If you are thinking of buying or selling a home soon, here are 10 ways to be a strong competitor in the real estate market.

  1. BUYING:  Getting an inspection can save you money in the long run.Inspection fees can range from $300 to $500, prompting some to think they can save money by avoiding an inspection.  In almost all instances, this is false.  Many issues in a home can go unseen by the untrained eye.  If an inspector reveals defects not disclosed by the seller, you are able to negotiate a new offer or rescind altogether.  Without an inspection, these potentially costly issues would ultimately fall on the buyer’s shoulders.
  2. BUYING:  Is buying always the better option over renting?
    This is a debate often discussed within the real estate market and the answer depends on a variety of variables including location, financials and length of time in the home.  In general, it is advised to purchase a home if you plan to spend more than two years there.
  3. BUYING:  Be sure you can afford more than just the mortgage.
    Getting preapproved for a mortgage gives the buyer a sense of how much he or she can afford, but don’t presume this figure to be your monthly payment.  Keep in mind costs that may not be as evident, such as utility bills, taxes, homeowner’s association dues, mortgage insurance and money to furnish your home.  On top of that, consider closing costs (about 3-5 percent of the cost of your home) and the potential of paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you are unable to put 20 percent down on your home.
  4. BUYING:  Protect Yourself!
    It’s easy to get wrapped up in signing papers and lose sight of what you are agreeing to when buying a home.  Fortunately, contingency clauses can protect you from losing what is yours.  An example is a mortgage-financing contingency; if you lose your job or your loan falls through, you’ll get your “earnest money” back in full.  Otherwise you may be obligated to follow through with purchasing a house you can no longer afford.
  5. BUYING:  Enjoy the view?
    It’s obvious that homes with a view can sell big.  In fact, homes with a view sell the fastest.  If you are in love with a home that has a view, be sure it is there to stay.  Check with your local municipality for land use regulations to make sure your view will remain.
  6. BUYING/SELLING:  Get a second opinion.
    When you have lived in your home for years, it’s easy to overlook problems that potential buyers may spot right away. Have a relative or trusted friend come over to spot any small fixes that you can make prior to putting your home on the market to make sure it’s in optimal condition for selling.  When considering buying a home, it’s also helpful to have someone who would not be buying the home go with you to take a look. He/she will be able to point out potential issues that you may not see when trying to make such an important decision.
  7. SELLING:  Ignore the housing market.
    Don’t waste your time watching the housing market for the best time to sell.  It doesn’t matter what your home is worth at any given moment except the moment when you sell it.  Being able to choose when you sell your home, rather than being forced to sell it due to job relocation or financial distress, will be the biggest determinant of whether you will see a solid profit from your investment.
  8. SELLING:  Will renovating always increase my resale value?
    Make conscious decisions when renovating your home.  While newer will entice potential buyers, be cognizant of what rooms you update and how you do it.  An updated kitchen will increase the value of your home, but be sure to appeal to a wide range of tastes.  A good place to start is with appliances.  Homes with stainless steel appliances sell 15 percent faster than those without.  Updated bathrooms are easier to satisfy a wider range of buyers’ desires for luxury, but be sure to keep the colors neutral.
  9. SELLING:  Don’t spend earnest money!
    Many sellers make the mistake of depositing and spending earnest money before closing day.  If the transaction doesn’t go through or the buyer pulls out due to repair issues, it is up to the seller to return the cash.  It is recommended to have a real estate agent or broker hold the deposit.  Most buyers’ earnest money will be held in an escrow account until the closing day, allowing the money to remain untouched by either party.
  10. SELLING:  When to Sell?
    Current homeowners have a positive outlook with the real estate market.  Keep in mind these selling tips before your house goes on the market.Keep it clean:  Where possible, take the home out of your house: Make smart upgrades:And Most All:  Contact your local exclusive Real Estate Contact located here.