Take These Simple Steps Before You Hire a Realtor

Take These Simple Steps Before You Hire a Realtor

When you’re in the home buying or selling mode, there are important steps you should take before you ever hire a real estate agent — including staging and cleaning your home! You can make the process go smoothly and quickly by preparing for your next adventure appropriately. Presented by Extreme Carpet & Time Clean, here is some advice to help guide you through the process.

Advice to buyers

Purchasing a home is exciting, and chances are, you are anxious to look at properties. However, if your finances aren’t in order, you could quickly be disappointed. If possible, find a lender early in the process. Today’s real estate market is very competitive, and you don’t want to lose your dream home because you don’t have your financing in order.

Check your credit. Get a free copy of your credit report and fix any errors on it. If there are financial missteps in your credit history, some experts suggest resolving them prior to talking to a lender. Mortgage companies take dings in your credit very seriously, so it’s to your benefit to tidy up in advance.

Know your money. Tally your income and expenses so you are sure of how much you can spend on a home. Include expenses that will come with a house, such as property taxes and homeowner association fees. You may wish to use an online mortgage calculator to help with your figures. Generally speaking, no more than 33 percent of your monthly income can go toward your housing costs, and no more than 43 percent can go toward overall debt.

Next, gather up your down payment, which some professionals recommend should be a minimum of 20 percent. If it’s coming from gifts or other sources, it will need to be in your own bank account for a while (to show your financial stability) before a lender will allow you to use the funds toward your purchase.

Approach a lender. It is important to shop around for lenders during this period to ensure you get an excellent rate. Check out your local banks and credit unions. There are also online options available that can be found with a quick web search. You can also ask for recommendations from family and friends. Once you settle on a lender, get pre-approval on your loan.

Advice to sellers

Since a home is a substantial investment, you want top dollar when you sell. You also want to sell quickly. It’s in your best interest to take the steps that will prepare your home in order to achieve those goals.

Depersonalize, declutter and clean. Remove your personal items and clutter throughout your home’s interior and exterior. Deep clean thoroughly. Holman recommends that sellers eliminate half of their possessions by temporarily storing them away from the home. This will give potential buyers the opportunity to imagine their things in your home.

Make necessary repairs. A new coat of neutral paint is always recommended when you’re putting your house on the market. Also, anything that is obviously broken or worn out should be fixed. Cracked windows, leaky roofs and dripping faucets may not bother you, but those are the sort of items that speak of neglect to potential buyers. Unless someone is looking for a fixer-upper, you’ll shut down the sale immediately by showing your home while it’s in need of repairs. The same goes for the items you plan to use for staging; if you want to add a little luster to your furniture, look up “furniture upholstery near me” and use websites to check out reviews. This can help you avoid a less-than-desirable contractor.

The process of buying and selling can go smoothly with good groundwork. Follow appropriate steps before talking with your realtor. With your careful preparations, you’ll assure a successful venture!