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A Guide to What ACTUALLY Matters When Buying or Selling

by | Mar 13, 2024 | Buying, Selling

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When it comes time to buy or sell a home, many people feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of information and processes needed. Between information from the internet, friends, and family, it can be hard to tell what’s actually needed and what’s overkill.

In this guide, we’ll cover the things that are too important to overlook—and what you can eliminate in order to save time and money.

What Matters When Buying a Home?

Yes: Pre-Approval

Before starting your home search, securing a mortgage pre-approval is crucial (unless you’re paying all cash). Knowing your financial boundaries can shield you from the disappointment of falling for a home outside your budget. Moreover, it expedites negotiations by signaling to sellers that you’re serious. A pre-approval not only adds financial credibility to your offer but also serves as a necessary component in a competitive market.

Maybe: Current Mortgage Rate

The interest rate on your mortgage can significantly impact your buying ability and monthly mortgage expenses. A difference of even 0.5% can be substantial—making a plan with your agent and lender can help to lessen this burden. If you’re aiming to stay in the home for a while, you could consider refinancing later on—or negotiate a rate buy-down with your lender.

No: Worrying about Simple Fixes

It’s common to be captivated by a house’s charm but worry about minor visible issues. However, buyers need to weigh the scope of the work to be done. While fresh paint, minor fixes, and landscaping can enhance a home, they shouldn’t be deal-breakers. Keep the big picture in mind and consider if a quick, relatively cheap problem to fix is worth giving up on the house.

Yes: Structural and Mechanical Integrity

“Fun” aspects of house-hunting—such as fancy appliances or a pretty light fixture—are tempting to base an offer on. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the structure of the home and the systems that keep it running. Items like the foundation, HVAC, and plumbing system are important to enlist a professional inspector for.

No: Long Inspection Reports

Obtaining a detailed inspection is crucial, yet the extensive report may overwhelm buyers. It’s not about the report’s length but the gravity of the issues highlighted. A report listing minor issues shouldn’t necessarily raise alarms, whereas a short report flagging major concerns could make a buyer re-evaluate.

Maybe: Local Schools

For families with children (or who plan to have children), it’s natural to want to make sure the local schools are adequate. While this consideration holds less weight for those without children, it’s vital to note that if you sell in the future, home buyers may care strongly about the school district’s reputation.

No: How The Home is Decorated

While a full paisley furniture set and outdated dining table may not be your taste, it’s important to remember that the seller (in almost all cases) is taking their furniture with them. Try to look past non-fixtures and instead try to picture your vision for the house.

Yes: Finding a Trusted Agent

Relying on a seasoned real estate agent with an understanding of market nuances is a huge advantage. They guide you through the maze of listings, negotiate with finesse, and offer valuable perspectives on neighborhoods and investment prospects. A top-notch agent is not just an expert in their field but also a staunch advocate for your interests, adept at ironing out any hiccups that might pop up during your purchase.

Talk to an Experienced Buyer’s Agent

What Matters When Selling a Home?

Yes: A Clean Appearance

You only get one chance to make a first impression! Showcase your home in its best light by giving it a comprehensive cleaning inside and out before buyers come through. Avoid letting buyers get sidetracked by clutter or signs of neglect during their showing.

No: Sentimental Value

Though your emotional bond with your home may be significant to you, it doesn’t boost its market worth. It can be hard to see past the memories you’ve made in the house but it’s important to remain as impartial as possible for the sake of the sale.

Yes: Reviewing ALL Aspects of an Offer

When evaluating an offer, sellers typically focus on the price first. While the ultimate take-home amount is crucial for sellers, numerous other factors influence what that number ends up being. Certain buyers may enhance their offer with additional flexibility or improved terms, which can make a huge difference depending on your circumstances.

Maybe: Flooring Renovations

Unless the flooring presents safety risks or significantly deters buyers, spending on new floors may not be the most resourceful choice. For instance, if you have worn-out carpeting, providing a flooring credit could be more beneficial by allowing the buyer to select their preferred replacement.

No: Appliance Upgrades

New appliances can be appealing, yet they typically yield a low return on investment. If your current appliances are functional, you’re likely better off pricing slightly lower instead of opting for brand-new replacements.

Yes: Getting Professional Photography

In the current digital era, almost all home buyers spend time looking at homes online. Even if your home is pristine, cell phone photos fall short in practice. Opting for professional photographs is incredibly important, accentuating your home’s finest attributes and motivating potential buyers to set up showings.

Maybe: Current Market Conditions

Determining the perfect moment to sell your property can be tricky and depends on factors like your location, market dynamics, and outside factors. Although spring and summer tend to spark heightened buyer interest, setting the right price and preparing adequately can secure a successful sale regardless of season.

Yes: Finding a Trusted Agent

For sellers, a seasoned real estate agent serves as a valuable ally in securing the best price for your home. Proficient in local market dynamics, knowledgeable in promoting your property effectively, and skilled in negotiations, a strong seller’s agent gives you the best chance at a successful home sale.

Talk to an Experienced Seller’s Agent

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The information contained in this blog is for general information purposes only, and while believed to be accurate, Trelora assumes no legal responsibility for accuracy. Information provided within should not relied upon as legal advice. Please consult with your local advisors for independent information regarding availability and applicability in your market.