you risk making a poor choice.
On the other hand, a home seller who takes a wait and see approach can spend some time evaluating many real estate agents. Then, this home seller can make an informed selection and increase his or her chances of enjoying a successful home selling experience.
There is no reason to hurry through the home selling journey. Instead, deploy a wait and see approach, and you should have no trouble remaining patient and capitalizing on the right opportunities to maximize the value of your house.
Do you ever wish that they taught a class in high school called, “Things You’ll Actually Need to Know In Life?” You’d learn how to prepare your taxes, what investing is, and how to buy a home.
Unfortunately, all of these important life lessons tend to be self-taught; you pick them up along the way and learn from your mistakes.
However, it needn’t be that way. Our goal today is to give you an accurate idea of what to expect when you’re buying your first home. We’ll go over a typically home buying timeline and discuss how long each step can take. This will give you a better idea of how long it will take to close on your first home.
Step 1: Build credit and save for a down payment
Estimated time: 2+ years
The first step of buying a home is to make sure you’re financially secure enough to do so. While there are ways to purchase a home with low or no down payments (See FHA, USDA, and VA loans), generally it’s wiser to wait until you have a sizable down payment saved. This will save you money in interest and mortgage insurance in the long run.
Next, you’ll need to start working on your credit. If your credit score took some hits due to late payments when you were younger, now is the time to start fixing those mistakes by making on-time payments and paying off outstanding balances.
Step 2: Have a plan for the next phase of your life
Estimated time 6+ months
One of the most important, and least talked about, parts of buying a home is understanding what it means to own a home. If you have a spouse, partner, or family, you’ll need to be in agreement that you’re prepared to stay in one place for the next 5 or more years.
Buying a home is expensive and you won’t want to go through the process of closing on a home if you aren’t sure you’ll stay. This means making sure your career won’t bring you elsewhere in the near future.
Step 3: Get prequalified and preapproved
Estimated time 1-3 days (depending on how much initiative you take)
Getting prequalified for a mortgage takes minutes. You simply fill out an online form and the lender will give you an idea of the type and size loan you could qualify for. Be forewarned: they’ll also use this information to call and bother you about getting a mortgage from them.
Once you’re prequalified, it’s just a matter of working with the lender to provide the correct documentation for pre-approval.
Getting preapproved takes a bit longer (1-3 days), since it requires a credit check and some work on your part--namely, gathering and sending income verification.
Once you’re preapproved, you can safely start shopping for homes without worrying that you’re wasting time looking at homes that are overbudget.
Step 4: House Hunting
Estimated time: 30+ days
It’s a seller’s market. So, if you’re buying a home right now there is competition out there. You’ll need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to researching homes online, contacting sellers’ agents, and following up on calls. Like before, the amount of effort you put into this process determines how quickly and smoothly you’ll get through it.
Step 5: Making an offer and closing
Estimated time: ~50 days
Average closing times for buying a home has grown to 50 days according to a recent study. However, by securing financing ahead of time and acting quickly, you can drastically cut down the time of these process to as little as two weeks.
For those who want to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience, it helps to prepare as much as possible. In fact, those who plan ahead may be better equipped than others to avoid various challenges throughout the homebuying cycle.
From struggling to obtain home financing after a seller accepts your offer to purchase to struggling to find the right home in one of your preferred cities and towns, myriad issues may make it tough for you to achieve your desired results on the homebuying journey. Fortunately, we're here to help you minimize risk as you pursue your dream residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a homebuying fiasco.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you enter the housing market with criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search. As a result, you may be able to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.
Think about where you want to live. Then, you can hone your home search and focus exclusively on houses in specific cities and towns.
It also may be beneficial to establish a list of home must-haves and wants. This list can help you determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house so you can map out your home search accordingly.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
There is no need to wait to get a mortgage. Thankfully, lenders are available that can help you get approved for a mortgage before you kick off your home search.
Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions – you'll be glad you did. This will allow you to learn about the ins and outs of different mortgage options.
Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask questions about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Because if you understand exactly how a mortgage works, you can make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to avoiding problems during the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will offer comprehensive support at each stage of the homebuying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent will ensure you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market.
For example, if you want to find a house in a small town, a real estate agent will help you explore residences that match your expectations. He or she will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events. Plus, if you identify your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase.
Let's not forget about the housing market expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. If you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, a real estate agent is happy to address them at any time.
Want to discover your dream residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of encountering problems as you search for your ideal residence.
Buying a home is a very detail-oriented process, and there's a lot of important things you can overlook if you're not organized.
Home buyers generally have the opportunity to do a last-minute inspection of the premises to make sure everything's up to standards prior to closing on the property.
A real estate buyer's agent can accompany you on the final inspection or provide you with advice on what to look for.
If you've already visited the home a couple times and had the house professionally inspected, you're probably well-acquainted with any major malfunctions, flaws, or repair issues. In many cases, home buyers may reach an agreement with the seller to fix, replace, or make allowances for mechanical or cosmetic problems. While real estate negotiations and sales agreements are as varied as the people and properties involved, there are typically dozens of things buyers need to check on before they sign the final documents and accept ownership of the property.
Final Walkthrough Tips
As you're doing the final walk-through of the house, it's necessary to remember or have notes on the condition of the home when you last looked at it. You'll also want to have a clear idea of what appliances, fixtures, and window treatments are supposed to be remain in the house after it's been vacated by the seller. Depending on how close your final walk-through is to the actual closing, that has probably already happened.
If there's anything missing that the seller agreed to include in the sale, then that's an issue you'll want to discuss with your real estate agent or attorney. Any property damage that may have resulted from moving furniture and other belongings should also be discussed before final papers are signed. The same thing would apply to landscaping changes that appear to be inconsistent with the sales agreement. Your buyer's agent and/or lawyer can serve as intermediary in getting these issues clarified and ironed out.
To make sure your final inspection is thorough, it's a good idea to have a "final walk-through checklist" to help keep you organized and focused. You'll want to take a last-minute inventory of items that are supposed to be included with the property sale, such as appliances, lighting fixtures, furnishings, window treatments, children's play structures, hot tubs, and anything else that was agreed to in the sales contract.
Other items you'll need access to may include garage door openers, manuals for appliances and mechanical systems, warranties, invoices for repairs made, and remote control devices for things like ceiling fans, alarms, and other systems.
Your checklist and final walkthrough should focus on a variety of items, including the working condition of appliances, the electrical system, plumbing fixtures, and the condition of walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, and landscaping features. For a complete checklist, look online or consult your real estate agent.
If you are looking to sell your home and move out of a major city, there is no need to worry. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to ensure that you can enjoy a seamless home selling experience, even if your residence is located in the heart of a major city.
Now, let's take a look at three tips for selling a home in a major city.
1. Know Your Target Homebuyer
Think about what led you to buy your city home in the first place. Then, you can put together a home listing that highlights your home's features, thereby increasing the likelihood that your house will generate plenty of interest from potential buyers.
When you create a home listing, think about a city homebuyer's perspective. By doing so, you can ensure that your home listing hits the mark with the right group of buyers.
For example, if your home is located near popular city attractions, it may be worthwhile to include this information in your home listing. Or, if your home includes a new roof and other upgrades, you should incorporate lots of details about these upgrades into your home listing.
2. Establish an Aggressive Price for Your Residence
What you originally paid for your city home is unlikely to match the value of your residence today. However, with a comprehensive approach to analyzing your home's strengths and weaknesses, you can establish an aggressive home listing price from day one.
It often pays to conduct a home appraisal prior to adding a city home to the real estate market. During a home appraisal, a property expert will evaluate your residence, as well as compare and contrast your house against similar homes. After a home appraisal is finished, you will receive a property valuation that can help you set a competitive initial asking price for your house.
Don't forget to check out the prices of comparable houses in your city, either. With this housing market data at your disposal, you can see how your residence stacks up against the competition and price it accordingly.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to put together a home listing, price your residence or perform assorted home selling tasks, you should contact a local real estate agent. By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance as you try to sell your city residence.
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house in any city, at any time. Therefore, this housing market professional will make it easy for you to maximize the value of your city home.
Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. He or she then will add your city residence to the real estate market, promote it to potential buyers and keep you up to date throughout the property selling journey.
When it comes to selling a home in a major city, it helps to take an informed approach. Use the aforementioned home selling tips, and you can boost your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling experience.