January has brought us some great real estate articles giving excellent advice to home buyers and sellers, along with some great mortgage information.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home this year, it’s time to curl up in front of the fireplace on a winter’s day and grab some great real estate tips and advice.
Tips to sell your house in winter
Traditionally, spring has been the selling season that many home sellers have been waiting for to list their homes. But that’s shifting as almost 100% of buyers start their research online. They can now sit back in the comfort of their own home and only come out from behind the computer when they’ve found just the right home.
And buyers need to buy for a variety of reasons, and these forces don’t just occur in the spring. You’ll find out if shoppers are out to buy in the middle of winter. The tire kickers and the dreamers sit at home awaiting the spring market, while the serious shoppers are out any time of the year.
Winter certainly offers some significant advantages for selling your home. A cold, blustery day can surely portray your home as a cozy way to weather any storm.
Kevin Vitali shares some great tips for selling your home this winter. Don’t forget to light it up and clear the sidewalks and driveway.
How to find open days near you
Open days are an integral part of the real estate industry. They allow serious buyers, casual buyers, and buyers starting their home hunt to preview a home without making an appointment.
Many buyers search online for open houses near their location.
Every Saturday and Sunday you will find open houses in the communities that interest you.
In recent years, open houses can extend beyond Saturday and Sunday, and many agencies offer open houses for commuters so you can stop by on your way home from work.
Open houses are a perfect way for buyers who are just entering the market and are trying to get a feel for the market.
If your visits are carefully timed, you can find several homes for sale in an afternoon through open houses. A good 4 or 5 homes in the price range you can afford in a desired community will help you set a realistic expectation of what your budget will get you.
Cooperation with a mortgage broker
Mortgage brokers or lenders make more than half of mortgages in the United States. Is a mortgage broker the same as a bank?
A mortgage lender is different from a bank. A bank offers a variety of financial services, including checking and savings accounts, and mortgage products. Typically, a bank only offers its mortgage products and has limited access to various home loan programs.
A mortgage broker or lender only offers mortgage products. They have wholesale accounts with a variety of lenders. The advantage is that they can offer many mortgage programs from different financial institutions to meet your specific needs.
Eric Jeannette gives some information to understand what a mortgage broker does. You will have a much better understanding of how brokers differ from an individual lender.
For borrowers with little money, less than excellent credit, or unusual circumstances, a mortgage broker is a better choice than a bank.
Coverage of valuation gaps
The real estate market is changing nationwide. Some regions are feeling mortgage rate hikes collapsing along with rapid home appreciation, creating a softening market.
Other regions are still holding their ground with extremely low inventories and multiple supply over demand.
Paul Sian explains the valuation gap clause in a real estate contract. When multiple offers exceed the demand, the home may not appreciate what a buyer has offered to pay. This can be a problem when you take out a loan. The banks only lend at the estimated price.
Many buyers choose to include a valuation gap clause in their contracts. The clause states that if the appraised value falls short, the buyer is willing to pay X amount over the appraised value.
Since you cannot finance the gap between the estimated price and the agreed sales price, you, the buyer, agree to pay the difference in cash.
This clause has been very popular with many successful bidders in 2021 and 2022 and can help tip the scales in their favor in many regions. It will also be popular in hot markets heading into 2023
How to make an offer on an overpriced house
This overpriced home could be your dream home. But either you think it’s overpriced, or it really is overpriced.
For many homebuyers, getting involved in negotiations for a home is emotional. They want to get involved and know that there will be a positive outcome. Some buyers don’t commit if they can’t fill a significant gap in an overpriced home.
But as the market begins to change and inventory is still limited in many areas, it’s hard to miss out on a great home that may be overpriced. You don’t know when another home you love will turn up.
Luke Skar shares some great advice on how to bid on an overpriced home.
The first step is working with an experienced buyer’s agent. Determine if a house is really overpriced. Buyers often miss opportunities because they think a home may be overpriced, but the home sells for $40,000 too much. This is not an overpriced house.
A buyer’s agent can help you determine the market value of a home. Perhaps there are factors related to the home that are pushing it to the high side of fair market value.
In addition to determining fair market value, Luke offers further advice on structuring an offer that could lead a relentless seller to deviate from his unrealistic price.
Cleaning your home before listing
Preparing and staging your home can be a crucial step in getting the most money for your home. Preparing your home for sale should always start with a thorough cleaning and decluttering.
Decluttering is one of the best ways to get your home ready for sale.
The important thing about making your home shine for shows is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money except for supplies. Whether you do your deep cleaning yourself or hire someone, there will be a huge payoff.
Even if you don’t have room in your budget for small repairs or minor renovations, a thorough cleaning will go a long way in presenting your home in a positive light.
Michelle Gibson provides a cleaning checklist to make your home shine in the eyes of your homebuyers.
New year, new you and a new house!!
For many, the New Year means life changes. And your goal for this year could be to buy your first home. 2021 and 2022 have been a rollercoaster ride for real estate. It’s time to stop sitting on the sidelines and letting the market pass you by.
As Vicki Moore points out, there are things you can do right now to put yourself in a position to buy your first home. Whether you buy 3 months, 6 months or 9 months from now, today is the day to get started. The better prepared you are, the greater your success.
From the day you start thinking about buying a home, working on your finances is an excellent place to start. Think about what you can do to improve your credit score, reduce debt, and save more on a down payment and closing costs. Now is the time to improve your home buying position.
Sell your house you owned two years ago
Owning your own home offers homeowners many advantages. One is the feeling of freedom to do with it what you want.
But did you know that if you sell an owner-occupied property before you reach the two-year mark, you may be subject to capital gains? Every homeowner should be aware of the many intricacies of capital gains.
Did you know that after two years, or if you’ve lived in your home for 2 years in the last 5 years, there is a no-tax capital gains exemption? Or that the capital gains from a sale can be much higher in the first year of ownership than in the second year of ownership?
Andy Kolodgie explains everything you need to know in his comprehensive resource.
Kitchen design trends for 2023
Have you ever heard the saying; Kitchens sell houses. Well, nothing can be more accurate than this statement.
Kitchens are often home for many households. This is where everyone meets and often the first stop when you come through the door. They are also the most expensive area of your home to remodel or refinish.
Karen Highland has a great article on kitchen design trends for 2023. With social distancing and more people staying at home, the kitchen is more important than ever. Make design choices that buyers want today, but that are also timeless for future resale.
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About the Author: The above resource on the best articles for January 2023 was written by Kevin Vitali. Kevin is a Massachusetts realtor based in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Kevin brings over 21 years of home buying and selling experience in Essex and Northern Middlesex Counties, Massachusetts.