Pam DeGemmis' Blog
If you do not know the process for selling a home it can raise your stress level some. It can also be a very unpleasant experience. During the process, you will have to endure a lot of opinions and suggestions that can either help you or end up hurting your efforts when the home sells. If you want to be successful in selling your home, then there are some things that you will want to consider before beginning the journey.
Get the Best Agent
Your real estate agent is called a listing agent. This is true if they are the one that listed your home. If your agent also is helping the buyer, then they can be the mediation between both parties. In order for them to represent both parties they must have approval by agreement of both parties in writing. This is important to know because as your agent they must represent your interests to the buyer. An agent that represents both parties could be accused of having a conflict of interest. When choosing your agent you will want to find one that is able to represent your interests effectively.
Have an Analysis Done on Your Home
It is the price that will eventually sell your home. If you price your home too low, you will end up losing money. But price if the price is too high, and you will make nothing because it will never sell. A comparative market analysis will be done by your agent. It will compare your home to others in the area. It will suggest what your home could potentially sell for. When you finally decide on a price your agent will put that price on the contract. The buyer will have to agree to that price, in writing, for it to become the sale price.
All sellers are responsible to disclose anything that could be wrong with the property. You will have to fill out a form that would list any problems that could potentially be wrong with the property. In this case the law favors the buyer as they are making a major purchase.
Get Your Home Connected
You will want to make sure to advertise your home. Your agent will be able to put the listing out for everyone to see but that is not the only thing you can do. Go ahead and take pictures of your home and use social media to advertise it. The more exposure you give your home the better it will sell. The real estate market is very competitive. If you want to sell your home fast, then you will have to do more than what everyone else is doing to market their own homes. But knowing how to create exposure will sell your home fast.
Buying a home is a big decision made up of dozens of smaller decisions. With so many moving parts in the process it's difficult to know you’re making the best choices. Some of the most important choices in buying a home have to do with finances. Here we will go over some tips to avoid common financial mistakes when buying a home.
Talk to More Than One Lender
One of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers can make is talking to only one lender. It’s extremely beneficial to shop around for mortgage quotes and carefully weigh the different term options. Getting quotes from multiple lenders will help you find the best interest rate, down payments and closing costs for your situation. Talking to multiple lenders also means you can negotiate for a better deal by leveraging another lender’s offer. It might feel like a lot of back-and-forth, but the more you prepare and educate yourself about a mortgage decision, the happier you’ll be.
Look Into Other Loan Programs
Don’t forget that there are other mortgage options than banks and lending firms. Look into other options like FHA, VA or USDA loans, especially if you want a low down payment. There are also first-time homebuyer programs run by state governments that are available to help you afford a mortgage. Research these options and see if you qualify, otherwise you might miss out on a big savings opportunity.
Keep Your Credit Stable
The home buying process can take a long time. Even after the seller approves your offer, it can be weeks or more until the transaction fully closes. Many homebuyers use this period to plan for things like appliances or other moving costs, which is always a good idea. However, avoid opening up a new line of credit or applying for any sort of short-term loan before you close. It might feel like the process is stagnated, but mortgage lenders will pay attention to the stability of your credit score. If your score changes due to applying for credit, your lender may even change the terms of the mortgage—typically by increasing the interest rate. Avoid the temptation to borrow more money until after the closing date, and you’ll avoid the risk.
Don’t Forget the Ongoing Expenses
Planning for all the upfront costs of buying a home is important but so is planning for the ongoing expenses. Along with your mortgage payments, you'll also have several other regular costs to plan for. These include homeowners’ insurance, property taxes, utility bills and maintenance costs. You might also have mortgage insurance or homeowners’ association fees to factor in. Budgeting for the ongoing expenses will help you stay afloat financially without getting overwhelmed in the early stages of home ownership.
This is only basic advice and may work better for some potential homebuyers than others. Always consult a professional financial advisor or accountant for more specific guidance. This is the best way to make sure your first-time home purchase is a success.
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For those who embrace a sense of nostalgic charm, older homes have an undeniable allure. The yesteryear designs and attention to detail are often absent in new construction. As attractive as the idea of living in a glorious Victorian or period home may be, it’s also imperative that you take an extra-long look at older homes. While it’s true that many homes age like fine wine, some can turn to vinegar as well. Consider answering these three things before putting down 20 percent, securing a mortgage, and signing off at the closing.
1: Older Homes Enjoy Better Quality Construction, But . . .
There’s a funny thing about the word “but,” that should prompt potential homeowners to sharpen their focus. It’s generally true that many older homes were routinely constructed with sturdier materials that are now considered “high-end.” In fact, structures built from the 1860s to 1920 employed lumber that is both thicker, and stronger by the square inch. The reason is that older homes utilized “slow-growth” timbers. Today’s wood generally comes from “fast-growth” trees. The wood density is vastly stronger in slow-growth, which is one reason many have stood the test of time. Now here’s the “but.”
Your ability to find slow-growth lumber would take a Herculean effort. That’s why it’s essential to understand that you may not be able to restore an older home to its original glory, only emulate it.
2: Homeowners Insurance Can Be Tricky With Older Homes
Take a moment and think about how you plan to approach your homeowners insurance to satisfy the lending requirements. Most people want to secure the least expensive policy, as long as it covers total replacement costs in the event of a natural disaster or fire. Therein lies the rub, “total replacement costs.”
A substantial difference exists between current building costs, and the revenue required to build a new version of your period home. The lumber already mentioned may not exist, and its modern-equivalent is generally considered a high-end material. Now add in unique architectural attributes, and you likely have a structure with a replacement value that far exceeds the average new construction costs.
In terms of your homeowners policy, it’s up to you to secure a quote from a construction outfit that specializes in older homes. Using that measure, your premium is likely to uptick. But unless you get full coverage, the coverage is likely to fall far short.
3: Older Homes Are Less Usually Expensive
Whether you have a passion for older houses or just want to purchase the maximum affordable living space, there’s plenty of good news. It may seem almost counterintuitive to old-home lovers, but the market tends to devalue them, much like automobiles. That depreciation can be a substantial perk as long as the house remains structurally sound and relatively unblemished.
Most people come to the real estate market with a set spending budget. The older home can deliver increased living space as well as a robust ambiance for less than its new-home counterpart. For those who simply adore older homes, it’s a lot like buying a fine wine or rare painting at a discount. What’s of primary importance when purchasing an older home is to follow through with a determined inspection that identifies any potential issues and conduct thorough due diligence before closing.