The sun is shining, the weather is getting warmer and home shopping season is upon us. If you are considering selling your home or thinking to yourself, ‘I want to buy a house,’ we have some insights that will help you make the most of your experience and investment.
Consider the Future. Your current needs may not be the same as your needs five years from now. Buying a house is a big investment; before jumping on a house you love today, think about what you might want from your home down the road. For example, if you have kids or are planning to start a family, how is the school system? If you are looking to retire, does the home’s layout work for you as you get older? Are you the type that needs to be in the heartbeat of a town or city with walking distance to shops, or do you want more quiet and privacy? Make a list in advance to narrow down what is important now and what will be important two, three, five years in the future.
Are you a master home chef who has been dreaming of a big kitchen? Does your shoe collection need a walk-in closet? Or is a man cave a necessity to maintain a loving relationship? Starting to look for a new home is an exciting, but overwhelming process, and it can dazzle and delight with all sorts of house features (pool cabana, anyone?). Keep yourself from getting lost in it all by, using real estate sites like Zillow to preview available house listings that have your wish list of amenities, and share those select homes with your realtor. Or, better yet, peruse sites like OfferPad to review available homes and privately tour hundreds of homes using their instant access technology.
This is a big one – how much house can you really afford? It’s all too easy to get caught up in a home that has everything on your wishlist, but is way out of your budget. Instead of setting yourself up for disappointment – like an episode of Property Brothers – clearly align the houses you want to see with a budget that you and your family can afford. Not sure what your limit is? Lenders like loanDepot can help you determine the right price for your next house.
Presentation Matters. People want to envision what a home would look like with their belongings in it, not yours. You may not need professional stagers to make your house sale worthy, but spend some time editing what is in your space. Clear off the counters and clean out closets. Remove bulky furniture so prospective buyers can see how large a room is. And definitely take down personal items and photos; let a buyer see their future, not your past.
Timeline to a Sale
Most home sellers hope that home shopping season means it won’t take months before their home hits escrow. If you are interested in moving on from your current residence, consider how long you want to wait for a buyer to come along – in some markets, it can take weeks or months until purchase. For those who want to sell more quickly, consider working with an iBuyer/direct home buyer. At OfferPad, we commit to providing the most value for your home AND we can get you an offer in 24 hours, and you can be ready to move on to your dream home in just a couple of weeks.
To update or not update, that is the question. Some repairs and renovations are necessary to make during the home sale and overall process, as inspectors will determine what needs to be addressed before the sale can be finalized. Instead of spending thousands remodeling a kitchen, which may or may not be appreciated by the buyer, it’s better to invest in a fresh coat of paint and updating the curb appeal than tackling a major renovation.