Here are a couple recommended resolutions for Buyers:
1. I will resolve to ‘Get on top of my finances’
While purchasing a home will take your time and energy, it will also take some of your money, so be sure to allocate your down payment and meet with your mortgage adviser early in the process. It’s essential that you know what your unique financial situation looks like to a lending institution. This will set limits on the kind of home you should buy, the types of payment options available to you (and there are many), establish a payment plan that you are comfortable with, and help to focus your search. If you require a mortgage broker, please ask our team. We’ll be pleased to suggest a few qualified choices.
2. I will resolve to ‘Do my homework early’
Getting to know the market, what products are available, how price points change based on neighbourhoods, and identifying emerging or established communities is a process that involves more than checking out an open house or two once you’re ready to buy. This is partly where a qualified real estate agent will come into play. Educating yourself can take a few months, but a good realtor will help you cut through the clutter. Attending open houses is a part of the experience, but give yourself time to tour communities, and review and absorb the data on comparable properties, including the average time homes stay on the market, the difference between listing prices and sale prices, and how price points vary between neighbourhoods. Only then, will you be comfortable enough and qualified to set the ‘right’ offer when you are ready to buy.
And, here are a couple recommended resolutions for Sellers:
1. I will resolve to ‘Establish a schedule and a plan for moving’
While buying and selling in the same market can be a prudent financial strategy, buying and selling a home at the same time comes with its share of complications and stresses. Will you need to arrange short-term housing in between the closing of your current home and your next home? Will you need to carry two mortgages simultaneously? Can you afford to and what financial programs are in place to support this? Will the sale of one home support the purchase of the next? What needs to be done to your existing house to get it ready for sale? While every situation is unique, once you make the decision to sell your home, a well defined plan to move and manage the transition into a new residence is essential. A pre-determined strategy will minimize the stress and mitigate the potential for unforeseen events.
2. I will resolve to ‘See my home through the eyes of a buyer’
There’s no point denying that your home is where your heart is. You’ve spent years making it just right to your tastes… perhaps you’ve raised a family in it. Without question, there are emotional ties to this sale. Unfortunately, the emotional ties are yours alone and, while they add value for you, they won’t add value to the buyer. With this in mind, it’s time to begin taking down your personal effects and getting your home ready for sale. A good starting place is to rent a storage locker and fill it up with those things that may clutter your home, but that you aren’t willing to part with. Do this well in advance, and when your home is clean, you can start going through it with some perspective and identifying the improvement opportunities that will maximize your sales price and open it up to the largest number of potential buyers. These improvements can be anything from re-painting, to minor renovations, to replacing an aging furnace. Your realtor will be an excellent adviser on where you’ll see the greatest return for the investment. Take advantage of their experience.
Of course, if real estate is high atop your list of New Year’s resolutions, a great start is to contact your Rhonda Abony or Perry Steinberg. We will be glad to help.
Until then, we wish and your family a very happy and healthy 2015.