Whether you’re selling your home or buying a new one, the world of real estate can be a daunting one. Not only can it be difficult to find all the available real estate listings in a timely manner, but the process itself can sometimes be so convoluted that you might not even know where to begin, let alone the right order in which to do things.
So here are a few tips to help you make it through the process in one piece, and have a great experience in the meantime.
Using an Agent. Given all the “for sale by owner” sings you see, if may be easy to think that you don’t reallyneed an agent to sell your home. Technically, this is true. But you also don’t technically need a dentist to fill a cavity — but you need one if you want it done right. An agent can guide you through the process, step-by-step, so that you don’t miss any crucial piece of the puzzle, pieces that may unnecessarily extend the process and maybe even cost you more money to fix.
Home Improvement. Whether buying or selling, this concept deserves a lot of thought. If you’re buying a fixer-upper, it may never be far from your mind. Many real estate foreclosure listings require a decent amount of work, since the previous owners simply may not have been able to make the necessary repairs before leaving the property. An inspector can tell you for sure. Likewise, if you’re selling your home, a few well-timed and cost-efficient improvements could net you a higher asking price. In fact, 54% of the owners that had work done on their home in 2013 did so with the intent of boosting the resale value.
Where to Look. Driving up and down the city streets looking for “for sale” signs will only get you so far. Your agent has the most up-to-date real estate listings so you don’t miss out on an opportunity. And beyond that, the professional connections your agent has built over the years gives him or her access to properties that may not be on any lists, sold by owners relying solely on word-of-mouth and good agent relationships. This can include real estate auctions, foreclosures, and yes, even some of those “for sale by owner” properties.
Buying or selling a home is a big deal. Don’t let it become a scary deal, too. Trust your agent to make sure everything is handled in a professional and efficient manner, from current real estate listings to the final closing papers, and you can get on with living your life in your new place.