What You Need To Know When Buying or Selling A Home

By Shana Fischer

From coast to coast, the current housing market looks a bit like a dinner party given by Cersei Lannister. Very few left standing.

There is a major housing inventory shortage; in fact the number of homes for sale is at a 20-year low. According to a recent survey by Realtor, there is about a four month supply left. Also, sale prices are about 5.5% higher than they were a year ago at this time.

And while the shortage and higher sale prices are good news for sellers, buyers can also benefit if they know what to do.

If you are ready to sell your home, here are some tips to help you get the most money:

Clean!

No buyer wants to walk into your home and see clutter. Go room to room and be merciless. Pack up books, trinkets, and pare down your furniture.

Go for a light renovation.

If your bathroom screams 1979, look into updating it. If you are handy, it could be something you can tackle on your own and finish in about two weeks. Try painting cupboards or replacing the vanity with one from a home improvement store. Replace outdated lighting. Refinish your tub/shower combo or look into retiling, if you have the money. You can get some serious bang for your buck.

Stage the home so buyers can see themselves in it.

Arrange a board game on a table. Put fresh flowers in rooms. Take down any personal items like photos. Clear magnets off the fridge. You don’t want to look like YOU live there, you want the buyer to feel like THEY could live there.

Check your front door.

Most people enter their own home through the garage so we never pay attention to the main entrance. Power wash the entry and your driveway. Replace outdated lighting. Try painting your front door. Plant some bright and cheery flowers. And, add a new welcome mat.

If you are ready to buy a home, know it’s a process. You will have to look at a lot of homes before you find the perfect one (kinda like marriage). And, keep in mind interest rates could be going up in the next month or so.

Get a Realtor.

A Realtor can help you whether you’re buying an existing home or a new one. When it comes to existing homes, Realtors can help you negotiate a lower price, allowances, and they also have access to inventory. They usually work with other Realtors so they know what’s available on the market. For a new home, a Realtor can help you negotiate incentives. That’s what home builders offer when they want you to buy. Incentives often include upgraded appliance packages, flooring or window covering packages, a different floor plan.

Make a list of your must-haves, but be prepared to compromise.

Sure, you want a gourmet kitchen, open floor plan, resort-like backyard but if you can only afford to spend $125,000, think again. Are you willing to renovate or do you need move-in ready? We all have a dream neighborhood but if you are willing to look just a few miles outside of your ideal location, you could get more house for less money.

Know your credit score and get pre-approved.

Getting pre-approved lets you know how much house you can afford and also shows sellers you are serious.

Get an inspection of your potential new home.

A certified home inspector will look the house over from roof to foundation. They can spot potential big-ticket repairs saving you time, money, and pain. Your Realtor can make the sale contingent on what the inspection finds and you can ask the seller to pay for certain repairs or get an allowance to do them on your own.

Buying or selling a home is like a rollercoaster ride with plenty of highs and lows. By following a few tips, you can make sure this is one ride that doesn’t end with you getting sick.

Enjoy the thrill of buying a home by watching Last Home Standing on Yur View. A pair of real estate agents go head to head in a battle to win the heart and mind of a home buyer. See who can say they have the Last Home Standing!