Home buying and selling can be a very fast-paced industry - a house can sell within hours or even minutes. With the right tools at your fingertips you will be able to outwit and win good deals.
If You’re Buying
If you are a buyer, then you will want to take these things into consideration.
Find a lender. Before you start working with a bank, mortgage banker, mortgage broker or credit union, get as much information about them as you can. Check their backgrounds carefully. Also, get an estimate of all possible fees.
Don’t over commit yourself. There are some things that you can take care of for the buyer, but others that you cannot. Learn to be flexible and to negotiate.
Stay within your financial reach. Make sure you never go for something that is so high or right around your income level, but rather something that is 25–30% lower than your income, so that if there is ever a draw back on your financial status you’ll still be able to afford it.
Get pre-approved. If you have problems getting pre-approved because of your bad credit rating, then one good thing to do is to get your own credit report online and review it. Determine if anything on the report is inaccurate or over seven years old, which means it must be removed.
Know what you’re looking for. Whether you are going to open houses on your own or using a real estate broker, make up a list of what you would most like to see in the property and prioritize it so you can determine which items are most important and which ones you are comfortable sacrificing.
Always keep a cool head. Simple problems can become a burden when you have many details to take care or you hit a few snags on the way to closing. Work with the people who are helping you through the transaction to resolve any issues that pop up.
If you’re selling
If you are on selling the side, here are some things you should be thinking of right now.
Know when to sell. Besides spring, the best time to put your property on the market if you plan on buying another home is when interest rates are low. Low rates benefit both buyers and sellers, and you'll be both.
Understand the process. Learn about the home selling process and about negotiating. Knowing as much as you can could save you thousands of dollars.
Decide whether to go it alone. If you decide to sell your home on your own, keep in mind that it may take longer than if you're using a real estate agent, especially in a buyers' market. When there are more sellers than buyers, real estate agents have the advantage of using multiple listings when it comes to getting their homes in front of buyers.
Be realistic. About your asking price, the time it takes to sell a house, the process and the market. If you go in thinking it will take only a week and you'll get exactly your asking price, you'll probably be disappointed.
Think improvements. While you don’t necessarily have to add on a new room or two, making some basic improvements can increase the value of the property dramatically, and can also make a significant difference in the eyes of buyers. If the house needs a paint job, use neutral colors. The same with new carpeting. If there are hardwood floors, consider having them professionally refinished. Landscaping also adds curb appeal and increases the value of the property.
Price at market value. When you do, you open your home up to more buyers who can afford the price. Listing at a high price in the hope that you’ll find the one purchaser who will pay it, often discourages many potential purchasers who could have afforded the price. If you need to sell quickly, consider advertising owner financing to draw in a wider range of buyers.
Keeping these things in mind will surely help you sell at the right price and land on your dream home. Be real and you'll have a much better experience.