Get Ready: Tips for Homebuyers and Sellers to Make the Process Easier
Home is where the heart is, but getting there takes preparation, patience, and a good realtor. It doesn’t matter if you are the buyer or the seller; there are things you can do before you hire a realtor to make your life and theirs a whole lot easier. These tips will get you started, and you’ll be turning or handing over that key in no time.
Get Pre-Qualified for a Loan
Unless you plan to pay for your new home in cash, a mortgage is one of the necessary evils all homeowners must face. According to real estate agent Scott Davidson, before you bring a realtor into the mix, buyers should have a loan prequalification, and assemble tax returns, W2s, bank statements. Pre-qualification is the first step toward obtaining a mortgage loan in which you provide a lender with the basics of your financial situation to determine the mortgage size you qualify for. This step can be done over the phone or by using a pre-qualification calculator. However, getting officially approved requires that you meet with a lender and provide them with your full financial history and submit a formal application. This step requires a lot of paperwork,
including employment history and credit, which is why in an ideal world, Davidson says, buyers would be employed for at least 2 years and check their own credit history, in order to make sure they get approved.
Determine What You Can Afford
While the lender will tell you the size of the mortgage you qualify for, it is best to look at your financial situation yourself to determine how much home you can reasonably afford. In short, you don’t have to use the full loan amount that a lender approves you for. According to mortgage advisor Casey Fleming, “Most people probably can't afford what they can qualify for. The key is whether or not you can really live on what you have leftover after making your
housing payment.” There may be unexpected expenses such as a high utility bill or maintenance repairs. Instead of focusing on the most house you can afford, look for homes that meet your budget and your lifestyle. Your home is your happy place, and it shouldn’t be a financial burden.
Get Your Home in Order
As a seller, you are focused on getting your home ready to impress buyers, but you also need to consider the fact that you might be a buyer as well. Davidson suggests that sellers consider whether they are buying after the sale, and get a loan pre-qualification if so. If not, clean the home and cut the grass. Part of the pre-listing consultation will be to go over the necessity for potential repairs. Simply put, carpet and paint will be the basis of the condition. Once you know you are going to sell, get a jumpstart on the cleaning and clutter. House showings will soon become a part of your regular routine, and doing an initial deep clean will cut down on the time you have to spend tidying up. Don’t let all the sweat you put into cleaning your home go to waste by forgetting to de-clutter. All countertops should be cleared, and any personal items or trinkets packed away.
Make Necessary Repairs
Before you enlist the help of a real estate agent, Davidson suggests sellers should get most of the deferred maintenance repaired, especially if it is wear and tear or damaged items. Having these issues addressed now saves you time later, as any buyer who puts in an offer is going to have the home inspected and require that you make the necessary fixes or accept a lower bid. The average price to inspect a home in Stockbridge, GA, is $280 - $354, so go ahead and have your home inspected so that you can work these fixes into your budget and speed up the process once you have an interested buyer. For a list of must-do improvements and repairs, check out this handy list.
Searching for the perfect home and/or getting your current home ready to sell involves many steps. Consider what you can do before hiring a realtor to make the process go quickly and more smoothly. Not only will your realtor be impressed, but they’ll thank you too.
Article provided by Natalie Jones from HomeownerBliss.info.