“I don’t have a problem with credit,” a potential new home buyer says. “I pay my bills on time. I never have trouble getting a loan.”
That may be true. However, according to several surveys, most people are surprised by at least one piece of information in their credit report. And it only takes one derogatory item to create an obstacle to getting the lowest mortgage rate possible, or even getting a mortgage at all.
That’s why it’s important to check your credit report before you shop for a new home.
You will then have the opportunity to deal with any unexpected issues.
For example, you may discover an error, which is not unusual. If you do find there is a mistake in your credit report, inform the credit bureau immediately. They are required, by law, to promptly make a correction.
If there are late payments noted on your credit report, you can write a letter of explanation to the credit bureau telling your side of the story. This will accompany the credit information that goes to your lender. Assuming everything else in your credit report is fairly good, most lenders will accept a reasonable explanation for late payments, such as being laid off from a job, an extended illness in the family, or military service overseas.
How do you get your credit report?
There are three major credit bureaus in North America:
All have websites that allow you to order your credit report for a reasonable fee. It’s a good idea to order all three credit reports as not all companies report credit information to all three bureaus.
Getting your credit report, and checking that it’s accurate, will make the home buying process go a lot more smoothly.
When shopping for a new house or condo, most buyers consider such factors as neighborhood, proximity to schools, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of the kitchen, and more. These are, of course, all important considerations. But there’s one question that few buyers ask – until it’s too late.
“Will our furniture fit?”
This may seem like a trivial concern. But if you’ve invested thousands of dollars in a new living room suite, you’re going to be very disappointed if it looks too crowded in your new home.
Here’s a tip: measure rooms in your current home that contain the furniture you like most. This could be the living room, rec room, master bedroom or even the patio. Then imagine how much smaller – if at all – that room can be and still accommodate the furniture.
When you view condos or houses on the market, take those measurements with you. That way, you’ll be able to quickly determine if room sizes are going to be an issue.
And don’t forget to take a good look at entry ways. If you have a large wrap-around sofa, for example, you’re going to want to make sure you can get it through the door!
There’s no doubt about it. The best kind of offer is a “firm” offer. The buyer offers you a certain price for your property and, should you accept it, the deal is done. Congratulations. You’ve just sold your house!
But more often than not, an offer is “conditional”. That means the buyer is offering you a price, but with one or more conditions. If those conditions are not met, the buyer can walk away from the deal.
Examples of typical conditions include:
Should you accept a conditional offer? After all, if you do, the deal might fall through. But if you don’t, you might be passing up on an opportunity to sell your house for the price you want.
The truth is, it could go either way. Our realtors at Action Realty are experts on the real estate market and will help you make the right decision. Call today.
You’re about to make an offer on a home. Then, to your despair, you find out that three other offers have also come in for the same property.
Be careful. It’s all too easy to get swept up in the excitement and, like a hand raised one too many times at an auction, end up paying more for the home than you had intended — or can afford.
We will drastically increase your odds of getting the home you want at a price that’s right for you. Don’t go it alone. Give us a call.
Like taxes, traffic is a fact of life. (Particularly if you live anywhere near the HRBT). So, when you’re shopping for a new home, consider how the road situation will affect your commute to work, access to shopping and attractions, and the ability to conveniently reach places you need to go.
After all, it’s difficult to enjoy your new home if you’re constantly sitting in traffic!
We know ALLLL about known congested streets and intersections, school busing routes, and access to public transit. So if you’re wondering? Just ask.
There are two main reasons why homeowners invest in a home renovation or major redecorating project: They want to enjoy the results of the new kitchen, bathroom, flooring or other improvement they’ve made; and/or, they hope that the money they spend will come back to them – at least in part – when they sell their home.
So which projects are most likely to increase the resale value of a home? A story by Joanne Cleaver, featured on MoneyWatch.com last year, identified five renovation projects that give you the most bang for your renovation buck.
Floors. Old, scuffed or dated flooring tends to get noticed by home buyers, regardless of how well the rest of the room is decorated. New flooring — especially stone, ceramic tile and hardwood – can make any room look larger and more inviting.
Kitchen. When it comes to selling your home, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms. The more modern, new and spacious it looks, the faster your home will tend to sell. That’s why you can expect a pay back of up to 80% of the cost of a kitchen renovation.
Bathrooms. Who isn’t impressed by a new and gleaming bathroom with a big shower, modern faucets and other attractive décor? That’s why hotels spend so much time and money making their bathrooms look great. According to the Cleaver article, homeowners tend to get a pay back of up to 75% of the cost of a bathroom upgrade.
Closets. Any improvement that makes a closet look roomy and organized tends to result in a pay back of most of its cost. Even something as simple as installing a good closet organizer can have a dramatic effect.
Energy-saving upgrades. In this age of increasing energy costs and environmental concerns, home buyers are drawn to such features as energy-saving windows, lighting, thermostats and more.
Keep in mind that home improvements don’t just have an impact on the selling price of your home, they also help to sell your home faster.
For more information, call today.
When preparing your home for sale, you want to make sure every room looks its best. But pay particularly close attention to the kitchen. Many buyers will spend a lot of time determining whether or not it meets their needs. In fact, some buyers will even form an impression about the entire property based primarily on how they feel about the kitchen!
How do you make it look its best?
Start by making sure your kitchen appears as roomy as possible. Put away all countertop appliances, even the toaster and the coffee machine, so that the counter space is completely clear.
Check that your cabinets and pantry shelves aren’t stuffed with dishes, foodstuff and other items. While that’s normal in most family homes, it doesn’t promote the image of plentiful storage space. Clear out as much as you can. Make sure what you leave behind, especially food items, is stored neatly.
Got a junk drawer? We all do. Empty the contents into a box and stow it away.
Of course, you want to ensure that the kitchen is clean and shiny. The area in and around the sink is critical. There are some excellent specialty cleaners available that will remove even the most stubborn stains in a stainless steel sink. (Never use steel wool or other abrasive cleaners. They leave unsightly scratches.)
If you have a window over the sink – a great selling feature – make sure it’s especially clean. You can be sure that buyers will linger for a few moments to look through it.
And, finally, don’t forget the space under the sink. Make sure that the space is as clean – and empty – as possible.
Want more ideas on preparing your home for sale?
You obviously have experience purchasing a home. But you may not have had an opportunity, yet, to be on the other side of the transaction: putting your house on the market and entertaining offers.
Offers, in particular, can intimidate first time sellers (even those who have bought and sold a few times). After all, the stakes are high. If you don’t accept the offer, deciding to counter-offer instead, the buyer may lose interest. If you take the offer, you may do so at a lower price than you could have otherwise negotiated.
Let me help you steer clear of both those dangers.
An offer is typically presented by the buyer’s realtor, who will give you the proposed price. He or she will also explain any conditions, such as “conditional on a satisfactory home inspection”. Regardless of the conditions, always ask if the buyer has arranged for a pre-approved mortgage.
Now comes the tricky part. Do you accept the offer, reject it, or counter-offer? With me as your realtor, we can work together to ensure you make the right move. Ultimately, your goal is to sell your house for a price that is comparable to what similar homes in the area have sold for recently.
The more you know about the best way to reach a goal, the more likely you are to get the result you want. So, whether you’re hunting for a new job, assembling a backyard BBQ, or training for a 3 mile run, you’ll want to use a proven process to help you get there.
That certainly holds true when shopping for a new home. There is a proven process to getting the home you want, in the neighborhood you want, at a price you can afford. Here are the highlights:
When you put your property on the market, ideally you want to sell it as quickly as possible and for the highest price possible. But sometimes one is more important than the other. For example, if you’re relocating, or have purchased another home that is closing soon, selling your current property quickly may be a priority.
Do you have to sacrifice price to do that? Not necessarily. But there are some things you can do to help get a good offer, sooner.
Price your property competitively. Make sure your home is not listed higher than the price for which similar properties have recently sold in your neighborhood.
Make it look “move-in ready”. Take care of all repairs and other maintenance issues before you list. Ensure your property is clean and uncluttered, inside and out.
Be flexible with viewing times. Be willing to take your family out for a coffee or an ice cream should a potential buyer want to see your home on short notice.
Want more tips on how to sell your home quickly? Call today.