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Tools and Tips: Buying and Selling Properties

Whether you're a first-time buyer or a seasoned veteran, you can follow some simple rules to make your home-buying experience easier and more successful.

  • Find a Realtor you work well with. any buyers find success in using referrals from other satisfied customers.
  • Think about financing your purchase early in the game. Your Realtor should be able to recommend loan officers you can consult with.
  • Be realistic about your goals. Decide the necessary elements of the property.
  • Set a timeframe. Do you have to move soon? Can you afford to wait? This can influence how you go about looking at properties.
  • Carefully consider all sides of your financial situation. Although home-ownership can save you money in some areas, you need to take into account costs not always paid by renters such as maintenance, home insurance, and utilities.
  • Find a Realtor who can help you learn the process.
  • Learn about the market in your area. Buyers must be aware whether it's a buyer's or seller's market.
  • Be reasonable about what you can afford. Many first-time buyers set themselves up for disappointment by trying to buy more than they can afford or truly need.


Selling Properties

If you're selling a property, particularly a home, it's necessary to step back and consider how your home will impress others. The tips will help you set up your home to be as appealing as possible to prospective buyers.

  • Buyers want to see the home, not your belongings. If your home is cluttered, remove as many unnecessary belongings as possible.
  • Buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in your home. Too many personal items such as family photos can be off-putting.
  • If you work outside of the home, remember to open curtains, straighten up, and leave the house looking inviting and friendly.
  • If you will be on the premises during showings, be discreet.
  • If possible, leave during showings.
  • If you have a pet, leave instructions as to how the pet should be treated. If you have a large dog, be sure to lock it up securely when the house is being shown.
  • People react to the smell of a house, even if there isn't a foul odor. Consider using potpourri to freshen the environment.
  • If you have been lax about maintenance, hire a handyman to tighten up those doorknobs, slap a fresh coat of paint on dingy walls, and fix stubborn cabinets.
  • It pays to hire professional cleaners to give your house a once-over and make it ready for viewing. If you're really busy, have cleaners come in once a week while your house is being shown.