Buying and selling your home can feel like a long slog down anxiety lane. Whatever the state of the market, buyers face a multitude of purchase-delaying challenges. Meanwhile, sellers must attend to a hundred little details at once to pull off an ideal sale, and forgetting a few key ingredients can set them back months — or years — on a good deal.
It's unhealthy for your psyche and pocketbook to suffer through a drawn-out real estate transaction. Luckily, there are ways to ensure your home buying or selling experience doesn't drag on forever. Say goodbye to months of anxiety, strain on family relations, and financial uncertainty. These industry secrets will help you move out, move in, and move forward with your life.
Industry secret number one: Use a real estate agent
To increase your odds of success, employ a great real estate agent to help you buy or sell your home. Real estate is a world unto itself, and it's hard to play broker while juggling your job and family obligations. Great agents make it their life's work to study a complicated, ever-changing landscape of finances, social trends, and the quirks and needs of human beings. Read on to learn how the right agent can get you out of your old home or into your new home as quickly, safely, and profitably as possible.
Top tips for sellers: Set the right price and spruce up your home
Pricing your home correctly is the key to a successful home sale. If you list your house too low, you might cripple yourself financially and limit your future life choices. However, a house priced too high may remain on the market for years, worrying buyers that it contains some hidden problem.
The condition of your home comes into play when an interested buyer pays a visit. Buyers are looking for a property they can imagine themselves in — often an idealized vision of their future selves. If your home feels rundown or uninviting, offers aren't likely to roll in.
How to set the right list price for your home
There are two ways to determine an appropriate list price for your home. The first is a comparative market analysis, and the second is an appraisal.
Real estate agents provide comparative market analysis, usually for free. This analysis offers an estimate of your home's current market value based on sales of comparable properties within the past three months. You can cross-check a comparative market analysis by looking up recent sales statistics at a local assessor's office or online via real estate websites.
An appraisal is an objective assessment of your home's worth by a certified appraiser based on recent comparable property sales, square footage, location, and construction. It costs around $200 to $300, and lenders require it as part of a loan application. Read more about comparative market analysis and appraisal.
Get your home into sales-ready condition
A home is a deeply personal extension of ourselves — the good, the bad, and the ugly. But when it comes time to sell, you want buyers to see only the good. You might consider upgrading critical components of your home that tend to attract today's buyers — pay special attention to the kitchen. At the very least, it's imperative that you prepare your house properly to make an excellent first impression and help prospective buyers envision a bright future as the new owners.
Curb appeal is the first thing to consider. Make sure your garden is neat and beautiful, your address numbers are shiny, and your front door has a new coat of paint. Once you've taken care of that, don't let a broken doorbell ruin it all.
Keep the good impression going by welcoming the buyer into a bright, neat, uncluttered, clean home. It's worth hiring a professional service to thoroughly dust and polish all surfaces, ceiling fans, and windows. Clean windows are indispensable to maximizing natural light; even a slight layer of grime will reduce sunlight considerably.
Once you've made your home look great, it's time to document it digitally. In 2020, the National Association of Realtors found that 97% of buyers went online to look for a home, so it's worth creating an online listing. Hire a professional photographer to compile a comprehensive album of interior photos, but also consider a drone service to record a 3D tour.
There are a hundred other professional tips that an experienced agent will bring to the table, from baking cookies to leaving the curtains open with the lights on at night. A good agent will also know how to stage your house for maximum appeal, which might involve removing and replacing much of your furniture, repainting walls in neutral colors, and depersonalizing the space. "Sweetening the deal" by shouldering some fees or renovations can also speed up your sale and bend to the schedule of prospective buyers who want to view your home.
Real estate industry secrets to buying a home quickly
It's hard to be a home buyer today. If competition is high and inventory low, you get constantly outbid. You might worry about your finances in a slow market with high mortgage rates. An excellent agent can help buyers in any circumstance. Locally knowledgeable brokers might hear about properties before they hit the market and give you a chance at a sneak peek and a presale offer. Based on their in-depth knowledge of neighborhood trends and value, experienced agents can also recommend high inventory areas you hadn't considered. The Joan Killian Everett Team are experts on North Carolina's Catawba, Alexander, Caldwell, Burke, and Lincoln counties, with 30 years of local experience and more than $600 million in sales. As many satisfied clients can attest, their above-and-beyond responsiveness, availability, initiative, and excellent market advice make them stand out from the rest.
Top tips for buying a home quickly
One industry secret to a quick home buy is to acquire pre-approval for a home loan. To get pre-approved, you submit financial paperwork to a lender who assesses your financial standing. If you qualify for a loan, they present you with an official pre-approval letter. This letter is a golden ticket into the good books of a seller who will see you as a safe bet.
Another top tip is to avoid a contingency sale. A seller might hesitate if your offer hinges on a contingency like selling your current home first. There are ways to manage your transition from an old home to a new home without a contingency clause. And it helps a lot to work with the same realtor for buying and selling so your realtor understands the whole picture of your circumstances and timeline when making decisions.
Of course, you should stick to your list of what you want and need in a home; don't view homes that don't fit! It's easy to lose sight of your initial vision when scrolling through listings, but keeping on track can save you precious time.
Take the time to educate yourself. The skills, knowledge, and people you need are all out there. Visit the Buyer Resources and Seller Resources pages of the Joan Killian Everett Team website to learn more about buying and selling in today's market.
Choose the right real estate team
Nothing can compare to the service of a great agent when you're buying or selling your home. Joan K. Everett, Michelle M. Impagliazzo, Robin Creel, and Christy Shepard of the Joan Killian Everett Team are committed to providing you with everything you need before you even know you need it. Get in touch with the #1 top-selling team in the Hickory Metro area today. A successful and efficient closing is just around the corner.
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock