Craig Della Penna, Realtor®'s Blog
Selling a house should be a fast, simple process. Unfortunately, potential pitfalls may arise that make it tough to achieve the best-possible home selling results.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you prepare for the home selling journey.
Now, let's look at three steps that every home seller should take before listing a house.
1. Evaluate the Real Estate Market
The housing market fluctuates week to week. Thus, a real estate market that favors sellers one week may favor buyers the following week, or vice-versa.
A home seller should examine real estate market data closely. By doing so, this seller can analyze housing market patterns and trends and plan accordingly.
Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. This housing market information will allow you to see how long homes were listed before they sold and help you set realistic expectations for the home selling journey.
Also, examine the prices of local residences that are comparable to your own. With this housing market data, you may be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive price for your house.
2. Conduct a Home Inspection and Appraisal
Don't wait to conduct a home inspection and appraisal. If you perform these assessments before you list your house, you can gain valuable home insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
During a home inspection, a property expert will assess your house both inside and out. Then, this property expert will provide an inspection report that you can use to prioritize assorted home repairs and upgrades.
Meanwhile, a home appraisal can help you determine the present value of your house. The appraisal will be conducted by a property expert who will examine your house, as well as review myriad data about homes in your neighborhood and the local real estate market. Next, this property expert will provide a property valuation that can help you determine how to price your residence.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a house. Fortunately, this housing market professional also knows how to identify and address these challenges early in the home selling process, increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. He or she then will help you put together a strategy to sell your home quickly and maximize your earnings.
When it comes to promoting a residence to potential buyers, a real estate agent knows exactly what to do too. He or she will help you craft an engaging and informative home listing that hits the mark with the right buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will host open house events and home showings to provide buyers with plenty of opportunities to view your house.
Want to list your house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can boost your chances of a terrific home selling experience.
Many times the house that people initially buy isn’t the property that will be their forever home. The house could be too big, too small, or not in an ideal location. When you sell your first home, you want to get the most out of your investment. There are so many easy ways that you can upgrade your home for a small amount of money. Any of these upgrades will add value to your home. Read on to find some of the most affordable improvements you can make to your home that will add character and value for you.
Do Something With The Kitchen
While “something” is a bold statement, it’s true. Just about any improvement, you make in your kitchen will give you a great return. Some ideas include:
Change the countertops
Replace the cabinets
Replace the stove
Get a new dishwasher
Install a new floor
There are so many different things that you can do to make a kitchen better. The possibilities are almost endless! The key to any renovation that you do is that you don’t want it to be too styled. Try to aim for improvements that will be timeless. Check out the current trends and see what seems to be a staple in modern homes. Keep in mind that you also have to like whatever it is you’re doing to your home.
Give Your Fireplace A Facelift
Upgrading the fireplaces in your home can be a great project and an excellent way to enhance your home. You can do anything from merely repairing your fireplace relieving it from any cracks. If you’re feeling zealous, you can change the type or face of fireplace you have. Look into switching from a wood burning fireplace to a gas fireplace. Change the front of your fireplace from brick to tone. Fireplaces are attractive features in homes that make any space cozy.
Upgrade The Outdoor Space
An outdoor living space adds a lot to a home. The nice thing about adding outdoor is you can go as big as you want to. If you live in a warm region, an outdoor kitchen is an awesome feature to add on. Put a deck on your house. Construct a patio. Put up a gazebo or permanent screen house. There are so many ways to make outdoor living a possibility.
Clean Up Your Outdoor Space
Giving the outside of your a once over can be an easy way to upgrade your property. You can power wash your siding. Trim your bushes. Add some more plants and foliage to the landscape. These are all simple, yet practical upgrades to your home that add value and appeal.
It’s a difficult time to be a first-time home buyer. Post-recession buyers are wary--and for good reason--of how and when to save money for a down payment on a house. One thing to remember, however, is that it’s always a good time to start saving.
In this article, we’re going to cover the four most useful methods of saving for a down payment on your first home. That way you can feel confident in taking the first and most important step toward homeownership.
Choosing the right savings account
Unlike riskier investments, a savings account is a safe and proven way of building interest and saving for a home. However, not all savings accounts are created equal.
Typically, brick and mortar banks offer interest rates that are low--the current national average is only about 0.06% annually. While these banks offer conveniences such as in-network ATMs and check-cashing, their physical locations make them expensive to run.
Enter the online bank. Since online banks don’t have all of the costs associated with running branches, they can afford to offer better rewards--namely, high-interest returns on your savings accounts.
So, should you take all of your money out of your current savings account and transfer it to an online bank? Maybe. But let’s talk about the benefits of having multiple savings accounts.
Open a dedicated account with automatic deposits
Saving isn’t just difficult due to financial reasons. Managing money also takes time and effort. To simplify this process, it’s preferable to direct deposit or automatically transfer a percentage of your weekly income into your down payment savings account.
While it may seem like pinching pennies at first, even small weekly deposits add up, and within a few years the compounding interest can earn you enough for a higher down payment than you thought possible.
Prioritize high-interest debt now
Have student debt or a car loan that’s keeping you from focusing on saving for a down payment? Oftentimes the best coarse of action is to aggressively pay off high-interest loans. In the long term, this will save you money that can then be used toward a down payment.
For debt that will take several years to pay off, consider refinancing for a lower interest rate, or consolidating your student loans. Speaking with a student loan adviser or financial planner is a good first step to take toward managing your debt.
Make a real budget
Most of us think of a verb when we hear the word “budget.” However, it’s more useful as a noun.
Creating a real budget, whether it’s in Excel, Google Sheets, or with the help of an app, having a budget you can refer to once a week is vital to making good savings decisions. It will help you monitor your spending and stay on top of your savings goals.
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Buying your first home is undoubtedly a long and complex process for someone who has little to no experience in the subject. Your average first-time homeowner learns as they go, with the help of their real estate agent and mortgage lender.
But, even so, first-time buyers often make many mistakes along the way that they could have avoided with prior knowledge and preparation.
In today’s article, we’re going to cover 5 of the most common mistakes that first-time homebuyers make when purchasing a home. From the first house you look at up until closing on your first home, we’ll cover common mistakes from each step of the way to give you the knowledge you need to make the best home buying decisions.
1. Shopping for homes preemptively
Once you decide that you’re interested in potentially buying a home in the near future, it’s tempting to hop online and start looking at listings. But, searching for your dream home at this stage is a poor use of your time.
It’s best to use this time to start thinking about the bigger picture. Have you secured financial aspects of owning a home, such as a down payment, a solid credit score, and two years of steady employment history?
You’ll also need to have a clear picture of what you want your life to look like for the next 5-7 years. Will you still want to live in the same area, or will your job lead you elsewhere?
These are all questions to ask yourself before you start house hunting that will inform your process along the way and make your hunt a lot easier.
2. Not knowing your budget
It’s a common mistake for first-time buyers to go into the house hunting process without a clearly mapped budget. You want to make sure that after all of your expenses (mortgage payment, utilities, bills, debt, etc.) that you still have leftover income for savings, retirement, and an emergency fund.
Make a detailed spreadsheet of your expenses and determine how much you can afford each month before you start shopping for mortgages.
3. Borrowing the maximum amount
While it may be tempting to buy the most expensive house you can get approved for, there are a number of reasons this might be a bad idea for you, financially. Stretching your budget each month is putting yourself at risk for not being able to contribute to savings, retirement, and emergency funds.
Furthermore, you may find that the extra square-footage you purchased wasn’t worth having to cut corners in other areas of your life, like hobbies, entertainment, and dining out.
4. Forgetting important expenses
If you’re currently renting an apartment, you might be unaware of some of the lesser-known costs of homeownership. Your chosen lender will provide you with an estimate of the closing costs, which you’ll have to budget for.
However, there are also maintenance, repairs, utilities, and other bills that you’ll have to figure into your monthly budget.
5. Waiving contingencies or giving the benefit of the doubt
While it may seem like an act of goodwill to give the seller the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things like home inspections, it’s usually a bad idea to waive contingencies.
The process of purchasing a home, along with a purchase contract, have been designed to protect both your interests and the seller’s interests. It isn’t selfish to want to know exactly what you’re getting into when making a purchase as significant as a home.