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Once you have made the decision to purchase or sell your home there are a couple steps you need to complete before hiring a real estate agent. What can homebuyers and sellers do before hiring a real estate agent? The following tips will address this and get you one step closer in your real estate transaction.
Set a Budget
Oftentimes, buyers get excited about buying a new home and jump right into looking at homes, only to fall in love with a home that falls far beyond their price point. According to Wade Lester, a real estate professional at Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners, he suggests that before you start the house hunt, you should determine your budget by calculating how much home you can realistically afford. While mortgage lenders will determine how much you can afford, their numbers don’t take into account your daily, weekly, and monthly expenses such as insurance, childcare, utilities, groceries, gas, or medical expenses. To determine a budget, start by listing your income after taxes, current expenses, and future home-related expenses. The money that remains after deducting expenses is how much you can feasibly afford. If all these numbers are confusing, or you are wary about your calculations, use a home affordability calculator.
Get Mortgage Pre-approval
Even if you know your budget, you have to get pre-approved for a mortgage via a local bank, credit union, mortgage broker, or mortgage bank. Rather than settle on the first lender you come across, narrow down your search to three candidates. It is important to note that being pre-qualified for a loan and being pre-approved are two very different terms. According to HouseLogic, “Pre-approval provides evidence to your real estate agent and the seller (or seller’s agent) that a trusted financial institution is willing to finance the purchase.” By getting the pre-approval now, you won’t run the risk of losing out on a house to another bidder because you have to go through the pre-approval process.
Declutter the Home
While you can certainly clean your home the day of a showing, it isn’t recommended. Deep cleaning and decluttering your home takes time, and it can turn into a make or break situation. Take a few days, or the weekend, to clean your home from top to bottom so that all you’ll have to do the day of the showing is a quick touch up. If you simply don’t have the time to deep clean your home and to keep it clean, opt to hire a professional service. In Peachtree City, GA you can pay between $106 - $274 to have your home cleaned. This is a small price to pay to save some headaches and stress during an already stressful period of your life.
After you’ve cleaned, tackle the clutter. It is hard for buyers to picture themselves in your home when family photos, sports memorabilia, college diplomas, and various knick-knacks surround them, so pack it up. Clutter also includes everyday items such as toiletries, small kitchen appliances, and miscellaneous clutter such as mail, magazines, shoes, coats, and pet items.
Enhance Curb Appeal
The inside of your home is important, but the outside plays a big role too – it’s the first thing buyers see whether viewing your home in person or online. Adding curb appeal sounds like a big job, but it can be achieved relatively easy -- and on a budget. To begin, walk around your home as if you are a prospective buyer and take note of anything that sticks out. Hop in the car and drive by your home from both directions during the day and at night. You might notice something simple yet easy to fix, such as a light that needs replacing or a piece of chipped siding. Other simple ways to add curb appeal include:
Before you bring in a real estate agent, take a proactive approach to the home buying and selling process. If you are a buyer, determine your budget and get approved for a mortgage; if you are a seller, clean and declutter your home and add curb appeal. It might not sound like much, but these tips will put you ahead of the game.
Article provided by Natalie Jones from HomeownerBliss.info.