Get Your Home & Yourself Ready for the Spring Real Estate Market
Whether you’ll be selling or buying a home this year, it pays to be prepared. Let’s take a look at how a home seller can be ready to hit the ground running in the 2018 spring real estate market.
Get Your Finances In Order
If you plan on buying another after you sell your current home, you should start by thinking about your finances. The first step is to find a lender and ask for mortgage pre-approval.
This process is helpful in several ways. First, it lets you know how much you can afford to spend on a home and how much cash you’ll need for the down payment and closing costs.
You’ll also get valuable clues as to which credit issues you should tackle to help raise your credit score.
Be mindful of your spending. If a home is truly what you want, nix the new car and vacation and put that money aside for your closing costs.
Choosing Your Real Estate Agent
Whether buying or selling (or both), you’ll need professional representation to help you navigate the process and to look out for your best interests.
It may seem that finding the right real estate agent is like finding a white rabbit in a snow storm, but consider this: The best agent is one that comes with lots of glowing referrals. Ask everyone you know and everyone you meet who they know in real estate.
You won’t know who has just sold a home until you start asking, so ask the drycleaner, the barista on your morning coffee run and anyone else you come into contact with.
When you have a list of names of real estate agents, start calling them to set appointments for a listing presentation.
Back To That Experience Thing
LeBron James walks onto a basketball court and makes the game look easy. He didn’t get where he is in the sport, by the way, by playing only one to four times a year.
The same should be said for the person you put your trust in to help you sell your largest investment: your real estate agent.
Sure, many part-time agents are quite good at what they do and have no problem getting from listing to close. But, especially if you have a special situation, such as a luxury home sale or a short sale, nothing takes the place of experience.
Ask Lots Of Questions
A full-time agent isn’t necessarily a better agent, as mentioned earlier, but a must if you’ll be undertaking any type of complicated transaction. Don’t be afraid to ask the agents how many hours a week they devote to real estate and how many transactions they’ve performed over the past 6 months.
Not only should you ask a lot of questions, you should expect the agent to share knowledge as well. Especially if this is the first time you’ve sold a home, seek out the agent who takes the time to explain any concepts that might be unclear to a consumer.
Most of all, take your time during this part of the process. Once you sign the listing agreement it’s a bit tough to back out if you find you want another agent.
The Most Important Criteria For A Listing Agent
Your listing agent’s main job is to market your home for sale. Ask every agent you interview for a copy of their marketing plan for your home. Pay close attention to the photographs, as they are the backbone of any home marketing plan.
There should be lots of photos, they should be clear and present the house in the best light possible. Any sloppiness in the marketing plan should raise a red flag and prompt you to cross that agent of the list.
While there are many agents who will try to sell you on the fact that they are the “neighborhood expert,” the best agent is the one you feel comfortable with, the one who takes the time to communicate with you and the one who is a marketing genius.
Preparing Your Home For The Spring Real Estate Market
One of the most important things to determine is how much your home is worth. And, it will be worth more if you take care of any necessary repairs before they pop up in the home inspection and possibly throw off the sale’s schedule.
Consider having the home professionally inspected and use the report as a road map to getting more money for your home.
Once this is accomplished, call us. We’ll compile a market analysis to determine our opinion of the current market value of your home and make suggestions on cosmetic fixes and give you presentation tips to help you maximize your profit.
Finally, touch bases with that lender again to determine if your credit-fixing efforts paid off and to let him or her know that the home will soon go on the market.
It sounds like a long list of “honey-dos,” but if you get started now, you and your home will be ready when the spring real estate market begins.