With some planning and a few tips, buying or selling a home can be a fun and memorable experience.
One of the biggest factors keeping people from buying or selling is the sheer thought of it. More than likely, they have heard a horror story from a friend, family member, or other acquaintance and want to avoid putting up with the same nonsense. Those other acquaintances may not have had the invaluable aid from an experienced agent like Paula Campbell on their side, but those lucky enough to have found her can expect a generally stress-free process. The rest of it is up to you. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to make buying or selling a home enjoyable, easy, and less stressful.
Hire a professional
While some people may say a home will “sell itself,” this, unfortunately, could not be further from the truth. It may seem like an open house, a few photos, a quick description, and some internet listings might be all you need to draw people into making an offer on your home, but far more is needed. In addition to the cosmetic appearance and overall aesthetics of the home, there are legal documents to tend to and ethical matters to be aware of that the general public is not cognizant of. The guidance a professional realtor like Paula Campbell can offer a seller is worth more than its weight in gold, can help avoid potential liability, can steer away possible headaches, and ultimately garner you the most money for your home in the shortest amount of time.
With two decades of experience and mastery on her side, Paula offers her clients nuggets of knowledge they may not hear from another realtor in the area. One of, if not the most, important piece of advice Paula will provide is an opinion on the value of your home. By gathering data on the recent sale of similar homes in your neighborhood, Paula will point out similarities in price per square foot and price as a whole to select an appropriate figure. It’s natural to want to ask for a little bit more, but this can be a dangerous mistake. Overpricing a home will draw buyers (and their brokers) away. By pricing your home too high, you risk not looking like a serious seller and waiting longer for an offer, which can decrease your negotiation power.
Make a morning checklist
If you have not moved yet and are trying to sell the home you currently reside in, remember showing requests can pop up at a moment's notice. A great way to avoid the stress of trying to clean up at the last moment is to develop a daily checklist. Every morning, make sure all the beds in the house are made and dirty dishes are hidden from sight – either put them away entirely or just load them into the dishwasher.
Make a point to go into each room and sweep for toys, cosmetics, tools, books, or any other clutter. If you have little ones in the house, a family meeting might be necessary to stress the importance of putting away games, artwork, and stuffed animals after playtime. This way, any last-minute tidying up will be quick, minimal, and easy to tackle.
Get a head start the night before
Preparing a similar routine to follow in the evening is also a good idea. Make sure pots and pans, dishes, and glassware from dinner are hidden out of sight. If dinner was a particularly fragrant one, consider lighting a candle or opening a window to let some fresh air in. Another quick sweep across the house to tidy up any at-home office space, children's art projects, or workout equipment will be something you'll be glad you did the following morning.
Be flexible when you can
Flexibility can make a real estate transaction infinitely easier in multiple ways. This doesn’t mean you should expect showings at odd hours, but be ready to step out for a while when requests come in. This also includes weekends — scheduling a few all-day activities on a Saturday or Sunday is an easy way to allow as many prospective buyers as possible to see your home.
When the offers start coming in, remember to be flexible then, too. Not every buyer will want to buy your home for cash, above the asking price, with zero contingencies and a waived inspection period. Paula will do everything possible to generate a great offer with the majority of terms in your favor, but try to be flexible on some of the contract’s smaller aspects, which may only account for a fraction of a percent of the final selling price.
Again, hire a professional
Not only is it important to use a realtor when selling your home, but it is vital to also use one when you’re trying to make a purchase. As a buyer, it costs zero dollars to enroll a trusted, experienced realtor as your representative, which is truly a priceless investment. Having a realtor on your side keeps sellers and their brokers from taking advantage of you and gives you a fair shot during negotiations.
Not only does it protect you personally, but it can also help guard against liabilities or any legal issues that may emerge. If a sticky situation arises, the assistance an experienced, licensed professional can provide will be invaluable.
Know how this purchase is being financed
Before you even set foot out the door, you need to know how you will finance this purchase. If you are purchasing the property with cash, be prepared to make (verbal) arrangements with the title company to wire in the necessary funds or bring in a cashier’s check from your bank on closing day. Many buyers will require a loan's assistance, and plenty of options are available. Upon application, the loan officer will inspect your credit history, pay stubs or tax returns, savings accounts, and any debts you may have.
After you have been pre-approved for your loan, it is important to maintain the same financial and credit picture you did at the time of application. This means not opening any other lines of credit or making any large purchases before closing. Be sure to avoid applying for any new credit cards, even if they may tempt you with a sign-up bonus or store discount. Similarly, buying furniture for the entire household will have to wait until after closing.
Differentiate between wants and needs
It’s important to understand the difference between the things you need in a home versus what would be nice to have. If you have a large family, you will need multiple bedrooms. It would be nice to have double ovens, a pool, and a wine fridge, but it may not exactly be necessary. Remember that you can renovate down the road as needed and maybe even fulfill some of these desires on your own terms. In competitive markets with rising prices, this will especially be true. With some flexibility and creativity from smart agents like Paula, things can even work out for the better.
Don’t get discouraged
Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. Perhaps there is another buyer willing to pay more than you can for the same home, or an inspection may report some less-than-wonderful findings. The important thing to remember is not to get discouraged. Whether you just have not found “the one” yet, both parties cannot come to an agreement, or if there is a discrepancy in the asking price versus appraisal amount, Paula Campbell boasts enough experience to come up with a plan B to get you on the path to homeownership with everything working out for the best in the end.
Be ready to make a move
In a competitive market, the best thing you can be, other than flexible, is ready. Once you have been approved for financing or have gotten your cash together to purchase, don’t hesitate to set up a tour when you see a home you love. With every passing moment, other interested buyers are preparing to view the home and possibly make an offer.
In the middle of a negotiation, the same rule applies. Do what you can to work with your agent and not draw out talks for an extended period of time. Time kills all deals, so do what you can to not let what could be your dream home slip through your fingertips.
With a little preparation, a somewhat daunting experience can be simplified, slimmed down, and become one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of your life. Call Paula Campbell Homes today to hear more of her other prized tips and tricks of the trade.