Have you made your New Year’s Resolution? Most folks want to improve themselves and find ways to make their day-to-day personal or work life better. Real estate resolutions are right up there with weight-loss, a dream vacation, to stop smoking, etc. But there is much more to a real estate resolution than deciding to buy or sell a home. If a real estate resolution is on your list, be sure you have considered these “micro-resolutions” as well.
- Find a Real Estate Agent Now – Engaging a Realtor early in the process will allow you to get to know each other and determine your goals. REALTORS® will advise you and make valuable recommendations, such as reputable lenders, problem areas during a showing, questions to ask the home inspector, etc.
- Save Down Payment Money – Today, there are numerous loan options available to homebuyers, with different down payment criteria. Consider meeting with a lender to discuss these options in advance and determine how much you should start putting aside.
- Pay-Off / Clean-up your Debt – This is a top goal for most folks today, even if not considering a real estate purchase. Again, you should consider meeting with a professional for guidance on this task. They can help you identify your credit issues and come up with a plan to correct them before you are ready to buy. Keep in mind, it could take as much as six months to clean up your credit.
- Boost your Credit Score – Along those same lines as above, you should pull your own credit report (annualcreditreport.com) to see where you stand versus where you should be. Review for any discrepancies or errors and take care of them as soon as possible.
- Start Early – Going to open houses is an easy way to see what is on the real estate market. But, you should begin doing your homework even before this step. Familiarize yourself with the current housing market, understand home values, and determine the home prices by neighborhood. Going to open houses is a good second step and a great way to meet your future real estate agent.
- Find a Real Estate Agent Now – A Realtor doesn’t just show and sell homes, they can be a valuable adviser on issues that arise before settlement. Your agent can help you get your home ready to sell, decide on the best asking price, market your home effectively, and negotiate on your behalf; their knowledge will save you time and money. Ask family, friends, or neighbors, for a good recommendation.
- Think of your Home as a Product – Buyers will compare your home and your list price to other competing properties. A home that is priced correctly and shows well, will sell the fastest. Your Realtor can help you determine the best listing price for your home, while you work on getting it in the best shape to show! A home that shows well is clean, clutter-free and as up-to-date as possible. Your Realtor can also help you determine which home “projects” will be the most practical and bring you the best return on your investment.
- Plan your Strategy and Timing – Uprooting from a home is not easy. One of the big stresses can be planning to sell your home at the same time you try to buy another. There are lots of things to consider in this situation; must you sell before you buy? Will you be able to sell at a price that will give you enough return? It’s a lot to think about and plan for; it helps to have a strategy in place well before you take action. A knowledgeable real estate agent in Maryland or Pennsylvania can help you establish your plan.
- Save Down Payment Money – See above, the same holds true for sellers who will also be purchasing a home
- Pay-Off / Clean-up your Debt – See above, the same holds true for sellers who will also be purchasing a home
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Give each of your resolutions some thought and proper planning now
to help insure that you stick with them during the upcoming year and see them through to the end.
We wish you much happiness and success in 2013.