Rita Horvath's Blog
Selling a house may prove to be difficult, particularly for those who are competing against dozens of rival sellers in the same city or town. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to gain a competitive advantage over rivals in a fierce housing market.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get a leg up on the home selling competition.
1. Focus on Curb Appeal
How your residence looks to buyers can have far-flung effects on the house selling journey. Thus, if you allocate time and resources to upgrade your house's curb appeal, you can differentiate your home from all others in your area. And as a result, you could speed up the home selling cycle.
To enhance your home's curb appeal, eliminate clutter and debris in front of your residence. Also, if there is any damaged home siding, you should fix this problem.
If you are unsure about how to improve your home's curb appeal on your own, you can always hire professionals to help you out, too. These professionals will take the guesswork out of home exterior improvements and allow you to upgrade your residence's curb appeal without delay.
2. Set an Aggressive Initial Asking Price
If you price your home too high, you risk alienating prospective buyers. Or, if you price your house too low, you risk missing out on the chance to optimize your home sale earnings.
Ultimately, it is beneficial to establish an aggressive initial home asking price. If you learn about the local housing market, you can compare your residence to available houses in your city or town. Then, you can use this housing market data to help you establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.
You may want to conduct a home appraisal as well. That way, you can receive a property valuation that you can use to help you set an aggressive initial home asking price.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Navigating a fierce housing market often is challenging for first-time and experienced house sellers alike. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available who can help you simplify the house selling journey.
By hiring a real estate agent, you can collaborate with a home selling expert. Typically, a real estate agent will work with you to create a custom home selling strategy. And when you are prepared to sell your home, a real estate agent will ensure that you can put this plan into effect and achieve the best-possible results.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you review any offers to purchase your house. He or she is happy to provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you immediately sell your residence and get the best price for your home.
Ready to sell your house? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly sell your home in a competitive real estate market.
A home is one of the biggest purchases that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. It also may prove to be expensive, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead for the property buying journey.
There is no need to break your budget to acquire your dream residence. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to guarantee you can keep you finances in check and avoid the risk of spending too much to purchase your ideal house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can buy a quality house at a budget-friendly price.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You want to buy a home, but you still have no idea how much you can spend on a residence. Thankfully, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. As a result, you will know exactly how much you can spend on a house and can plan accordingly.
Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to meet with you. These mortgage specialists can review your income, credit score and other relevant financial data. Then, they can provide you with mortgage options based on your finances.
2. Narrow Your Home Search
Although most people want to buy a mansion, it is important to establish realistic homebuying expectations. Because if you narrow your home search to properties that fall within your price range, you can speed up the property buying journey. Perhaps most important, you can shop around to find a terrific home that corresponds to your budget.
Don't forget to consider homes in a variety of cities and towns too. In some instances, it may prove to be more cost-effective to purchase a house in a small town than a residence in a big city.
3. Evaluate Your Short- and Long-Term Plans
Think about your short- and long-term plans, and you may be better equipped than ever before to map out your home finances for the foreseeable future.
For instance, if you plan to raise a family in the years to come, you may want to consider the costs associated with childcare and other child expenses. This will allow you to budget properly as you search for your dream home.
On the other hand, if you recently accepted a work promotion, your income soon may rise. In this situation, you may be able to increase your homebuying budget due to the fact that extra income will be coming your way.
Lastly, as you get ready to search for a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. In addition to helping you find a home that matches your budget, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance throughout the property buying journey. He or she will help you prepare for a home inspection, closing and other important steps during the homebuying process. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey and achieve the optimal results.
A home showing can make or break your chances of selling your house. Therefore, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure that each home showing is a success.
Ultimately, there are several best practices for home showings that every home seller needs to know, and these practices include:
1. Clean and Declutter Your House
A tidy home is sure to garner homebuyers' attention. Comparatively, a messy house is unlikely to do you any favors in a competitive real estate market.
Allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your house. Mop the floors, wipe down the walls and perform assorted home interior cleaning. Also, don't forget to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and ensure your house's exterior looks great.
In addition, eliminate clutter from your home as soon as possible. By doing so, you can show off the true size of your living space to potential buyers.
2. Remove Personal Belongings from Your Home
Although you may have many personal photographs and other treasured mementos scattered throughout your house, you should put these items away before a home showing. That way, you can make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they purchase your house.
When it comes to personal belongings, it sometimes can be tough to hide these items. However, if you store your personal belongings properly, you can guarantee these items will maintain their quality and appearance until you sell your house.
Pack up any treasured belongings carefully. Then, you can put these items in a storage unit for safe keeping. Or, if a family member or friend has storage space to spare, you can always ask a loved one to store your personal belongings temporarily.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to host a successful home showing, you're not alone. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals know what it takes to transform an ordinary home showing into an unforgettable experience.
A real estate agent can offer expert recommendations to help you get your house show-ready. In fact, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best home cleaning companies in your area. He or she also is unafraid to be honest and will share any home interior or exterior concerns with you.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will teach you about the real estate market. He or she can educate you about the differences between a buyer's and seller's market, respond to your home selling concerns and questions and much more. Thus, if you work with a real estate agent, you should have no trouble making informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.
Take the guesswork out of prepping your house for a showing – use the aforementioned best practices, and you can improve the look and feel of your house in no time at all.
Once you have bought a new house, you may feel lost as to where to start. There’s a long checklist of things that you should do to get yourself established in a new space. Here, you'll find a plan on what to do next.
Get Recommendations On Local People You Can Work With
Your realtor is a good place to start in asking who they recommend for many types of workers including plumbers, electricians, contractors, and more. You may even want to talk to your next door neighbors and see who they have used in the past for these types of handy work jobs. Even if you don’t need any kind of work done immediately, it’s a good idea to have some names and numbers on hand for future reference.
Don’t Paint Right Away
Although it seems much more practical to paint an empty house, once you live in your new home for awhile, you’ll get a sense of where the light hits and what colors will complement your furniture. When you pick colors in a rush, you run the risk of choosing shades that you may not love in the long term. Focus on properly lighting your rooms before you even start to paint.
Don’t Forget The Housewarming Party!
If you plan a housewarming party for a date that’s not too far after you move in, it will give you motivation to get things done in the house. The housewarming party is your accountability partner to get you to unpack those boxes and get decorating. Try to plan the party somewhere between one and two months after your planned move-in date. This will give you time to get things done, just not too much time!
Meet The Neighbors
You should take some time very soon after you move in to meet your new neighbors. They can be a great resource for you as to what happens in your new neighborhood. Find out if any of your new neighbors have dogs that your own dog could meet for a friendly walk. Your new friends will even give you information about a neighborhood watch or important community activities as well.
You’ll want to check all of your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm systems. Be sure that they work. Then, change the batteries in each system to start fresh. You should also equip your house with a fire extinguisher or two. You can never be too prepared for an emergency.
Next, you should check all of the door and window locks. Replace anything that used a key. You never know who had keys to the home before it was sold.
When you start small in a new home, things will begin to come together slowly but surely just like puzzle pieces.
You found the perfect home. It has everything you want from location to bedrooms to that art studio in the back, AND the mortgage payment will be lower than or the same as your current rent. You got qualified for the loan and the agent has all the paperwork ready to go. So that’s it, right? Time to buy!
In all the excitement of finding that new home, it’s easy to ignore the warning signs of “overspending” and forget that there are more costs than just the mortgage payment. This can be a dangerous game because once those papers are signed, you are stuck with your purchase.
Additional Monthly Costs
For the best home-buying experience, calculate ALL your monthly costs and try to budget that into your life before you make any final decisions. Determine what you are willing to give up in order to get that extra bedroom or live in that perfect neighborhood. Some additional monthly charges include:
- PMI “Private Mortgage Insurance”: Pay attention to the mortgage you qualify for and make sure to calculate for PMI in your new monthly budget if it applies. PMI exists to protect your lender in case you default on your mortgage loan. It’s usually included when you have a lower credit score or a smaller down payment and can range from $75 to $300 per month or more.
- Homeowners Insurance: You’ve been paying renters insurance for a while now probably, but homeowners’ insurance is a completely different ball game. Your insurance cost will be based on the estimated cost to fix or rebuild your home after a catastrophic event, NOT its market value. That means any special features with historic value, specialty windows, etc. will increase the price. Also check out if the home is in a weather damage area, somewhere prone to tornadoes, flooding, hail, etc. It also covers everything inside your home from furnishings to clothes and electronics. The more stuff you have, the greater the cost to insure it.
- Property Tax: Unlike tenants, owners pay taxes to local governments for schools, roads, city governments, etc. These vary greatly from area to area, so be sure to find a good local property tax calculator to help estimate what those charges will be. If you’re buying a home in a new neighborhood or a gentrifying one, there may be additional taxes to cover the cost of roads, streetlights, parks, and other new area features.
- Association Fees/Dues: Nearly all condos belong to Home Owners Associations (HOAs). Depending on the neighborhood you choose, your single-family home may belong to one as well. HOAs handle neighborhood maintenance including streetlights, pool upkeep, exterior maintenance, parks, and even security. HOA dues can range from $50ish per month up into the hundreds of dollars or even more.
- Services: You know all those utilities and local services currently included in your rent? As an owner, you must pay for all of them separately. That means water, power, trash, sewage, recycling, internet, cable, and phone bills all get added on top of your monthly payments as well. Some cities such as Austin, Texas, also have local monthly fees separate from property taxes, usually to cover extra city features like parks.
The most difficult costs to calculate or plan for are maintenance costs. If your landlord currently covers bug treatments, light bulbs, paint, carpeting, landscaping and generally all other maintenance, you will need to try and estimate how much of that you’ll need to pay for in your new home. There is no one else to pitch in, so this can end up being a huge additional cost.
So, How Do I Buy a Home Safely?
First, find yourself a good agent. A well-qualified agent who is familiar with your area and property needs can help you figure most of these costs. All you must do is ask. If your agent is unable or unwilling to help you plan for these, find yourself a new agent.