As we mentioned in our previous blog post, we talked about setting SMART goals for yourself in 2013. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in 2013, we at Milestone would like to help you with that goal! Whether you are buying or selling this year, here is a list of things you can do now to set yourself up for success to meet your financial and real estate goals in the upcoming year.
Buyers: Get your finances in order in 2013.
Buying a home is the biggest investment a person can make. Planning a home purchase takes time and effort, so you should consider meeting with a mortgage professional early in the year. Know your credit score and understand what your financial situation looks like from a lender‘s perspective. If you have credit issues, identify what they are and the necessary steps to correct them. Sometimes, it can take six months to see your FICO score move up the much-needed 20 points to get you a better mortgage rate. You can speak with someone at Walden Mortgage to discuss your options.
Sellers: Look at your home through the eyes of a buyer.
When you decide to put your home on the market, your home will become product on the market. Make sure you put your best foot forward when it comes to your house. Start de-cluttering and cleaning out your home now. Do you have unfinished DIY projects around the house? Finish them up. Is that back bedroom closet bursting at the seams with odds and ends? Get your spring cleaning done early and decide what you’re going to keep, throw away, or donate. Talk with your agent before you list your home; they can help you make good decisions which projects to do (and which to forego), as well as choosing finish materials and colors that will appeal to the broadest segment of buyers.
Take a Saturday or Sunday and head to an Open House. Going to open houses in the neighborhoods where you want to buy will allow you to start feeling out the market and understand what you can get in the Kentucky real estate market at various price points. You can start understanding how to decipher the listings you see online into a reality-based set of expectations about a property. Plus, it may also be the best way to meet your future real estate agent. Many agent/buyer relationships are forged at open houses.
Sellers: Ask yourself tough questions to prepare your strategy.
Selling your home is stressful. Selling your home and trying to buy another home is even MORE stressful! Selling and buying at the same time brings up all kinds of financial, emotional and physical stress. Asking yourself the tough questions now will help you down the road if the buying/selling timeline isn’t quite what you expected. If you are purchasing another home, do you need to close on your existing home first? Can you afford to make two house payments? If so, for how long? If you need to go into temporary housing, what do you need out of a rental home? Preparing your strategy now will ensure that you are able to take action if/when the time comes.
Sellers and Buyers: Get in contact with a Realtor.
Planning a home purchase or sale takes time. Engaging a real estate agent early in the process will allow you to have an expert on hand as you start to put the pieces together. A good real estate agent doesn’t just show and sell homes: they can be your strategic advisor, even well in advance of any actual transaction.