Marianna Vis' Blog
The home selling journey can be long and time-consuming, particularly for those who are listing a residence for the first time. Lucky for you, there are many quick, easy ways to avoid the danger of becoming a "typical" home seller, i.e. someone who lacks the skills and know-how to generate plenty of interest in his or her property.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to become an expert home seller.
1. Review the Current State of the Housing Market
The housing market often fluctuates. As such, a buyer's market today may quickly morph into a seller's market tomorrow.
Ultimately, an expert home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the current state of the real estate market. He or she will be able to identify housing market patterns and trends and collect extensive real estate market data to map out the home selling journey accordingly.
To learn about the housing market, take a look at some of the houses that are currently available in your city or town. Evaluating available houses in your area will allow you to find out how your residence stacks up against the competition.
Also, assess the prices of recently sold residences in your region. This may help you differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market.
2. Analyze Your House's Interior and Exterior
For a home seller, it is paramount that his or her residence makes a positive first impression on potential homebuyers. And if you enhance your house's interior and exterior, you may be able to boost your chances of a quick, seamless home sale.
A property appraisal usually represents a great starting point for home sellers. This appraisal involves a full evaluation of your house by a property inspector. Then, you'll receive a report that outlines your home's strengths and weaknesses and will help you plan any home improvement projects.
Also, it is important to remember that there are many simple ways to upgrade your home's exterior and interior.
Home exterior improvements like mowing the front lawn and clearing dirt and debris from walkways can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers.
Removing clutter from your home offers multiple benefits as well. De-cluttering allows you to free up space inside your residence as well as get rid of unwanted items.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
There is no need to navigate the home selling process on your own. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to help you remove the guesswork as you proceed along the home selling journey.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote your residence to large groups of potential property buyers. In fact, he or she will set up property showings and open houses, offer honest, unbiased home selling suggestions and respond to your home selling queries at any time.
Don't settle for an "average" home selling experience. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become an expert home seller in no time at all.
Do you ever wish that they taught a class in high school called, “Things You’ll Actually Need to Know In Life?” You’d learn how to prepare your taxes, what investing is, and how to buy a home.
Unfortunately, all of these important life lessons tend to be self-taught; you pick them up along the way and learn from your mistakes.
However, it needn’t be that way. Our goal today is to give you an accurate idea of what to expect when you’re buying your first home. We’ll go over a typically home buying timeline and discuss how long each step can take. This will give you a better idea of how long it will take to close on your first home.
Step 1: Build credit and save for a down payment
Estimated time: 2+ years
The first step of buying a home is to make sure you’re financially secure enough to do so. While there are ways to purchase a home with low or no down payments (See FHA, USDA, and VA loans), generally it’s wiser to wait until you have a sizable down payment saved. This will save you money in interest and mortgage insurance in the long run.
Next, you’ll need to start working on your credit. If your credit score took some hits due to late payments when you were younger, now is the time to start fixing those mistakes by making on-time payments and paying off outstanding balances.
Step 2: Have a plan for the next phase of your life
Estimated time 6+ months
One of the most important, and least talked about, parts of buying a home is understanding what it means to own a home. If you have a spouse, partner, or family, you’ll need to be in agreement that you’re prepared to stay in one place for the next 5 or more years.
Buying a home is expensive and you won’t want to go through the process of closing on a home if you aren’t sure you’ll stay. This means making sure your career won’t bring you elsewhere in the near future.
Step 3: Get prequalified and preapproved
Estimated time 1-3 days (depending on how much initiative you take)
Getting prequalified for a mortgage takes minutes. You simply fill out an online form and the lender will give you an idea of the type and size loan you could qualify for. Be forewarned: they’ll also use this information to call and bother you about getting a mortgage from them.
Once you’re prequalified, it’s just a matter of working with the lender to provide the correct documentation for pre-approval.
Getting preapproved takes a bit longer (1-3 days), since it requires a credit check and some work on your part--namely, gathering and sending income verification.
Once you’re preapproved, you can safely start shopping for homes without worrying that you’re wasting time looking at homes that are overbudget.
Step 4: House Hunting
Estimated time: 30+ days
It’s a seller’s market. So, if you’re buying a home right now there is competition out there. You’ll need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to researching homes online, contacting sellers’ agents, and following up on calls. Like before, the amount of effort you put into this process determines how quickly and smoothly you’ll get through it.
Step 5: Making an offer and closing
Estimated time: ~50 days
Average closing times for buying a home has grown to 50 days according to a recent study. However, by securing financing ahead of time and acting quickly, you can drastically cut down the time of these process to as little as two weeks.
Establishing a homebuying budget can be tough. But for those who want to secure a terrific home at an affordable price, entering the housing market with a budget in hand can make it easy to accelerate the homebuying cycle.
Now, let's take a look at three questions to consider about a homebuying budget.
1. How much money have I saved for a home?
Examine your finances and see how much money is readily available for a home purchase.
Remember, the more money that is at your disposal, the more likely it becomes that you'll be able to secure your dream residence in no time at all.
Although savings are important, it is essential to note that those who have little to no money saved still have plenty of time to get ready for the homebuying journey. And if you start saving a little bit each day, you can move closer to accomplishing your homeownership dreams.
2. Do I need to get a home loan?
In most instances, a homebuyer will need to obtain a home loan so he or she can purchase a residence. Luckily, many lenders are available to help you discover a home loan that matches or surpasses your expectations.
Meet with a variety of lenders in your area – you'll be glad you did. Each lender can provide insights into assorted home loan options, explain how each home loan works and respond to your home loan concerns and questions.
Also, it often helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you have a mortgage available when you enter the real estate market, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a residence, thereby reducing or eliminating the temptation to overspend on a house.
3. How will my monthly expenses change after I buy a house?
Owning a home is different from renting an apartment. As such, you'll want to account for all potential expenses as you create a homebuying budget.
For example, a homeowner will be responsible for any home cable, internet and phone bills. This property owner also will need to consider any home maintenance costs like those associated with mowing the lawn in summer or removing snow from the driveway in winter.
Crafting a homebuying budget that accounts for your personal finances can be tricky. If you need additional support along the way, lenders may be able to provide expert tips to ensure you can acquire a wonderful house without exceeding your financial limitations.
Lastly, don't forget to reach out to a real estate agent for help along the homebuying journey. A real estate agent is a housing market professional who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you in any way possible. From setting up home showings to negotiating with home sellers on your behalf, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to secure a superior home at a budget-friendly price.
Consider the aforementioned homebuying budget questions, and you can speed up the homebuying process.
Do you have an old fence that has good bones but nonetheless is detracting from the overall aesthetic of your outdoor living space? If so, consider giving the fence a facelift rather than tearing it down and replacing it with a brand-new version. You don't have to be a professional fence contractor to breathe new life into an ailing fence. Here's what you need to do:
Inspect the Fence Carefully
The first step in giving your fence a facelift is performing comprehensive, honest inspection. Are the fence posts still firmly rooted, and are the railings relatively free of rot and fairly intact? Identify any problem areas and mark them clearly with a waterproof marker so that you can easily find them again.
Make a Game Plan
The next step is to repair and reinforce your fence -- resist the urge to pressure was it at this time because that will only make any existing damage worse. If necessary, replace broken or rotten railings and posts. Because fences feature sectional construction, you don't have to take the whole fence apart in order to replace posts and rails.
Wash the Fence
It is not necessary to own or rent a power washer to clean your wooden fence. If you do decide to use one, keep it on the lowest possible setting. A garden hose will work just as well, although some people do prefer to use a power washer for larger fences.
Wash your fence by sections. The first step is to thoroughly wet the fence before cleaning it with a soft cloth, a fiber brush, and a solution of mild detergent and warm water. Let the solution sit for several minutes on areas of the fence with significant grime or stains -- and use the brush to remove stubborn patches of dirt. Add up to two cups of bleach to your cleaning mixture if your fence has multiple stained areas. Be sure to rinse each section thoroughly before moving on to the next.
Paint or Stain the Fence
A fresh coat of paint or stain works wonders to increase the aesthetics of a wooden fence. White paint provides a fence with a classically upscale look, while staining it a neutral tone enhances a natural look. Whichever you choose, it's bound to elevate the overall curb appeal of your property.
Depending on the size of your fence, the extent of the damage, and whether you decide to paint or stain it, the project will probably only take a couple of days. Most homeowners do the cleaning and the repair work one day and save the painting or staining for the following day.