Buying or selling a home can be an exciting or scary experience; therefore, hiring a real estate agent is advisable to make the whole process easier. Buying a house can be complicated, especially if you are alone and don’t know what you are looking for. An excellent real estate agent will make you feel comfortable and help you resell your home.
This is where real estate agents prove to be useful; they help you find your dream home and accompany you on your viewings to see your potential homes. So, without further ado, below, you will learn what you should know before choosing your real estate agent and what you should do before you call them.
1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Before you take on a real estate agent, your first step is to learn about your mortgage options. Many factors affect your mortgage’s length, price, and interest rate, and each of these factors will determine the home you can afford.
Also, note that being pre-qualified for a mortgage is not the same as being pre-approved. While both processes involve analyzing your debts, income, and assets, only a pre-approval involves an official mortgage application.
2. Research the market
The mortgage you are pre-approved for will dictate the price range of homes you should be looking at. But if you’re also selling, you’ll need to know the market for homes similar to yours in your area. Keep in mind that while you can search real estate listings online and in print, you will only learn the asking prices. A real estate agent will show you how long the homes have been on the market, any price reductions, and, most importantly, closing prices.
While it’s important to research the market, don’t fall in love with a property just yet. Chances are the property won’t be around by the time you’re ready to buy, especially if you have to sell your home first. Offers submitted for sale- or as they say in real estate, “yes, but…” – are less likely to be accepted by a seller than an offer with its finances in order.
But did you know it’s also important to impress your real estate agent? Preparing your home for an open house before an agent visits will help the agent see the full potential of your home and allow them to better market the property. Remove all your personal belongings. Put away extra shoes and coats. Having them out in the open suggests a lack of storage/storage space.
People want to picture themselves in your space, and photos of your family reunion will quickly break potential buyers’ dreams. Empty your refrigerator. A clutter of alphabet magnets, postcards, and receipts will ruin the perception of an organized, peaceful home. Move out excess furniture. The more open space your home has, the bigger it is, and the more space allows people to imagine a variety of possibilities for your home.
4. Clean up
When selling your home, a clean bathroom will go much further than you think. A tidy home shows pride of ownership and suggests that the place has been maintained and cared for. For example, the appearance of your entrance is just as important as any part of the interior. Ensure your mailbox, door, carpet, and trim are spotless. Blinds and light fixtures are havens for dust and bugs, and while you may not notice them in your day-to-day life, investigating homebuyers may be put off by your shoddy housekeeping.
Spotless windows will let in more light and allow people to enjoy the view. Consider replacing the furnace filter to improve air circulation in your home and the quality of the air you breathe. Finally, the bathroom should be spotless. In addition to the obvious areas, such as the toilet, tub, and tiles, an old rule of bathroom etiquette becomes paramount: keep the toilet seat down!
5. Repair, replace, and refurbish
The front of your home is the real first impression for most house hunters, so make sure your exterior is top-notch. Many long-time homeowners get used to renovation repairs and dated or deteriorating features. For example, be sure to repair and paint the walls. Repainting in neutral colors will help people imagine themselves in your space (think blank canvas), and a spotless wall will reinforce your concern for the house. Also, assess your curb appeal. Is your lawn mowed and weed-free?
If you have an older home or are concerned about hidden surprises, you may want to have a pre-sale home inspection done so that repairs can be made before buyers rescind offers. At the very least, you’ll have an estimate of the cost of repairs, so potential buyers know what they’re getting into.
6. Search for potential agents
Don’t just hire the first agent in your Google search. Take the time to store around and find an appropriate agent for your needs. You can start by asking for referrals from recently moved people, and there are several online resources for ranking and rating real estate agents. You’ll also want to look for an agent who is familiar with selling homes in your area, as he/she will be an expert at pricing your home appropriately.
In addition, an agent with extensive real estate experience will have an extensive network of contacts to help you advertise your home and find a new one. Keep in mind that these agents will take up to 7% of the closing price of your home, so make sure you hire someone willing to work hard.
Looking for help?
Are you looking to buy a summer home or a home somewhere where it is always sunny? Are you bored of city life and are in need of fresh air and a change of atmosphere altogether? Then Perles Azur is here to help you find your next property on the Côte d’Azur. They are the expert and reliable option with over 15 years of experience in this industry. Give them a call and let them help you find the home of your dreams.
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