Resolutions for Home Buyers
1. Get Your Financial House in Order
The first resolution for any potential home buyer is to get their financial house in order. Prior to looking for a new home, you should meet with a trusted financial professional early in the year to get a good understanding of your financial situation. This will allow you to assess your credit score, evaluate how much you require as a down payment and help you to determine how much you can afford.
Your credit score and credit history are two of the biggest factors banks will look at when deciding whether or not to give you a loan. If you have credit issues, identify what they are and the necessary steps to correct them; it can take six months or more to see your score improve to get you a better mortgage rate. Also refrain from making big purchases several months before applying for a loan, as it can negatively affect your credit score.
2. Find Your Real Estate Agent
Buying and selling real estate is a complex transaction that requires experience. This is one of the biggest purchase you will make it a lifetime, so it’s best to have an experienced and trusted realtor by your side throughout. You may believe that using online listings can help you find your dream home, but no two properties — even two identical models on the same street — are exactly alike. Homes differ and so do contract terms, financing options, inspection requirements and closing costs. In this maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who know the community and much more.
3. Decide What You Want
This is the fun part…deciding what exactly you’re looking for. You need to determine what kind of house are you looking for, where you would like to live and when you want to buy? A new home is a huge commitment so make sure you clearly know your must haves and what you are willing to give up if needed. Consider such things as location, size and amenities and order your priorities so that you will be prepared to make difficult decisions quickly.
Resolutions for Home Sellers
1. Understand what it will take to sell your home.
Prior to putting your home on the market, make sure it’s in tip top shape. Take the time to tend to any home improvements that could deter buyers like leaky faucets and chipped paint. Also, don’t forget the outside. Curb appeal is a huge factor whether it’s the middle of winter or a hot summer day. Trim the trees, shovel the snow, rake the leaves and make it inviting. This resolution is huge in making your home as attractive as possible.
2. Be realistic about the market.
Working with your real estate agent, research what types of homes are selling in your area and how quickly they are selling. Accept whatever the reality is of your local market, and price your home accordingly. Sellers who set high prices could wait months for an offer and may wind up with the same price they would have had if they’d priced their home correctly the first time. In any market, one of the worst things you can do is overprice your home. The more realistic you are, the better off you’ll be.
3. Develop an Exit Strategy
Making the decision to sell your home is not an easy one, especially combined with the stress of buying a new home and moving. So the best thing to do is develop a plan that lessens the financial, emotional and physical stress that comes along with it. Take a look at your current mortgage and check your rates to make sure you have the best possible. There is a lot to think about and plan for, and it helps to have a strategy in place well before you have to take action.