Mistakes to Avoid When Buying and Selling a Home

 

There’s nothing more exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling than buying a home. However, it’s a complex transaction; there are a number of steps along the path that can confuse, betwixt, and befuddle even the most seasoned buyers and sellers.

How can you avoid those potential pitfalls and common mistakes? Look to your real estate professional for advice and keep these guidelines in mind:

 

BUYERS:

 

#1 Review your credit reports ahead of time

Review your credit report a few months before you begin your house hunt, and you’ll have time to ensure the facts are correct and be able to dispute mistakes before a mortgage lender checks your credit. Get a copy of your credit report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Why all three? Because, if the scores differ, the bank will typically use the lowest one. Alert the credit bureaus if you see any mistakes, fix any problems you discover, and don’t apply for any new credit until after your home loan closes.

 

#2 Get pre-approved

Before getting serious about your hunt for a new house, you’ll want to choose a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage (not just pre-qualified—which is a cursory review of your finances—but pre-approved for a loan of a specific amount). Pre-approval lets sellers know you’re serious. Most importantly, pre-approval will help you determine exactly how much you can comfortably afford to spend.

 

#3 Know what you want

You and your real estate agent should both be clear about the house you want to buy. Put it in writing. First, make a list of all the features and amenities you really want. Then, number each item and prioritize them. Now, divide the list into must-haves and really-wants.

 

#4 Account for hidden costs

In addition to the purchase price of the home, there are additional costs you need to take into consideration, such as closing costs, appraisal fees, and escrow fees. Once you find a prospective home, you’ll want to:

  • Get estimates for any repairs or remodeling it may need.
  • Estimate how much it will cost to maintain (gas, electric, utilities, etc.).
  • Determine how much you’ll pay in taxes monthly and/or annually.
  • Learn whether there are any homeowner’s or development dues associated with the property.

 

#5 Get an inspection

Buying a home is emotionally charged—which can make it difficult for buyers to see the house for what it truly is. That’s why you need impartial third parties who can help you logically analyze the condition of the property. Your agent is there to advise you, but you also need a home inspector to assess any hidden flaws, structural damage or faulty systems.

 

#6 Evaluate the neighborhood and location

When house hunting, it’s easy to become overly focused on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the condition of the home and its amenities while overlooking the subtleties of the surrounding neighborhood. Take time to check crime reports, school options, churches and shopping. If schools are a key factor, do more than simply research the statistics; speak with the principal(s) and chat with the parents waiting outside.

 

 

SELLERS:

 

#1 Avoid becoming emotional or sentimental about the sale

Once you decide to sell your house, it’s time to strip out the emotion and look at it as a commodity in a business transaction. If you start reminiscing about all the good times you had and the hard work you invested, it will only make it that much harder to successfully price, prepare, and market the home.

 

#2 Fix problems (or price accordingly)

Homes with deferred maintenance and repair issues can take far longer to sell and can be subject to last-minute sale-cancellations. These homes also often sell for less than their legitimate market value. If you simply can’t afford to address critical issues, be prepared to work with your agent to price and market your home accordingly.

 

#3 Don’t overprice your home (and/or refuse to negotiate)

Getting top dollar is the dream of every seller. But it’s essential that you let the market dictate that price, not your emotions or financial situation. Allow your agent to research and prepare a market analysis that factors in the value of similar homes in the area, and trust those results.

 

#4 Use quality photos

The vast majority of prospective buyers today search for homes online first. In order to make a good first impression, you need a wealth of high-quality photos of your home and surrounding grounds. You may also need to consider professional staging in order to position your home in the best possible light for prospective buyers.

 

 

The process of buying or selling a home can have plenty of twists and turns, but with some smart decision making, you can avoid the most common mistakes and pitfalls.

 

Click here if you would like to connect with an experienced real estate agent.

Posted on September 19, 2019 at 12:24 pm
Fort Collins | Category: Buyers & Sellers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Good News for Buyers

Here’s some good news for buyers who have been waiting for more selection…

No need to wait any more because the numbers show that more new listings are hitting the market compared to the recent past.

In Metro Denver, the number of homes for sale is up 14.42% compared to last year. 

That equates to 800 more homes to choose from.

Start spreading the news!

Posted on November 2, 2018 at 1:58 pm
Fort Collins | Category: For Buyers, Fun Facts, Housing Trends, Real Estate Market Update | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Limited Choices

Pretend that customer walks into our office and tells us they are looking for a single family home in Fort Collins. We would tell them that there are 314 to choose from. But if they told us their price range is up to $300,000, their choices would be limited to just 10 homes.

Single family homes priced under $300,000 only represent 3.18% of the total inventory in Fort Collins. This is a big reason why buyers are opening up their search to communities that surround Fort Collins.

Here’s a snapshot of the major Northern Colorado markets:

  • Loveland: 176 Homes For Sale/15 Priced Under $300,000
  • Windsor: 151 Homes For Sale/6 Priced Under $300,000
  • Greeley: 98 Homes For Sale/33 Priced Under $300,000
  • Fort Collins: 314 Homes For Sale/10 Priced Under $300,000

What’s important to know is today’s market dynamics create an ideal scenario for the move up buyer to use the equity in their home, leverage the low interest rates, and buy the home of their dreams.

Posted on February 3, 2017 at 8:31 am
Fort Collins | Category: Blog, Fun Facts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our Crystal Ball

Last week Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner joined us for our annual Market Forecast events in Colorado. We were pleased to host over 500 customers at two events in Denver and Fort Collins.

Here are some of the big takeaways that we shared:

  • Interest rates will increase to 4.6% by the end of the year
  • First-time buyers are back and will make up 47% of all buyers in 2017
  • Inventory will remain at record lows and will continue to drive up prices
  • Appreciation is expected to be between 9% and 7% across our Front Range markets
  • Home builders will get creative in order to hit lower price points – we will see more “tiny homes” and more homes without basements

Click HERE to see Matthew Gardner’s infographic on the 2017 Forecast.

Posted on January 27, 2017 at 12:10 pm
Fort Collins | Category: Blog, Economy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,