Ohhhh the thought of a new home...better location, more land, super school district for the kids, or maybe it's a maintenance free down-size. So many ideas and wants. But wait! Are you really ready?? Take a look at the check list to help determine if you are.
Get Pre-Approved - While this seems like a sensible and logical thing to do, many potential home buyers have yet talked with a financial institution to see what their true affordability really is. Call your bank or a mortgage broker and answer the few questions that they will have for you: Monthly income, credit card and loan debt, cash in savings, projected current home value, and let them find out your credit score. Ask about the current interest rates are which will influence the monthly payment. All of this will give you the best loan pre-approval amount, plus the piece of paper you need to prove it! Without this, you may find that you are trying to bite off more than you can chew. This step is important to know your affordability price range while surfing the market for your forever home and keep you from losing out after your offer has been accepted.
Pre-Sale Inspection - Is your current home really "sale ready"? Spending a little money before you list is a great way to eliminate the hidden surprises that may await. Hiring a building inspector to come before you decide to list your home will let you know if there are any major or minor repairs that should be done. This will give you time to get them done instead of feeling time pressured or even risk losing an offer.
Spruce the Yard - This doesn't mean you have to hire the contractors to do a full make over. This means get the yard gloves on! Any potential buyer will see the outside of your home before stepping foot into the foyer. First impressions are lasting ones, aren't they? Most outside maintenance can be done for very little money. Does the exterior siding and deck need to be cleaned? Maybe a family member or neighbor can loan you their power washer. Trim back bushes, paint the front door, and weed the flower beds might be enough to give the walkway a fresh feel.
Declutter - This is more important that you think! Discarded kid's toys, clothes and shoes no longer worn, and extra pots and pans take up valuable space. Decluttering not only makes space appear roomier, it will help when it comes time to move. No one likes feeling rushed when they are packing. Use this not only to help stage your home for photos and make the space desirable for buyers, but also for packing valuables the safe way.
Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent - Not everyone has a best friend or family member who is a Real Estate Agent. Or maybe you do know someone but you aren't sure if you want sign a buyer or seller contract with them. Do some homework to find one that are knowledgable about the area. A new agent doesn't necessarily mean unexperienced. A new agent could be someone who isn't going to cut any corners and is willing to work harder for you. Do a quick google search. Ask around. Check their social media. Schedule an appointment and ask your questions: What is the commission rate? How long before a listing contract expires? What areas are you willing to travel to look at potential homes? You will be talking to your agent weekly (if not daily in the beginning) so you want to make sure personalities match, communication flows, and they understand your wants and needs. There is nothing more frustrating than an absentee realtor!
This is the start to your "Honey-Do"! Don't be intimidated at the thought of buying or selling, just be ready to make the deal when the time is right for you!