Sally Vanjoske, Broker's Blog
Want to acquire the perfect home at the perfect price? You're not alone. As such, you'll likely need to allocate significant time and resources to your home search if you hope to transform your dream into a reality.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you navigate the real estate market so you can move closer to purchasing a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.
Now, let's take a look at three tips so you can buy your ideal home at a price that matches or exceeds your expectations.
1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Goals
Although you may have lofty dreams of purchasing a deluxe house quickly, it may take some time to find a house that fulfills your needs.
Setting realistic expectations for a home search is ideal for property buyers. With realistic goals, you may be able to avoid disappointments and frustrations along the homebuying journey.
Evaluating the current real estate market often offers a great way to help you map out your homebuying plans. This will enable you to examine the prices of assorted homes, determine which houses you like and define a price range for your ideal house.
Also, it never hurts to look at the prices of recently sold houses, either. This will allow you to see how quickly residences are selling and determine whether you're about to enter a buyer's or seller's market.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You know that you want to own a house, but how do you intend to pay for it? Ultimately, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage – something that can help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.
Meet with banks and credit unions to learn about all of the mortgage options that are available. Then, you can choose a mortgage that will help you avoid the temptation to overspend to acquire your ideal home.
When you consult with banks and credit unions, be sure to ask plenty of mortgage questions as well. That way, you can learn about the ins and outs of various mortgage options and select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to help you make your homeownership dreams come true.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she will even negotiate with property sellers on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home, in any real estate market.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. In addition, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions, guaranteeing you can make informed decisions time and time again.
Ready to acquire your dream home at your dream price? Use these tips, and you should have no trouble purchasing a terrific house without breaking your budget.
Ever wondered what the market value of your home is? Or what the market value would look like for your dream home? If you’ve done a quick Google search you’ve probably come across at least a handful of websites offering tools to help you determine the value you on your own. But the numbers these tools put out should always be taken with a grain of salt. Calculating a home’s value is a complex calculation taking more than just hard data into account. And that’s where your real estate agent comes in with the information you need to know that an online tool couldn’t possibly obtain.
The first thing you should know is that the market value is not a number set in stone. It’s also not a number that is reached from purely quantitative data. This is because market value is what buyers are willing to pay for a home and there are so many qualitative factors that go into this decision. Factors a computer can’t find or determine on its own and that usually require someone local who has extensive knowledge of the area.
Someone like a real estate agent! An agent is well versed in selling homes in the area and connections to the community. Agents also have access to a database that stores information from all the local home sales to use as a jumping off point when calculating the home value.
So this isn’t a hard and fast rule that necessarily goes by the book. While homes that have sold with similar features as yours are part of the equation they aren’t the whole picture. So yes, the number of bed and baths in your home, amenities, recent updates, the overall condition of the home, location, and age of the house will all be carefully considered this is just a piece of the bigger picture.
Factors such as current market conditions, how many other houses are on the market, and the various reasons why nearby homes have sold are a few factors that can make an impact on your home value. Afterall, you don’t want to underprice your home based off of other homes that have sold at a lower price point to attract buyers fast or overprice for your neighborhood based on what you feel your home is worth.
Lenders want to ensure the home is selling at or above the market value so getting the price right will ensure a smoother buying process for potential buyers. However, if a property is on the market for longer than 30 days, which happens often to those that are overpriced, buyers start to wonder why. They may avoid your home as a possibility. In this scenario, sellers often have to significantly drop pricing, often below market price, to attract potential buyers.
Real estate agents are truly the best source for all of this information. They can perform what is called a competitive market analysis (or CMA). We have access to resources third-party websites and DIY-appraising just can’t access.
Packing your entire house is a daunting task to say the least. We are always left wondering how did we end up with so much stuff?
A quick Google search will bring up “ultimate lists” of all of the “packing hacks” you could ever humanly think of. Making the process feel even more daunting.
Here’s your guide to packing tips you’ll actually be glad to know - and none of what you won’t.
Start by decluttering as much as possible.
Get rid of what you no longer need or use. The more you get rid of now the less you have to pack up, carry or even pay to have moved to the new house. Depending on your timeline try to give yourself at least one week where you go through each room one day at a time. However, if you have even more time available you can tackle this project by sections of each room. That smaller you can break down any task the easier and more manageable it becomes.
Schedule your move date.
Schedule your move day with movers at least a month ahead of time to guarantee your perfect time slot. Planning ahead in this way also leaves plenty of room to negotiate with your moving company to find the cheapest time of the month to move. If you have a flexible schedule or able to put in for the time off ahead of time you’ll open up even more possibility for snagging a great deal.
In fact, schedule everything.
Make a schedule and to do list for the moving process. Add it to your calendar, whether that be physical, digital or both! Know your disconnect times will be and when you need to bring back items like cable boxes. Call in for help at least a few weeks out so friends and family are able to make room in their own schedules to help you out.
Pack a little bit each day starting with the least essential items you can easily live without. Save money on boxes by asking your local stores, like the grocery or liquor store, for free boxes. Keep thick blankets out to wrap fragile items like your television in if your moving company doesn’t offer them or you’re moving on your own. Buy different colored packing tape to color code boxes by room. Assign one room to each color and label each box well by including its contents to make unpacking a snap.
Be prepared on moving day.
Find the fastest and shortest route from your old house to the new one. While researching be on the lookout for potential tie-ups like construction or a large town event. Have extra packing tape, light bulbs, and extension cords on hand for moving day. Before unplugging all of your electronics take pictures of your cord setup to take the guesswork out of setup at the new house. Defrost and clean out your fridge at least the day before move day. You’ll avoid messy leaks and can look forward to a like-new fridge on move-in day. Keep a cleaning kit on hand and at the ready, you never know what accidents might pop up during the moving process.
Selling a house may prove to be difficult, particularly for those who are competing against dozens of rival sellers in the same city or town. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to gain a competitive advantage over rivals in a fierce housing market.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get a leg up on the home selling competition.
1. Focus on Curb Appeal
How your residence looks to buyers can have far-flung effects on the house selling journey. Thus, if you allocate time and resources to upgrade your house's curb appeal, you can differentiate your home from all others in your area. And as a result, you could speed up the home selling cycle.
To enhance your home's curb appeal, eliminate clutter and debris in front of your residence. Also, if there is any damaged home siding, you should fix this problem.
If you are unsure about how to improve your home's curb appeal on your own, you can always hire professionals to help you out, too. These professionals will take the guesswork out of home exterior improvements and allow you to upgrade your residence's curb appeal without delay.
2. Set an Aggressive Initial Asking Price
If you price your home too high, you risk alienating prospective buyers. Or, if you price your house too low, you risk missing out on the chance to optimize your home sale earnings.
Ultimately, it is beneficial to establish an aggressive initial home asking price. If you learn about the local housing market, you can compare your residence to available houses in your city or town. Then, you can use this housing market data to help you establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.
You may want to conduct a home appraisal as well. That way, you can receive a property valuation that you can use to help you set an aggressive initial home asking price.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Navigating a fierce housing market often is challenging for first-time and experienced house sellers alike. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available who can help you simplify the house selling journey.
By hiring a real estate agent, you can collaborate with a home selling expert. Typically, a real estate agent will work with you to create a custom home selling strategy. And when you are prepared to sell your home, a real estate agent will ensure that you can put this plan into effect and achieve the best-possible results.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you review any offers to purchase your house. He or she is happy to provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you immediately sell your residence and get the best price for your home.
Ready to sell your house? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly sell your home in a competitive real estate market.
In a competitive housing market--like the one we have today--sellers are fielding numerous offers, especially in desirable urban and suburban hubs.
If you’re hoping to buy your first or second home, it can be tough to make offer after offer with no success.
However, there are some things you can do to help ensure your time house hunting is well-spent and to increase your chances of getting your offer accepted.
In today’s post, I’m going to give you a few tips on how to win a bidding war on your dream home.
The most effective way to ensure that your offer is accepted is to make it in all cash. Cash offers drastically simplify the real estate transaction process, making things easier on the seller.
Most buyers, especially first-time buyers, won’t be able to make an all-cash offer on a home. However, people who are downsizing after their children moved out or are buying a retirement home may find themselves in the ideal financial situation to be able to leverage a cash offer.
If that sounds like you, consider a cash offer as part of your bidding strategy.
Waive the financing contingency
If you’re new to real estate contracts, you might be wondering what a contingency is. Essentially, a contingency is an action that needs to be completed before the contract becomes valid and the sale becomes final.
There are a number of different contingencies that can be found in a real estate contract. However, the most popular are for inspections, appraisals, and financing.
If you’re planning on taking out a mortgage to purchase the home, a financing contingency protects you in case you aren’t able to secure the mortgage in time. In other words, you’re not on the hook for a home you can’t pay for.
In some special situations, buyers might decide to waive the financing contingency, signaling to the sellers that there won’t be any hang-ups or delays from the buyer regarding financing the home.
Waiving this contingency comes with risks (namely, being responsible for coming up with the money to pay for the home). However, there are ways to safely waive a contingency.
The most common approach is to get a fully pre-approved letter from a lender. The important distinction here is that your mortgage needs to be pre-approved and underwritten (not just pre-qualified), otherwise you again risk getting denied the mortgage in the last moments before buying your home.
Crafting a personal letter
Sometimes all it takes to win a bidding war is to be the seller’s favorite candidate. Take the time to write them a personalized letter. Explain what you love about their home and why it’s perfect for your family.
Avoid talking about big changes you’ll make. Remember that they probably put a lot of time and money into the home, making it exactly the way they want it, and won’t appreciate you making huge plans to undo their work as soon as they’re out the door.
Using one, or a combination of, these three techniques, you’ll be able to give yourself an edge over the competition and increase your chances of getting your offer accepted.