Either buying or selling, go local

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By Jule’ Dunham

Greetings from the World of Real Estate with Julè. Whether you are a seller or buyer of real estate, especially residential, you may have questions regarding how to make this transaction happen.
Therefore, you will need a realtor. Your Realtor® works hard for you to achieve your real estate goals. The State of Tennessee requires a realtor’s license to be renewed every two years and in order to do so they are required to meet the continuing education hours, etc. determined by the State of Tennessee.
Here are some reasons to work with a real estate agent: 1) They can navigate a complicated process. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal and avoid delays and costly mistakes. 2) Information and opinions.
A real estate agent can provide local community information on utilities, schools and more. They can provide objective information on each property. A professional will be able to help you answer two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell? 3) Help finding the best property out there.
They can investigate properties that are actively on the market. 4) Negotiating skills. There are many negotiating factors to consider. 5) Property marketing power.
Their contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the assistance of an agent, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your real estate agent will prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property. 6) Someone who speaks the language. If you are not familiar with the real estate terminology, you will certainly want someone who is familiar with the language. 7) Experience. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Ever changing laws and regulations are real. Real estate agents handle numerous transactions over the course of their career and must stay informed of these changes. Having an expert on your side is critical. 8) Objective voice. Emotions can become an issue for the home buying and selling processes. Having a concerned, but objective voice on your side helps you stay focused on the most important issues at hand.
Let’s address “Sellers” first. Why are you interested in selling your home? Where are you going to live once the home is sold? If you are selling your home, do you want representation or do you want to go it alone. Your realtor will do a market analysis in order to assist you on pricing your home to sell. Listing your home at a price that is too high or too low is not to your benefit. Price it right from the beginning with your realtor.
Prepare your home for sale before the listing appointment. Take a moment and pretend that you are a buyer coming to this home to view it as your possible new home. What do you see? Does it look clean, fresh and neat? If not, then you have a lot of work to do. Here are some tips to help you. Your home should be very neat (decluttered) and very clean. All repairs should be completed, fresh coat of paint, light bulbs should all be working, nice mailbox, no smells (pets or otherwise), put away anything personal and remove valuables for showings. Most importantly, address any safety issues.
The yard and flower beds should be well kept, all weeds and dead plants removed. Your property should be free and clear of vehicles that are not functioning, and any other debris should be removed. Collections of model cars, dolls, among other collectibles are a distraction and should be packed away. You may as well get a head start on your packing, so this will be something you can cross off your to do list. All rooms including the kitchen and bathrooms should have as little displayed as possible. Why? Most people that go into a home have difficulty imagining their belongings in another home. So, the less you have displayed the easier it is for them to see their belongings in your home. I realize that all of this is a lot of work, but the main objective is after all, for you to sell your home. Right?
Now that you have decluttered and taken the other steps to prepare for the sale of your home, maintain the neatness and cleanliness. It will certainly pay off. Take pictures of your hard work and show them off to others. They just might know someone who is interested in your lovely home.
Now, let’s move on to “Buyers”. Buying a home is very serious business. This is most likely the most expensive purchase you will ever make. So, it should not be taken lightly. Take some time and write down your questions before contacting your real estate agent.
None of us were born knowing how to do this process, so questions are too silly to ask.
1) Be sure to contact and hire a Realtor®. A Realtor’s® help is invaluable. They will ask you several questions in order to better serve you.
2) Get pre-qualified for a loan. Shop around for your mortgage! Shopping just might save your money on your mortgage. Make a list of mortgage lenders you want to get with face to face.
Use a local lender. Personally, if I cannot see them eye to eye, I don’t have anything to discuss with them. Make sure to have all the information they will need readily available.
A loan officer can inform you how much home you can afford. You must know your price range before you start the home search. Searching for a home that is beyond your budget does nothing but wastes everyone’s time. Also, falling in love with a home that you cannot afford can be very disappointing and discouraging.
3) Now you can begin the homes search. You may have to look at several homes before deciding on “the one”. Take your time and make sure that this is the home you really want. Determine your needs vs. your wants.
4) Write an offer and negotiate with the seller through your agent. Think about this before making a hasty decision. I am not saying drag your feet. Inventory is short and homes are selling rather quickly. Listen to your Realtor’s® suggestions, but the decision is ultimately yours. Be detailed with your requests as details are important. If you do not ask, you do not receive, and whatever you do, do not assume anything.
Seniors – There are approximately 78 million baby boomers out there. Personally, I do not want to reside with my children. I want my own private space. So, there are some questions that we must ask. What kind of home can you afford?
Are you wanting a smaller home? Do we really want to maintain the lawn and home repairs? We may want to start exploring our options. Finding the right home can be a challenge. Do you need handicap accessibility? Would you feel more comfortable in a condo, beach house, near your grandchildren?
Would you consider buying a place in a senior living facility? Would you consider a small home on your son or daughter’s property? They would be nearby for frequent visits and should there be an emergency. These are all very important things that you must consider.
First and foremost, to consider is your budget. This will determine what you can actually afford. I cannot begin to stress this enough. As I mentioned in earlier, looking at homes that you cannot afford just brings disappointment and can make you feel defeated. Just do not set yourself up for failure from the very start.
I hope this information has helped you in your next real estate endeavor.
Remember, selling or buying a home is very serious business, so please contact a professional for guidance. Whether it is me or another real estate agent, I wish you the best in your next real estate experience.
Should you have a topic you would like addressed, please feel free to contact me.
Thank you for reading my column and have a blessed week.
Crye-Leike Realtors
Julè Dunham, Affiliate Broker, SRES, RENE. Contact her by phone at 901-828-8471 (cell) or 901-840-1181 (office) or by email to: jule@juledunham.com for an appointment to speak with you, your group or club.
“Let’s Make This Happen Together”