For the last half-decade, real estate values in the United States have been climbing and are projected to continue rising in certain areas. Read this article to win at buying or selling a home in today’s ever-changing market.
To succeed in purchasing or selling a house, it is crucial to comprehend how to utilize the current market to your advantage. These tips will help you understand what makes this real estate market unique, so you can be sure you’re choosing the right approach with your home purchase or sale.
The real estate market is as complicated as it’s ever been. Anyone selling their home for top dollar needs to know about current trends and be ready for anything. And first-time buyers need to understand what they’re getting into before signing on the dotted line.
Here’s some of our best research on recent changes in today’s real estate market. How do you figure out if you should hire an agent for those looking to sell their home?
Buy the Worst House on the Best Block
Buy the worst house on a great block—even if it means buying an ugly fixer-upper, rather than an up-and-coming neighborhood. It will pay off by not only increasing your home’s appeal and decreasing turnover time but also by making you look like you know what you’re doing when showing potential buyers around. If you have time, work with a professional to help renovate and sell for more.
The initial stage involves obtaining pre-approval for a mortgage to purchase or sell a home. As opposed to being pre-qualified, which is only based on the information you share with lenders, pre-approval takes into account your actual credit score and property value.
This can help you weed out homes that don’t fall within your price range and save time when searching for a property because you’ll know what price point you have left to work with.
Beware of the Short Sale
A short sale is where a homeowner offers his home for sale, but is unable to pay back his lender in full. This means he can’t sell his home outright and will have to offer it at an unusually low price.
In some cases, you can acquire homes through short sales without going through an agent—meaning you’ll save even more money on your purchase—but you do need special permission from lenders and should proceed with caution.
Be Flexible When Looking
The real estate market is booming, and it may be irresistible to attempt to purchase your ideal home as soon as you focus on it. But don’t get fixated on one property: If you miss out on it, you could end up kicking yourself later when something better comes along.
So give each house (or condo) serious consideration before you make an offer—and be ready to walk away if the seller doesn’t accept your terms.
Find a Neighborhood-Savvy Agent
When you’re buying or selling, it’s best to have an agent that knows your neighborhood inside and out. If your real estate agent doesn’t know your area well, go elsewhere.
The local knowledge of an agent is crucial when it comes time for negotiations—and someone that lives near you will be able to walk away with valuable tips about hidden gems and pitfalls.
The Importance of Reading the Home Inspection Report
The home inspection report is an important thing to read. It can reveal underlying problems with your new home that may not be obvious. Even if there are no serious issues, it’s helpful to know what you’re getting into.
If you don’t have your own inspector and want a third-party opinion on things like mold, asbestos, and other problems, hire one before you purchase.
Go for a Walkthrough with Your Agent Before Closing
A home buyer is legally entitled to have a walkthrough inspection with their real estate agent prior to closing. There are exceptions, but you’re generally allowed one walkthrough during which your agent will show you any issues that need addressing before finalizing your purchase.
It’s best practice for your agent to know about these problems in advance so they can be resolved early on (saving you money and hassle). Here are some questions he or she should ask: Does anything need fixing? Is anything damaged?
Final Walkthrough Day
The day before closing is your final opportunity to identify issues and correct them. You may have already identified some during your walkthrough with your real estate agent, but there may be others you missed.
For example, if you’re selling, did you remember that leaky faucet? If you’re buying, did you think about how an extra window would mean less natural light? Make sure both of these situations are rectified before closing so nothing is left unresolved on closing day.
Get Your Home Ready for Sale Before You List It on MLS
If you’re selling, you should think of your home as an opportunity for buyers. It’s important to get your home ready for sale before you list it on MLS. This can mean cleaning up clutter and organizing your things, but also making sure repairs are done, giving your place a facelift, and decluttering both inside and out.
Cleaning up won’t just make your home more attractive; it will also help instill confidence in buyers that they can live there too.
There’s no doubt about it – the real estate market has changed a lot in the last few years, with the advent of online listings and bidding wars over homes listed on the market for just one weekend.
In order to buy or sell your home successfully in today’s marketplace, you need to do your research and know how to pick up on subtle cues that can make all the difference between winning your bid and losing out on what could be your dream home.
This guide will help you navigate the tricky waters of buying or selling a home in today’s real estate market.
Step 1 – Getting Pre-Approved
Before you do anything else, make sure you’re pre-approved. Getting pre-approved shows that you are a serious buyer and will help ensure that any seller will consider your offer more seriously.
It should take no more than two weeks and can be completed online with just one form, making it an easy but important step to take before getting serious about home buying.
Step 2 – Searching for Homes
Before browsing real estate listings online, talk with an experienced Realtor® to get advice on local real estate market conditions. The housing market has different dynamics across regions—and even within them.
For example, where you live might not be where you work, so keep that in mind when choosing homes for sale.
Step 3 – Closing
Both parties are about to sign and accept the deal. At closing, you can do an inspection and will sign all of your contracts. Before you close on any home, always inspect the property with your inspector and verify that there are no issues that could affect your home after you purchase it.
Step 4 – Maintaining Home Value
Knowing that your house will appreciate in value with time can help you comprehend why you might prefer to delay significant renovations.
Minor cosmetic changes and improvements can keep your home more attractive. Hiring an experienced professional can help ensure that you’re making strategic choices about remodeling—and help take some of the stress out of your home purchase or sale.
It’s smart to carefully weigh which updates might bring a big return on investment versus those that will add charm and personality but not raise your property value significantly.
Step 5 – Other Tips
The House Hunt – Successful home buying comes down to knowing what you want and being prepared. Begin by drawing up a short list of criteria you’ll be looking for—things like number of bedrooms, total square footage, garage size, etc. The main thing is that it has to feel right and match your lifestyle.
Then start researching online until you find several homes that seem promising; then book an appointment with one of them. Make sure all your questions are answered, including any lingering doubts about location and community amenities.