Susan McPherson's Blog
Once your house is on the market, it’s easy to get caught up in what happens next. Be careful though, if you’ve already found your next home and made it perfect in your mind, the disappointment if your plans fall through can be awful. No one wants their purchase or sale to fall through, but it does happen. That disappointment can open you up to taking the wrong offer for your home. Before you make that mistake, think about why your current deal fell through and try to mitigate those possibilities before taking your next offer. With any luck, you’re reading this before your first offer, and you can benefit from never experiencing that offer falling through.
Low Appraisals or Nearby Home Sales
Your buyer will likely get their own appraisal done on the property since their lender will only cover up to the appraised value of the property. If that appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price or the buyer’s offer, the deal is likely to fall through. Most buyers are unable or unwilling to cover the difference in cash, so unless you're willing to accept a lower price that matches the appraisal, everyone is out of luck. You're not necessarily stuck with this appraisal if it’s much lower than your own or what you expected the Fair Market Value to be. Appraisers are human too, and sometimes they just miss things. However, if both appraisals come back lower, you may want to adjust your pricing down to something the market will bear.
If your home is rare or exceptional in some way, there may truly be no other similar homes for comparison nearby. This often happens with larger estates, totally-remodeled homes, and historical landmarks. Go ahead and ask for a wider geographical area to be included, specifying homes with similar features and upgrades. This can give a more accurate and favorable FMV appraisal.
Errors or Glitches in the Documentation
Legal documents are a complicated mess, and every single part must be perfect. Incorrect spellings and addresses, missing or illegible signatures or dates; a plethora of mistakes and typos can pump the brakes on the closing. Triple check every single page the first time you receive it. If anything at all is wrong, send it back for a corrected version or rider immediately. Rinse and repeat until you have error-free documents.
A variety of situations can cause your title documentation to be incorrect. If you recently changed your name, went through a divorce, got the home through inheritance, or purchased through a lease-option—or other less conventional methods—your title could be incorrect and not have your current ownership status. Check all your homeownership paperwork including the title, any past loans or liens and all other paperwork you have that might block your path to a clear title. Then get it resolved as soon as possible. That way there are no surprises late in the game.
Before you agree to an offer, ensure that the buyer is pre-approved and pre-qualified for the right amount to cover the cost of your home. Finding out at the last possible moment that your buyer has less money than promised can put a wrench in the works. This might tempt you to drop your price to match their funds, especially if you've already placed an offer on a new home yourself. Check early and often to avoid being caught in a tight situation. You can also get held up by last-minute lender paperwork. Government lenders especially require a variety of proofs and reassurance so even one missing document can derail the whole process. All of this can be avoided by making sure that your buyer has their down payment available, and is totally pre-approved for a loan before you accept their offer and lock it in.
Okay, so there is no way at all to plan for these. If you need to sell your home on a schedule, don't accept a contingency offer. Here's how they work: You agree to an offer from a buyer contingent on the sale of their property. That means you are stuck together for the duration of the process. If their home doesn’t sell, neither does yours. However, if you’re on a variable schedule and really like the offer, it could be best for you to lock in the buyer and then just wait until the process completes. Just be aware of the pitfalls and plan for them as much as possible.Make sure to ask your agent about these and any other reasons a deal might fall through. They can help you plan for these situations and prevent them where possible.
Believe it or not, even a first-time homebuyer can become a property buying expert. If you plan ahead for the homebuying journey, you can quickly and easily navigate the path from homebuyer to homeowner.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you master the homebuying journey.
1. Create Homebuying Criteria
If you know you want to buy a home in the foreseeable future, it generally is a good idea to create property buying criteria. That way, you'll know what you want to find in your dream residence and can map out your home search accordingly.
For instance, if you prefer big city life, you may want to hone your house search to a select group of cities. On the other hand, if you want to own a house that offers a large backyard and an in-ground swimming pool, you may want to search for homes that fall in line with your expectations.
2. Get Home Financing
As a homebuyer, you likely will need to secure a mortgage so you can acquire your dream residence. Fortunately, there is no shortage of banks and credit unions across the United States that are happy to help you obtain home financing.
Take a look at the mortgage options available from a variety of banks and credit unions – you'll be happy you did. By conducting an in-depth evaluation of your home financing options, you can make an informed mortgage selection.
Of course, home financing can be complicated. And if you have any concerns or questions, don't hesitate to ask a bank or credit union for assistance. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable home financing specialists, and these professionals can provide mortgage insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure how you'll navigate the homebuying journey, there is no need to worry. Dozens of real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can offer comprehensive homebuying insights.
For those who want to master the homebuying journey, it often is beneficial to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you about different aspects of the homebuying journey. Plus, he or she is ready to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions as you search for your ideal residence.
In addition, a real estate agent offers extensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. From the moment you start your home search to the moment you finalize your home purchase agreement, a real estate agent is available to help. Best of all, a real estate agent will help you alleviate stress as you consider houses and ensure you can make the best-possible home purchase decision.
As you get set to enter the real estate market, you should strive to become a homebuying expert. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can master the homebuying journey and discover and buy your dream residence in no time at all.
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When it comes to selling a house, there is no reason to operate as a "basic" home seller. Instead, you can become a "responsive" home seller, i.e. someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty to get the best price for his or house.
Ultimately, becoming a responsive home seller may be easier than you think – here are three tips to ensure you can enter the real estate market as a responsive home seller.
1. Track Housing Market Patterns and Trends
As a responsive home seller, you'll want to monitor the real estate market closely. By doing so, you'll be better equipped than other property sellers to identify housing market trends and respond accordingly.
For example, if you notice a large collection of available houses and a shortage of property buyers, this likely indicates a buyer's market reigns supreme. In this market, you may face steep competition as you try to sell your house.
On the other hand, if you find that many high-quality residences are selling quickly, a seller's market may be in place. And in a seller's market, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a fast, seamless home selling process.
A responsive home seller will be able to differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market. Then, this home seller can map out his or her home selling journey accordingly.
2. Remain Open to New Ideas
Selling a home often requires plenty of persistence and hard work. For responsive home sellers, it also requires flexibility and patience.
Typically, a responsive home seller will be happy to listen and respond to past home sellers' advice. This home seller will be open to learning from past home sellers' successes and failures and using their insights to make informed home selling decisions.
For those who want to become responsive home sellers, feel free to reach out to family members and friends who have sold houses in the past. This will enable you to gain deep insights into the home selling process that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
With a real estate agent at his or her side, an ordinary home seller can become a responsive property seller in no time at all.
A real estate agent will communicate with a home seller throughout each stage of the home selling cycle. Meanwhile, a responsive home seller will listen to this housing market professional and work with him or her to achieve the optimal results.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will be available to respond to a home seller's concerns and queries. At the same time, a responsive home seller will be ready to collaborate with a real estate agent via phone calls, emails and texts.
Use the aforementioned tips to become a responsive home seller – you'll be happy you did. Responsive home sellers may be more likely than other property sellers to seamlessly navigate the home selling cycle and maximize the value of their residences.