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Top 3 Items to Think About When Considering Buying and Selling a Home

You know you’re ready to buy a new home, but it means (for most people) selling your existing home.

There is a lot to think about when purchasing a new property, and one of the biggest factors will generally be using the money from the sale of your current home to buy the next one.

There are many ways to go about getting your house on the market, and the first steps are making sure you are ready for the next few decisions in the coming weeks.

What are the top 3 items to think about when buying and selling a home?

Can you afford to sell? Are you floating fine or underwater? It’s time to take a look at your current mortgage and the equity that’s in your house. Will you be able to price it right to bring in buyers AND allow you to sell? Is there deferred maintenance that can’t be put off anymore, especially if you are going to have people coming through your home looking at everything?

Being realistic with pricing your home and understanding that EVERYBODY wants a bargain will prepare you for the low-ball offers, the potential for unqualified buyers (which are really just lookers), and the inspection period where anything and everything can be addressed.

Your intention is to make money on the sale, not spend to sell, which sometimes can become a reality if you haven’t looked at all angles.

Do you want to save money before you spend it? Is there at least 20% equity in your home to use towards your next purchase? Why is 20%, you ask? By putting 20% or more down on a home keeps private mortgage insurance (PMI) out of the picture. That alone can save you mountains of moolah.

Using a professional Realtor® is critical. This is something that they do, day-in and day-out, and they are on your team. Realtors don’t just work FOR you, they work WITH you, helping you understand all the intricacies involved in listing, marketing and selling your house.

That can be anywhere from pricing strategies, suggestions of what to do prior to putting your house on the market, discussions about availability for showings and understanding that a good working relationship will require communication, trust and more importantly, honesty.

Are you ready to be honest with your real-estate agent? Can you handle it if they need to be brutally honest with you? Realtor feedback will come your way: will you be able to swallow another agent’s opinion (or what their buyers said?).

If your Realtor suggests you not being home when people come by so they can view the home without feeling ‘intrusive’, will you listen instead of “helping to sell the home because, after all, you live there”?

Do you clean up the dishes in the sink and take out the trash? Take the kids and dog out for a ride if an agent wants to bring some clients by? “All for one and one for all” means everyone needs to be on the same page… Especially if you want a new spot to write future memories.

Many people understand that owner-occupied homes are actually being ‘lived’ in by real people, but it’s of the utmost importance that the house looks its best when ANYONE comes by, so they can see where THEY could live, rather than it be obviously where YOU live.

Timelines are important. Instead of putting an offer on another home contingent on the sale of your home, look at when you want to put your house on the market; when you need to sell by – yes we know ASAP is considered by many to be reasonable; what’s the market like in your area? How long will it take you to get the house ready from the time you decide to list with your Realtor? What if it sells immediately – what are your plans? What if it takes longer than anticipated to sell – what are your options?

You’ve been given your Honey-Do list, so are you going to ‘honey-do it’? Fresh paint? Declutter rooms, clean areas, pick up after Fido in the backyard, make the extra effort because it will help in selling the house.

You want the least amount of restrictions on showing the property, so the most amount of people can see it. If there’s something big that needs to be taken care of, it will probably been picked up on during the inspection period, so it’s better to get it done earlier rather than be in the midst of knowing you have a buyer that has done inspections and is asking for repairs, or negotiate a price change in lieu of repairs. What could have cost $500 to replace now appears like a $3000 issue to a buyer.

Time is of the essence and if you want to buy a home and sell yours, you’d better focus on the home and do the smart thing to save your time, money and sanity by being proactive.

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