Looking to buy or sell in 2019? Maybe you’re trying to do both! With only two months left in 2018, we’ve put a list of tips together with help from the experts to help you buy, sell, or both with ease so you can start your new year in a new home.
Enhancing your homes curb appeal, or how your home looks from the street, is extremely important. This is a prospective buyers first impression and is essential to getting them in for a tour or a first look inside. Simply making sure your lawn is mowed, your siding and driveway is power washed, your front door is freshly painted, and your garden is alive with blooming flowers and greenery can be the difference between getting a buyer in the door or having them continue to drive by.
Keeping your home up-to-date with features and appliances that are popular or trending can be the make or break when selling your home. Lauren Bretz, Data Scientist for Zillow, reported that every home that mentioned “steamed shower” as a feature in their listing description on Zillow between 2016 and 2017, received offers that were 29 percent higher than listings that didn’t mention it, one of the highest premiums among more than 100 listing terms analyzed by Zillow.
Another interesting finding that Bretz reported was that by highlighting features like “open shelving,” “dual flush” and “mid-century” cut the amount of time spent on market among all homes sold in the last two years by more than 10 days.
The packing up process is a perfect time to figure out what you want to take with you and what can be donated or disposed of. The more organized and decluttered you are able to get, the cleaner and more appealing your home will become. Often, when you finally get rid of all the items you realize you don’t need anymore, your home will appear to more spacious and even larger than it really is.
Depersonalizing your home is another effective trick. Packing up the family photos and personal knickknacks gives the prospective buyer the opportunity to visualize themselves living in the home. Leaving too many personal items around the home can make the visitor feel like they’re intruding rather than touring. Inspire your buyers to make this space, their own.
The Kitchen and Bathrooms are typically the most important rooms for buyers. It is vital that these areas are not only sparkling clean, but inviting.
Make your bathroom a relaxing and spa like environment by adding potpourri & flowers, have towels that are clean & freshly folded, and allow natural light to brighten the room.
The kitchen is the heart of the home. Make sure this space is well lit, uncluttered, and most importantly has immaculate surfaces.
To make your kitchen seem more spacious, keep appliances like the coffee machine and toaster oven away and out of sight. Add a visually appealing centerpiece like a bowl of fruit or flowers for a touch of color.
Although we live in the digital age where everyone thinks they can become an expert on anything by turning to the internet for “how to” articles and blog posts, working with a professional agent can take a lot of heavy lifting off your shoulders, get you the best price possible, and get your home off the market sooner. A real professional will know your local market like the back of their hand. They know exactly when your home should be listed and what it should be listed for.
It is important to know exactly what you can afford before you begin to house hunt. Redfin has an easy-to-use home affordability calculator that factors in your car payments, credit card minimum payments, students loans, income and down payment. Establishing a price range will narrow down your choices and make the search that much easier and less stressful.
Work on your credit by improving your purchasing habits. Reducing large purchases and credit card spending could help you to improve your credit score. A better credit score could mean a better rate or a higher purchase price approval.
Polyana Da Costa, from Bankrate.com, states that “Shopping for a home before getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the equivalent of walking into a grocery store without a wallet.” With the market being as competitive as it is, it is essential to have your pre-approval before submitting an offer. Not only is it essential to have a pre-approval, but it can also be a huge help to have a pre-approval from a well known and reputable lender.
Many times, buyers will fall in love with a home only to have their heart broken when they realize the neighborhood wasn’t for them. It’s important to talk to neighbors, drive around at different times of the day and night, and really get a feel for the area. Where is the nearest grocery store, how close are the local schools, do you have a gym nearby, what will your commute be like? It is important to get all of these questions answered and feel comfortable with how your day-to-day life will be.
The purpose of a home inspector is provide you with all the necessary information of whether to buy or not. The relatively low cost for a home inspector could not only end up saving you thousands of dollars, but ensure your safety in the home, the presence of termites, forecast future expenses, and even offer you bargaining power.