Kathy Kelley's Blog
Buying a house is never a simple decision. Aside from all of the financial aspects of purchasing a home, there are numerous life-related considerations you’ll need to think about. So, it comes as little surprise that diving head on into the house hunting process can be stressful and taxing to the home buyer.
With all of the different numbers to keep track of--a down payment, closing costs, credit scores, interest rates, and so on--it’s easy to get lost in the finer details of your budget. This can lead to even more stress as you try to navigate your way through getting approved for a mortgage and shopping for the perfect home.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to maintain your budget and reduce stress throughout the home buying process. That way, when you do finally find the house you’ve been waiting for, you’ll be able to move forward confidently.
Trust the process
Many first-time home buyers enter the real estate market with little knowledge or experience of how things work. Any newcomer to such a huge and complex industry is bound to be flustered with all of the different options available to them.
However, much of the home buying process is relatively standardized. Real estate agents all make roughly the same commission, lenders use similar algorithms to decide how much of a loan you’ll be approved for, and real estate contracts contain legal safeguards and contingencies to ensure that you and the seller’s interests are protected.
When shopping for a mortgage or getting pre-approved, it’s a good idea to ask friends, family, or read reviews online to find someone you know you can trust. From there, rely on the experts to lead you through the process.
Have a long-term plan
Much of the stress and anxiety around buying a home comes from the uncertainty of the future. Sitting down with your family and significant other and deciding your long-term goals for homeownership is a good way to build confidence and know that you’re making the right choice.
Determining things like location, the number of years you want to live in a home, and what priorities are the most important (school districts, neighborhood safety, etc.) will help you make that plan a reality.
Use the tools at your disposal
If you’re reading this article, you already have started to take advantage of one of the most important resources you have, the internet. Look up real estate terminology you’re unfamiliar with, read up on the different types of mortgages, and take advantage of free online calculators to create what-if scenarios to find out what you might end up paying in closing costs and interests.
It’s also a good idea to check your credit score for free online. You can check your official reports once per year, but for simple credit checks you can look it up each month for free.
Knowing that you’re in good hands with a lender and agent, that you have a basic understanding of industry terms, that you have a long-term plan, and that your finances are in order will all help set your mind at ease and give you confidence as you move forward toward homeownership.
One of the biggest challenges of putting your house on the market is keeping it clean, organized, and ready for the next showing!
This is no easy task, especially if you have pets, messy kids, and/or a hectic schedule. If you're like most people, you're probably contending with all three conditions!
Although it's human nature to get immersed in our own view of the world, it's helpful to try and see things through the eyes of prospective home buyers. When buyers walk into your house for the first time, they're not going to immediately know about all the improvements you've made to your property or the many ways your home has served your family's needs for all these years. They're not aware of the "big picture" and may never be. They only know what they see, hear, and smell during their brief visit to your home.
Anything which makes a negative impression can sour them on the idea of buying your house. It's a delicate balance and it doesn't take that much to tip the scales in either direction. That's why it's so important for sellers to get into a routine of keeping their house clean, orderly, and well maintained.
It's amazing what a difference 24-hours (or less) can make on the appearance and cleanliness of your home. Rest assured, if you've said or thought the words, "But I just cleaned it, yesterday!" -- you're not alone! Cleaning your house when it's on the market is a lot like shaving: It doesn't take too long for that "five o'clock shadow" to start creeping in!
Reminding everyone in your family to clean up after themselves is the first step to being ready, but it also pays to have a checklist to refer to when preparing for a real estate showing. If you don't use a task list, chances are you'll forget something important -- like wiping off the kitchen counter, sanitizing the toilets, putting away dirty dishes, or cleaning the bathroom sink. Floors almost always require a quick sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming, and waste baskets need to be emptied. Crumpled towels, bath mats, and bedspreads may also be in desperate need of straightening and smoothing out! If you own pets that tend to have "accidents" or kids who haven't quite mastered the art of cleaning up after themselves, you might also want to allow a few extra minutes in your routine to take care of the "unexpected."
While it's true that you want your house to have a "lived in" appearance, it's all-too-easy to cross that thin line into a whole different category! No reasonable house hunter will expect your home to be spotless and perfect in every way, but if it looks messy, disheveled, or neglected, then that could be a potential deal breaker!
59 Bradyll Road, Weston, MA 02493
101 Royalston Rd, Wellesley, MA 02481
Are you unsure of how to price your home before putting it up for sale? Do not forget that the value of your home depends majorly on its appearance and amenities. Therefore, you can improve the look of your home by carrying out thorough cleaning, sprucing up the lawn, getting rid of things that take up space unnecessarily, and many other simple things. Here are some ways to ensure your home spends as little time as possible on the market:
Price your home competitively
When you choose to sell your home, one of the most important decisions is to set the appropriate price for your home. Be careful when setting a price because when the price is too high, buyers get turned off and when it is too low, you may probably sell at a loss. So, one robust and powerful method for pricing your home is to look at the prices of other homes that are in the same category as yours. When you do this, you will have a better understanding of the most appropriate listing price range to consider.
Make use of strategic price points
You should know that homebuyers tend to go for homes that have price ranges separated by an increment of five to ten thousand dollars. It is therefore essential to set your price close to these natural price points. For example, when you set the value of your home at $229,900, you will get the same number of buyer inquiries as a price of $227,900. The logic is that you would widen your prospective buyer pool if you set the cost of your home at the next lower price point which is $224, 900.
Consider value-range marketing
Value-range marketing is another result-oriented pricing strategy to consider. It involves selecting a listing price based on what you would sell for today provided a buyer gave you a check. Then, you should set a second amount that is lower, that you wouldn't reject if a buyer decides to buy your property at that price. Therefore, you can consider listing your home as "$386,000 or best offer" instead of just listing at a fixed amount of $386,000.
Hire an experienced listing agent
Hiring an experienced listing agent is an excellent idea, but you should go for an agent that is familiar with your local market and is aware of the values of homes that are similar to yours. When a listing agent has this knowledge, they will know the exact amount of your home based on your local market.