We love the opportunity that the new year brings to reflect upon the past year and set resolutions for the upcoming year. If your goals include buying or selling residential real estate in 2020, here are some ideas to help you get the best outcome in your sale and/or purchase.
Resolutions for Sellers
These strategies will help you present your property in the best possible light which will increase the likelihood of getting the best possible terms from a potential buyer:
- Clean and organize – In presenting your home for sale, help transition it from your home to a product for sale. How you live in your house and how you present it for sale are two different things. Give your home a thorough cleaning inside and out (you know you’ve been meaning to get to that grout on the kitchen floor…). Remove personal belongings to help buyers imagine how their household would fit in your home (be careful not to depersonalize the home so much that it feels lifeless!) Make needed repairs and if you have questions about what’s worth fixing and what’s not worth fixing, we’re happy to discuss our thoughts about getting the best “bang for your buck” in repairs and renovations you’re considering. If you want to go the extra mile, consider hiring a stager to rearrange furniture to optimize your space or choose colors before you invest in painting (we know some stagers who we think do a great job!)
- Decide on a timeline – How quickly do you want to move? Do you want to buy your new home before you sell your current one or at the same time? Are you prepared to pay two mortgages? Do you have a home sale contingency? When is buyer demand strongest in your market? When would you have the least competition from other homes on the market? The answers to these questions will help you determine a timeline for milestones in the purchase and/or sale process.
- Choose your real estate agent – All agents are not created equal. Be sure to interview real estate agents to find an agent a deep understanding of the economics of your market (your town as well as your style of property and price point) as well as a commitment to putting their clients’ interests first. One place to start is recommendations from friends and family who have recently worked with a local agent.
Resolutions for Buyers
If you’re planning to buy a property in 202, these strategies will help you put yourself in the best possible position:
- Review your financials – How will you be paying for your home? If you don’t have 100% of the purchase price, talk to a mortgage broker about financing options. Be sure to determine how much you will need for a downpayment with different mortgage products you are considering. If you have received a gift of cash recently to help with your purchase, be sure to discuss this with the mortgage representative in case it affects your mortgage qualifications.
- Bonus points for extra credit – Pay attention to your credit. Review your report for accuracy and correct any errors by asking the reporting company to remove the incorrect information. Be careful about your spending and borrowing. When you’re buying a house, it’s easy to do pre-closing damage to personal credit by running up credit card balances with furniture purchases.
- Get pre-approved – Figure out how much you are willing to pay monthly toward housing because just because someone will lend you a certain amount doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to borrow that much (there’s only so much boxed mac-and-cheese a person can eat). Also know how much of a monthly payment is for the mortgage and how much is for the property tax payments as that will help you focus your search by only considering properties within the range of what you are willing to pay in purchase price and property taxes.
- Choose your real estate agent – All agents are not created equal. Be sure to interview real estate agents to find an agent a deep understanding of the economics of the markets you’re considering (by town as well as by style of property and price point) as well as a commitment to putting their clients’ interests first. One place to start is recommendations from friends and family who have recently worked with a local agent.
If buying or selling a home is a goal for you in 2020 (or 2021, 2022, 2023, …), give us a call. If you’re looking in the Leaf, Realtors’ market area, we would be happy to let you know specifics of how we will guide you through the buying and/or selling process. If you are buying or selling outside our market area, we can put you in touch with agents who we think do a great job in that specific market.