At RE/MAX Freedom, our real estate professionals know the ins and outs of buying or selling a home. Working with clients across Broken Bow, OK, we’re dedicated to keeping you informed and educated throughout the entire process for a smooth and successful experience.
Check out our tips for buyers and sellers below!
Home sellers won’t call you with an offer to buy a maintenance-free home with a wonderful mortgage. You have to find the gems yourself! Only by reading available materials, talking to friends and experts, and spending time looking at different homes, schools, and neighborhoods will you end up with your American dream.
Developing a home buying plan can help you focus on the important factors and organize the entire process. You may even want to use a binder with sections on house hunting, home financing, service providers, and more.
Loan pre-qualifying helps you determine the home price you can afford and presents you as a genuine prospect to the seller. A lender typically uses the 28% formula (your monthly mortgage can’t exceed 28% of your monthly income) in approving your loan.
Homebuyers in the 1970’s benefited tremendously from what seemed like ever appreciating home prices. Nowadays, you’re looking at slow growth while guarding against the possibilities of falling prices, skyrocketing ARM rates, and corporate layoffs that can dramatically affect your home values.
The classic rule of buying the worst house in the best neighborhood still applies. If you buy with an eye towards improvement, you can customize the home to fit your needs. The saying, “make money buying a home, not selling one,” should keep you focused on the long-term importance of the purchasing price.
When shopping for a home, list the features (fireplace, fenced-in yard, new appliances, etc.) that are most important to you in deciding on which home to buy. Establishing “your criteria” early on will save time shopping for inappropriate homes and may keep you from buying a home on a whim. However, some of your top 10 amenities should logically be sacrificed if an incredible value is available.
Which type of loan fits your particular needs? If this will be your first home or a “transitional home,” one you plan to own for a short time, an ARM may be the best type of loan. If it’s going to be your dream home or one you plan to raise a family in, then you may want the stability of a fixed rate mortgage.
Whichever loan you choose, make sure that you scrutinize all the closing costs. If you are required to have a mortgage escrow account and private mortgage insurance, make sure you understand the terms and cancellation procedures.
Make sure that the contract you put on a house allows you to arrange financing, inspect the home, and negotiate any problems that you uncover. Ensuring that the contract you sign minimizes potential legal battles will save you from stress and complications.
If you take time to understand the reasons the seller bought the home, their reasons for selling, and the home improvements they have or have not made, you’ll be in a better position to evaluate the home and negotiate a better deal.
One of the biggest decisions to make before putting a contract on a home is how to finance the purchase. When choosing a lender, you want to avoid apples to oranges contrasts by comparing fixed rates to fixed rates, not fixed to ARM’s. Create a chart that lists different types of loans, fees, and at least five mortgage providers (including a mortgage broker).
Paying for a qualified home inspection before you buy a home isn’t just spending “a little extra” for peace of mind, it’s absolutely essential for anyone who doesn’t want to spend thousands of dollars for repairs.
A home warranty, or home protection plan, is a service contract, normally for one year, which protects homeowners against the cost of unexpected repairs or replacement of their major systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear.
As a negotiable contract between the buyers and sellers which does not overlap or replace homeowner’s insurance policy, this type of warranty can save the new homeowner lots of headaches, as well as put seller’s fears to rest. The warranty covers mechanical breakdowns, while insurance typically repairs the related damage.
Your home may look great to you, but a buyer may be more critical. Hop in your car, drive around the block, and then scrutinize your home as a prospective buyer will see it for the first time. First, consider what’s called “street appeal;” does it need washing or painting? Does the driveway need repair work? Is the landscaping in good shape?
Next, walk inside and size up the interior as though seeing it for the first time. Take a tour and imagine what your real estate representative might say about each room, look into cabinets, open doors, and check out the bathroom. Then, make a mental note of the things that might put off potential buyers, along with another list of the things that first attracted you to the dwelling.
Before putting your home on the market, get rid of clutter in every area: closets, attic storage, kitchen cabinets, drawers, bath vanities, and shelves — everywhere. Remember, this is no time to be sentimental: if you don’t use it, lose it. Potential buyers are seriously put off by clutter, and most of us drag a lot more things through life than we really need.
Have the carpets professionally cleaned, strip and polish the floors, scour the bathrooms, go over the laundry room, polish the furniture, scour out the cabinets, wash the windows and window coverings, and spiff up the ceiling fans and kitchen appliances. In short, clean everything.
Don’t forget the exterior; paint or power-wash everything that needs the work. Remember, this is a ceiling-to-floor, roof-to-foundation clean-up project.
It’s vital to make all the repairs necessary to attract a buyer. So, patch up the roof, touch up all the paint, repair the screens, spruce up the porch framing, and make your entry area really shine. Don’t forget to water the lawn and landscape beds, and take the time to trim, mow, edge, and get rid of sick or dying plants.
Inside, fix the grout in the bathrooms and on tile floors, adjust any doors that need it, fix any scratches on the walls, cover any stains, and be sure to fix any plumbing problems. Remember to do what your home needs before the first buyer appears at your door.
Regardless of who markets your home, you or a real estate professional, there are other, small things you must do to attract buyers. For example, even if it’s bright daylight, open the blinds and turn on the lights. Also, open all the interior doors to make the home appear roomier.
Be sure to remove all your kids and pets. In addition, make sure your pet’s litter pan is clean so the home smells clean and fresh, not like air freshener. Remember, you need to make sure your home is available to be seen by a prospective buyer with as little notice as possible.
Before you put your home on the market, take some time to check out the competition: homes with similar prices and in similar neighborhoods. Remember, you don’t have to go out and buy new furniture just to look like that beautiful new model in the new development; what you want is the feel of that new model — clean, uncluttered, and fresh.
After location, the most important item to a buyer is a well-maintained home. Many flaws can be overlooked if the buyer knows he can move in without a lot of trouble and expense.
At RE/MAX Freedom, we work with buyers and sellers across Broken Bow, OK, to ensure that their real estate needs are met. With a variety of homes for sale in the area, we can help you find the ideal place to settle down or even a beautiful, luxury vacation home. Call us today for more information.