Tips and tricks for buying and selling your home in 2021

Tips for Selling

These tips for selling your home can help you reach potential buyers and get good offers whether the market favors selling or not.

Staging is your friend. In real estate, the pretty house wins! No matter what type of market we are in, the appearance of a house directly impacts the amount of time it takes to sell. And the price for which it sells. The reality is home buyers often don’t have imagination when searching for a house. Even if the updates a house needs are simple and inexpensive, they can keep a home for selling for top dollar! So what’s the answer? Staging! Stagers are magicians! They can place furniture in a room so there is no confusion about what the space should be used for. Not to mention they can make your home look like a model home. And guess what that means to your sales price?!?

Don’t even think about selling your home without an agent right now. While, yes, you may be able to sell your house on your own now is NOT the time to try it. Why? Lots of reasons. Do you really want to try to manage the 30 or so showings you’re likely to have when your house hits the market? You’re also very likely to receive multiple offers on your home.  Do you understand the different between a conventional and an FHA loan? Do you understand what a contingency on appraisal is and why you may or may not be agreeable to one? Maybe not, but your real estate agent does. Plus, when you receive a dozen or so offers to purchase your home, your agent will put them into a handy spreadsheet with the details of each one, so you understand your options and select the best offer for your situation. Saving a small amount of money on realty fees is not worth risking the very real possibility that you won’t get the best price and terms possible for your home.

Be sure your agent is using all the tools when marketing your home. It’s no secret that the Upstate is seeing a tremendous influx of people moving here from other parts of the country. Often times newcomers to our area are buying a home they have never set foot in. So why not utilize all the best and most current resources when listing your home? Virtual tours that allow a buyer to “virtually” walk through a home are priceless. These tours allow a buyer to have a clear understanding of the layout and flow of a home. Another simple, yet often overlooked, tool is a floorplan. Be sure your agent has the floorplan for your home available in the MLS as it will allow a buyer to know right away if the house will suit their needs or not. (hence cutting down on unnecessary showings!) What homeowners may not realize is that using all the online tools can bring more online visibility to a listing, and possibly a higher sales price!

Plan your vacay. In today’s real estate market houses are showing a lot when they first go on the market. As in dozens of showings in a few days. Make it easy on yourself and don’t be home for the chaos. Go to Grandma’s house for a few days, head to the beach or even just a local hotel. Trust me, not being home for several days when your house hits the market will save your sanity!

Tips for Buying

Be prepared before you hit the ground. Everyone knows that we are in a fast moving real estate market. You really do not want to fall in love with your dream home before you are ready to submit your offer! So, get your team in place first. Hire your real estate agent and have your buyer’s agency agreement signed. Have a heart to heart with your lender about what you qualify for AND what you actually want to spend every month. Have your prequal letter in your hand. Then hit the streets searching for your home. Believe me when I say that if you do not do these steps first there is a very real chance the house you fall in love with will be under contract before you can get your offer submitted!

Cast as wide a net as possible. When you begin your home search have two lists in your mind. Your “must have” list and your “could also work” list. The goal is to have options! Perhaps you’re searching for a 5 bedroom house. Would a 4 bedroom house with a bonus room over the garage work? Maybe you really want an acre of property. Would ¾ of an acre work? Maybe you want to live in Simpsonville. Would Fountain Inn or Mauldin possibly work? Set your searches up appropriately! When your agent is setting up your search criteria you want to be sure to make your search as broad as possible. Because missing out on a home you love, that would have worked perfectly for your family, because it was 1.99 acres instead of 2 would really stink.

What’s in the MLS? Before you go out and physically tour a home, have your agent send you all the documents and resources available in the MLS for the home. Look at the Seller’s Disclosure for the property. If the HVAC or roof is original to a home built in 1985 is that a deal breaker for you? If there is a floorplan available, does the layout of the home function well for your family? A virtual tour where you can “walk” from room to room should definitely be viewed before seeing the home in person. Because everyone is busy with work, life and family. Why spend your time seeing a home that won’t work for your family if you could eliminate based on something available in the MLS!

See beyond the UGLY! When you’re searching for a home you’ll find a few that the paint color is neutral, there are no photos of the homeowner with their family and there are no projects to complete. Other times, however, you may encounter a home with orange paint and huge, outdated furniture in every corner. Buyers have a hard time looking past the cosmetic updates and seeing the potential in a home! Don’t be that buyer. Try your best to see the space, not the stuff. What would that room look like if it were a neutral color with no outdated furniture? How would it look after you’ve had the home painted and updated to fit your needs? Cosmetic changes are inexpensive but can kill a deal for many buyers. Which means if you can see past the UGLY you may just get a deal on a house that other buyers turn away from!

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