At the end of every December, people make all kinds of resolutions for the coming year. Typically, these are things they want to improve about themselves, ways to make their personal or work life better and to put them on track for a positive change.
Whether you plan to buy or sell, there are some real estate resolutions that buyers and sellers can, and should, make for the coming year. Here are five New Year’s resolutions to help you with your Big Bear real estate goals.
Buyers: Resolve to get your financial house in order
Planning a home purchase takes time and effort, if you’re serious about buying a home in 2013 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. A good real estate agent can recommend an experienced, local mortgage processional. Local is always important, because many real estate deals are made on relationships, and being able to meet face-to-face with your mortgage professional can be a big plus.
Sellers: Resolve to think of your home as a product
When it comes time to sell, your home becomes another product on the market. Buyers will compare it and its price to competing properties. You must put your best foot forward, because the properties that are priced right and show well sell the quickest.
Start clearing out old stuff now. If there are things deep in your closets that you don’t think you’ll use between January and the time you move, consider a storage locker or having a garage sale. If your real estate agent suggests some improvements, get the bids now. This will help you spread out the cost over several months and you’ll be ready for the Spring season.
Buyers: Resolve to start feeling out the market early
You may think you only need to go to open houses once you’re ready to buy. But in reality, a buyer needs time to research the different Big Bear neighborhoods, understand home values, and get a handle on the Big Bear real estate market in general. The best, and fastest, way to do this is to work with a Big Bear real estate expert from the Tim Wood Group.
Once you engage an agent, you may make several offers before you get into your dream home. Having an experienced agent in your corner will allow you to compare and contrast homes you’ve visited to the home you eventually buy. Your experience will serve as the building blocks toward becoming an informed buyer and making your best offer.
Sellers: Resolve to understand your timing and exit strategy
One of the biggest stresses on a seller is trying to plan a purchase and a sale at the same time. Can you afford to close on the new home before selling? Do you need to sell first? If so, will the potential sale price support a home purchase in the neighborhood you want to be in? If not, what other areas should you be looking in? Selling and buying at the same time brings up all kinds of financial, emotional and physical stress.
Uprooting yourself from your home is not easy. What if you have to go into short-term housing? How will you get that set up and how long would you need to commit for? If you can afford to purchase and then sell, do they need to happen quickly? Are there things you can be doing in your current home so that once your new home closes, you’ll be ready to list? It’s a lot to think about and plan for, and it helps to have a strategy in place well before you have to take action.
Buyers and sellers: Resolve to engage a real estate agent now
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 adviser, well in advance of any actual transaction.
On the seller side, if you pulled a permit to install some new windows or replace some dry rot in 2005, likely the contractor issued a permit. But did he close it out? A good agent will help you figure all that out and clean it up before it becomes a transaction issue. You should use your agent to literally get your house and listing in order.
For buyers, having an agent with you from the start is like having an experienced, second set of eyes and ears. Having so many transactions under their belt and years of market knowledge in their head, a real estate agent’s opinions, thoughts, and ideas can save you a lot of time and money. What’s more, they can keep you on the right path toward identifying the best home, and they’ll see you through the process all the way to the closing.
The Big Bear real estate professionals at The Tim Wood Group are ready to help make all your real estate resolutions become realities, and wish you a healthy and prosperous new year.
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