Right time to buy or sell

Many clients ask me if now is the best time to buy or sell? My answer to them, it depends? It’s not the ideal answer but it’s an honest answer. When clients ask me this question I have to tell them – what is it you need?

When they figure this part out, we will know if it is a good time to buy or sell. It’s true there are market trends and if timed right a buyer or seller could do financially well. However, the opposite could occur if your needs are not addressed.

At the end of the day, the best way to figure this part out is to sit with a real estate professional and do a consultation. A good realtor will have the resources, professional contacts, tools, broker guidance as well as support. Always remember at the end of the day this person must be there for you! 

Seller Safety Tips

If you are selling your home, use this safety chart to keep you and others safe. Follow the tips below to get you started on securing your personal info, valuables, and how to handle showings. Remember never let anyone in your home, unless they have scheduled it with your realtor. Your realtor should have a sign with copies of a property description displayed and his/her contact information.

Safety First

Buying in 2018

If you’re interested in buying a home in 2018 use these last few months of the year to help jumpstart your house buying process using these 5 simple steps: 

  1. Do a credit check – Your FICO score can range from 300-850 and a higher score can lead to lower interest rates when borrowing money. When you apply this to a mortgage, a loan with a 1-2% lower interest rate can save you thousands over the years. When doing a credit check, thoroughly go through each item listed and ensure accuracy, correcting errors as needed. It is important to remember it will take some time for corrections and paid off bills to reflect on your credit report. The sooner you do this the better and sign up for a free credit monitoring system that will help you track your credit. Lastly, do not open any new credit accounts or use more than 30% of your total available credit line for each account or credit card.
  2. Pay off bills and save – Whether you have done step one or not, start paying off debt immediately. A debit to income ratio (DTI) helps lenders determine your loan qualifications. A low percentage of debt puts borrowers in a strong position when getting a loan. If your debt to income ratio is too high it could jeopardize your ability to get a loan. In addition, start saving and keep saving. You will need a down payment as well as extra money for closing costs which does not include any home improvements you would like to do. Start thinking about resources available to you that could help you with this such as monetary gifts or a second job.
  3. Find a lender and get prequalified – I highly recommend before you start doing anything, get prequalified. Many times, clients will begin with looking at homes first, then realtors, credit, etc. In doing this, disappointment can set in and give clients a false sense of what they can afford. Save yourself the time by letting your lender telling you what you can afford. Remember there are many different lending institutions that are out there, interview more than one. If one place doesn’t work for you, check with another. Do not stop after the first no and make sure your needs come before your lender’s needs.
  4. Interview real estate agents – Realtors like lenders should have your needs come before their own. When interviewing a realtor check for experience, area knowledge, work ethic, and response time. Weigh each one, as every realtor will have their pros and cons. For example, a realtor with a lot of experience could be complacent and have poor work ethics, taking too long to respond or give vague answers to your questions. On the other hand, a realtor with less experience might be willing to go the extra mile to ensure understanding and trust, focusing on establishing a professional relationship with you. Taking these aspects into consideration will help you find someone that will work for you.
  5. Start looking into potential areas and homes – Most first time homebuyers assume a realtor should have all the answers and possess the ability to find that perfect home. In truth, the needs of a buyer can change and often do. To help the buying process run smoothly, start your research in what you want in a home. Take into consideration school district, bedrooms, baths, square footage, neighborhood, etc. Along with completing steps above it will allow your realtor to narrow down your search and weed out unnecessary homes that will not fit your description. Get started by attending open houses, it’s a great way to get a feel for what is out on the market.