Shari Sagan McGuirk's Blog
Getting your home ready for sale is a long process that will require some patience and hard work on your part. However, if you’re successful, you’ll be able to market your home to the best buyers and get top offers, making the whole thing worth it.
There are potentially an endless number of things you can do to prepare your home before listing it for sale. So, in this post, I’m going to talk about some of the most important steps you should make before selling your home to get the best results from your listing.
1. Make simple fixes
Before you start thinking about making bigger renovations, take a moment to make any small fixes around the home that you’ve been putting off. That door that gets stuck in the winter time, the blinds that creak when you open them… the little things add up and can give buyers a negative impression of your home.
2. Get a professional home inspection
Serious buyers will get the home inspected before making a purchase. However, if there are any issues with your home, you’ll want to know for yourself long before selling time. Take the time to get a home inspection by a licensed professional so that you’re aware of any big renovations you’ll have to make in the near future.
3. Depersonalize (pack away those family photos)
Potential buyers want to be able to imagine themselves in your home. Having all of your personal belongings laying around can make that difficult. Neutralize your home by removing things that are unique to you and your family.
While this step can be tedious, you can also look at it as a good way to reduce the amount you’ll need to pack when it comes time to move.
4. Rearrange and declutter to open up the rooms
As homeowners, we accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. All of that stuff can easily make a home feel cluttered. Before you put your home on the market, it’s a good idea think about some ways to make your home ready for photos and visitors
5. Taking the best possible photos
How well-received your real estate listing will be will rely heavily on your photos. To get the best results, choose your photos wisely.
First, start by making sure your house is impeccably clean. Then, if you plan on doing any painting, get that done first.
Next, plan your photos for a nice day and take photos of the inside and outside of your home at different times of day. Since the Sun will cast shadows on different parts of your home throughout the day, it’s best to experiment with various lighting.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take a lot of photos. The more photos you have, the better the chances are of having a few really great ones that will portray your home in the most positive light.
Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the terminology of mortgages can be confusing. Since buying a home is such a huge financial decision, you’re also going to want to make sure you understand every step of the process and all of the conditions and fees along the way.
In this article, we’re going to explain some of the common terms you might come across when applying for a home loan, be it online or over the phone. By learning the basic meaning of these terms you’ll feel more confident and prepared going into the application process.
We’ll cover the acronyms, like APRs and ARMs, and the scary sounding terms like “amortization” so that you know everything you need to about the terminology of home loans.
ARM and FRM, or adjustable rate vs fixed rate mortgages. Lenders make their money by charging you interest on your home loan that you pay back over the length of your loan period. Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs are loans that have interest rates which change over the lifespan of your loan. You may start off at a low, “introductory rate” and later start paying higher amounts depending on the predetermined rate index. Fixed rate mortgages, on the other hand, remain at the same rate throughout the life of the loan. However, refinancing on your loan allows you to receive a different interest rate later down the road.
Amortization. It sounds like a medieval torture technique, but in reality amortization is the process of making your life easier by setting up a fixed repayment schedule. This schedule includes both the interest and the principal loan balance, allowing you to understand how long and how much money will go toward repaying your mortgage.
Equity. Simply state, your equity is the the amount of the home you have paid off. In a sense, it’s the amount of the home that you really own. Your equity increases as you make payments, and having equity can help you buy a new home, or see a return on investment with your current home if the home increases in value.
Assumption and assumability. It isn’t the title of a Jane Austen novel. It’s all about the process of a mortgage changing hands. An assumable mortgage can be transferred to a new buyer, and assumption is the actual transfer of the loan. Assuming a loan can be financially beneficial if the home as increased in value since the mortgage was created.
Escrow. There are a lot of legal implications that come along with buying a home. An escrow is designed to make sure the loan process runs smoothly. It acts as a holding tank for your documents, payments, as well as property taxes and insurance. An escrow performs an important function in the home buying process, and, as a result, charges you a percentage of the home for its services.
Origination fee. Basically a fancy way of saying “processing fee,” the origination covers the cost of processing your mortgage application. It’s one of the many “closing costs” you’ll encounter when buying a home and accounts for all of the legwork your loan officer does to make your mortgage a reality--running credit reports, reviewing income history, and so on.
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