When buying or selling your property there are many things to keep in mind to help the transition go smoothly. Here are some general buyer and seller tips to help make the most of your experience.
Tips for Buyers
- Have your financing in order before you start searching. You don’t want to start falling in love with properties and neighborhoods until you get pre-qualified and know how much home you will qualify for.
- Search online before you contact an agent to get a general idea of what you’re looking for. Doing this will also provide examples of what’s available in your price range.
- Don’t shop above your price range. We are in a seller’s market so gone are the days of looking at a $500,000 property and hoping you can buy it for $400,000.
- Look beyond the cosmetic issues. Most buyers plan to put their own personal touches on their new purchase so don’t get too hung up on paint colors and the seller’s style of décor.
- Communicate with your Realtor. We understand you need to do your own online search too, but communicate to your realtor the properties you’re seeing that you like and also the ones you don’t.
- Have a few conversations with your realtor before you get together with him/her to go view properties in person. Most of what’s available can be eliminated by having a few open discussions about what you’re looking for and how much you expect to spend. That way your realtor can schedule showings for property types that truly match your needs.
Tips for Sellers
- De-clutter! Box up most family photos, accent pieces, unnecessary furniture, fake plants, keep kids rooms clean, and remove photos and refrigerator magnets from the fridge. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in the house and that is hard to do if there is too much “you” showing.
- Make the cosmetic repairs you probably already know need to be done but have just been avoiding. For example –a fresh coat of paint on high traffic areas, professionally clean the carpets (and tile!), pressure wash the exterior and freshen up the landscaping.
- Neutralize odors – don’t mask them. Pets, smoking, burning too many candles, and cooking habits all give homes very distinct smells. Open the windows occasionally to bring in fresh air and clean items in the house that hold odor (sofas, carpets, pets, etc).
- Maybe consider making some key upgrades to help your property compete with newer properties in your market. You won’t get every dollar back that you put in BUT these upgrades will usually help you sell your home faster.
- If it’s broken, fix it! Most buyers will conduct an inspection as part of their due diligence and any broken items will usually be the seller’s responsibility to repair. Stovetop burner not heating, refrigerator not cooling properly, roof leaking?? Be proactive and address those issues now because you’ll eventually need to anyway. Additionally, these signs of neglect often make buyers suspicious and they start to look for other reasons to not buy your home.