I could not be more excited to be launching this website, this brand and this blog. Homed360 is more than my offering to people looking to buy or sell homes. It’s my unique expression. My unique way of guiding buyers and sellers through a time of really important transition in their lives.
And I do this with a 360 approach. Meaning I make sure you know everything there is to know from every angle of this process. I will tell it like it is and give you the information you truly need every step of the way. And because you are my number one priority, I will do this even if it’s not something you want to hear or is uncomfortable for me to share. Because the honest answer and the real information is what you need to succeed in your venture. And I’m truly passionate about helping you succeed.
From the right price range to the right neighborhood, I make sure that everything valuable I have learned in my 14 years in this business is passed on to you. It is because of the things I know that I am able to protect my clients. And feeling safe and protected, that’s feeling at home.
Helping my clients feel at home during the process of transitioning homes is my unique and special offering. And every blog I put out will focus on arming you with valuable information to make you comfortable and set you up for success in that process.
To that end, today I’d like to talk about the three most important things buyers and sellers need to know when entering the real estate market.
1.) Know what you can truly afford. This is not about what a bank will give you or even the actual dollar amount in your account. It’s about your comfort level. You don’t want to be spending every extra cent you have to pay your mortgage. When people do that, their homes can become debtor prisons and they put themselves, their families, their investment and their financial well being at risk. The feeling of peace that a home is meant to provide is lost to the stress of being able to stay ahead of the bills. So don’t go simply by numbers when choosing what you can afford. Factor in comfort levels. And once you’ve got that, be loyal to it. Get approved for that number. Only look at houses you know you can get in that range. Be willing to walk away from a place you love that is not in your comfort zone. Home is about comfort. And financial comfort is a really big part of that.
2.) Keep an open mind. Explore. See as many properties as possible. It’s good to know the perimeters of what you want, but to be open to how those perimeters are filled will allow you to really find the home of your dreams. It will also help you be very sure you have found the right place when you see it. Having a comprehensive personal look at what is out there in terms of neighborhoods, types of homes, locations, etc., allows you, as a buyer, to be able to make a decision based on experience and what you’ve been exposed to. When you are up to snuff in the market, you will never feel uncomfortable pulling the trigger on a purchase or walking away from a property, because you will have seen first hand what you can live with and what your deal breakers are. You can act quickly and secure the right place when you find it because you will know it by comparison.
3.) Trust your instinct . Having gotten all your financial ducks in a row and done all your research to see first hand what is out there, the final most important step is to bring your gut instinct into the process. Your instinct should absolutely lead the way when purchasing a house. “You will know when you know.” This is something I always say to my clients. The biggest red flag I have seen through the years is when people talking themselves into or out of something. This happens when you are avoiding what your gut is telling you. You’ve got to have that “feeling” to back up the reasoning for making a purchase.
1.) Know your competition. Just like buyers educate themselves on what dollars are buying, sellers need to know what people are spending, and not just in their neighborhoods but in other neighborhoods as well. It’s an absolute must to compare your property and asking price to all the surrounding neighborhoods. It’s also imperative to know how much is out there and how fast it’s moving. This is the only way you can really know if the offers you get are fair offers.
2.) Be prepared to make changes. It’s a strange thing to say, but you have to start to let go of your house before you can sell it. And by that, I mean let go of how you are used to seeing it. To give your home the best chance of selling, you need to create a “model home” that reflects less of you and the life you lived there and more of a blank canvas that allows potential buyers to be able to picture themselves and the lives they might create in the space. Along these lines, it’s also incredibly important that your house make a great first impression. So be open to the possibility of painting, cleaning, updating and decluttering. It can be hard for sellers to shift out of their tastes and into the eyes of potential buyers, but it’s crucial to remain open to suggestions. Remember, the goal is always to move forward.
3.) Have an exit strategy. Have the thought process as to where you will be going in place before you sell your home. It’s so important for a harmonious transaction to know how you plan to move forward once you go under contract. At that point, the last thing you want is to be scrambling to find your new home. Because lending is as it is, most people need to sell their home in order to buy. So you need to move pretty quickly after the close. Which, if you aren’t prepared, will lead to all sorts of stress and potential bad decisions. Once you’ve decided to put your home on the market, educate yourself on what’s available for yourself. Think through everything from storage to movers to possible temporary housing to how much equity may have to come out of the purchase in order for you to make your next move. Trust me, you will be glad you did.
If you are looking to buy or sell, I hope these tips have been insightful. If you have any questions about them or I can help you in any way, never hesitate to reach out. Just email me at Kathy@home360.com
And again, welcome Homed!