Posted by Marie Presti on 12/1/2019

Although location is one of the most important factors that will impact the marketability of your home, it's not the only thing prospective buyers are thinking about.

If they're organized, focused, and serious about finding the right property for their needs, they've probably developed a detailed checklist of "must haves" and a "wish list."

In all likelihood, those who are working with a real estate agent are being shown properties that conform to their requirements and many of their wish-list items. A comprehensive list would include everything from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they want to square footage and the quality of the school district.

Many people also have specific preferences about features like floor plans, amount of storage space, the size of the backyard, architectural style, and the availability of a fireplace, patio, porch, deck, eat-in kitchen, two-car garage, and privacy features. Some are even looking for the traditional white picket fence in front of the house!

While your home can't be "all things to all people," it is highly recommended to target the widest possible audience. Your agent, a home staging consultant, or a home decorator can provide you with valuable tips on how to achieve that outcome.

Stand Out and Get Noticed

Just looking good on paper, though, is not always enough to attract motivated buyers. Prospects need to love what they see and be inspired to envision themselves living in your house. Doing what you can to create irresistible curb appeal is one vital aspect of making a great first impression. A manicured lawn, a fresh coat of paint (if needed), and some strategic home staging -- inside and out -- can make all the difference in your results!

Curb appeal is vitally important because that sets the stage, so to speak, for creating high expectations in your prospects. Once you get them in a positive frame of mind, they'll be more inclined to notice all the positive aspects of your home. If your house meets all or most of their requirements and is arranged in a way that's pleasing to them, a purchase offer and negotiations may be right around the corner.

One of the most crucial hurdles to clear in getting prospects to consider buying your house is to help them imagine living, relaxing, raising a family, and pursuing their interests in your home. Your real estate agent can help you effectively stage the interior and exterior of your home to make it inviting and appealing to the widest range of potential buyers.

You can support their sales and marketing efforts by making sure your home is always clean, fresh smelling, and ready to be shown at a moment's notice to house hunters. Doing your best to eliminate clutter, keeping counter tops neat, and making sure pets are on their best behavior (or happily frolicking at the local "doggie daycare" center) can play a key role in winning over interested buyers and successfully selling your home!





Posted by Marie Presti on 11/24/2019

When you make the decision to buy your first home, you should be certain that youíre ready to make the leap into homeownership. Thereís many different things that you should do as a buyer to get ready before you even set out on the search of a perfect home.


Choose An Agent


You may think that one real estate agent is the same as any real estate agent that youíll find. This is far from the truth. Some agents have certain specialties. The knowledge that an agent will bring to your house hunt is often invaluable. You are making one of the biggest purchases that youíll ever make in your lifetime. While many buyers think that they can simply do an online search themselves to find a home, your realtor will have many more resources to assist you in finding exactly what youíre looking for.


Figure Out The Financial Portion Of Buying A Home


While knowing how many bedrooms you need and where you hope to live is important, understanding your finances is even more important. Youíll need to talk to a lender to get the process started. After looking at your own personal budget, you should get pre-qualified. Getting pre-qualified allows you to see a general number of how much house you can afford. That can help you start the process, however, thereís still a few more steps. 


From here, you can do what needs to be done to get your entire financial picture ready to buy a home. This includes saving for a downpayment, improving your credit score, and continuing to keep up bill payments and consistent work history. 


Next, youíll want to get pre-approved. This allows your lender to dig into your financial picture. Everything from your credit score to your income and employment history will be considered. Your lender will then give you a more definitive number of how much youíll actually be able to get for a loan when you buy a home. To get pre-approved, be prepared with 1099 forms, pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. Youíll then have the concrete amount that youíre approved for along with the interest rate that you qualify for. 


Once You Have Applied For A Home Loan


Once you find the realtor to assist you and secure the home of your dreams, youíre not free to head out and buy all the furniture that you need to fill up your house. The home loan must go through the underwriting process and until that is complete, your finances are essentially on lockdown. If you start opening new credit cards, decide to buy a car, or fall behind on payments, you could end up in a lot of trouble. You want to keep your credit score stable throughout the process of buying a home for smooth sailing.





Posted by Marie Presti on 11/10/2019

Aside from your realtor, your lender will be one of the people that you work the most closely with when youíre buying a home. Before you even sign on with a lender, thereís a few questions that you should ask. Donít feel pressure from a certain lender before you understand what their areas of expertise are. You donít want to end up with homebuyerís remorse because you didnít do the right research before you signed the deal on a home.   


Can You Tell Me About Programs For First Time Homebuyers? 


There are so many great programs for first-time homebuyers. If the lender you choose canít help you with these programs, maybe this isnít the right lender for you. If your lender lacks knowledge in the areas that you need, you probably want to shop around.


How Can You Help Me Qualify For The Loan I Need?


Many times, loans have very specific qualifications that you need to meet. Even if you think you might not meet those requirements due to things like a low amount of down payment or a job change, your lender can often help you to find the details in your situation to help you qualify for a loan. For example, you may have recently changed jobs, but if you have stayed in the same field, your lender can help you to explain these circumstances so that you can still qualify for the loan. 


Are There Downpayment Assistance Programs Available?


There are also many programs and loan types available to help buyers get a home with less than a 20% downpayment. Some loans offer good interest rates with less than a 20% downpayment. There are also many grants and downpayment assistance plans available. Itís important to ask questions to know the right information for your loan circumstances.


What Fees Do You Charge?


Some lenders do charge an array of fees. You donít want to sign on with a lender and then close on the loan, only to find out that youíre knee-deep in fees in addition to all of the closing costs that you have to pay along with the home purchase. 


How Will You Communicate With Me


Just like your Realtor, itís important that your lender communicates with you in a timely manner. Buying a home requires that documents and offers are in on time to secure your home. Donít let anything fall through the cracks by hiring people on your home search that may lapse in their communication with important information.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 11/3/2019

Selling a home can be quick and seamless, particularly for an individual who crafts a property selling blueprint. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you create a successful plan to sell your house.

1. Analyze the Local Housing Market

A seller who understands the housing market in his or her city or town may be better equipped than other sellers to achieve the optimal results during the property selling journey. In fact, this seller can use various housing market data and insights to make informed decisions time and time again.

For a home seller, it is important to review the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. This individual also should find out how long these residences were available before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, a home seller can determine whether a buyer's or seller's market is in place.

Furthermore, a home seller should look at the prices of comparable houses in his or her city or town. This housing market data will enable a house seller to see how his or her residence stacks up against the competition and prepare accordingly.

2. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

Consider what separates your home from other houses in your area. This will allow you to explore ways to showcase your residence to the right groups of potential buyers.

Look at your house from the buyer's perspective and think about why a buyer may choose to purchase your residence. Then, you can craft a buyer-centric home selling blueprint designed to stir up lots of interest in your home.

It may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection too. By performing a home inspection, you can learn about any underlying house issues. You next can address these issues before you add your house to the real estate market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-hire for a home seller who is unsure about how to create a successful property selling blueprint, and for good reason. This housing market professional can offer expert insights into the real estate market and home selling journey. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you make the best-possible decisions throughout the property selling cycle.

In addition, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you get the best price for your residence. He or she will promote your residence to the right groups of potential buyers, set up property showings and open house events and much more. And if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.

Ready to list your home? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can develop a home selling blueprint and boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful property selling experience.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 10/27/2019

It is a fact that people who plan carefully to own a home will run into fewer financial issues later. So, if you want to buy a property now or sometime in the future, your first step should be to check your credit. It is a good idea to review your credit reports and scores from time to time, even if you are not buying the house or applying for a mortgage immediately. 

Your Credit Scores

Nowadays, most lenders use a FICO score when determining whether to offer you a loan or not, as well as in setting the rate and terms. Different lenders may use different credit scoring formulas, so your score can vary based on what type of scoring model the mortgage lender uses whether Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion FICO score. 

The scoring system is dynamic so that your score changes as the information in your credit report changes.

Ways of Getting Your Credit Score

There are many ways of accessing a credit score, and some of them are free. However, most organizations that provide free credit scores do so using different scoring methods than what the lenders' actually use. 

The four ways to obtain a score: 

1. Evaluate your credit card or another account statement - Most big credit card companies and some financial institutions, as well as credit unions, have started the service of providing credit scores to all their customers every month for free. The score is often written on your monthly statement or can be found by logging in to your online account. 

2. Consult with a non-profit adviser - Non-profit credit advisers and HUD-approved housing counselors can provide you with a free credit report in most cases and score and even assist you in reviewing them. A counselor may help you to buy a home, but we recommend you reach out to your reliable real estate agent who is more experienced and understands the job well than a mere counselor.

3. Buy a score - Credit reporting companies will sell your scores to you directly. You can also buy a FICO credit score at myfico.com. These credit scores are often different from your free ones and can be more accurate to what your lender sees. Don't get sucked into paying for extra features with your credit report such as identity theft monitoring, credit protection, or other services offered at the time of purchase.

4. Credit score services - Several websites offer a free credit score service. Some of these websites may be funded through advertising while others may require that you register for a credit monitoring service where you pay a monthly subscription fee to get your free score. 

Be aware that some of these services are usually advertised as free trial offers, and will start charging you a monthly fee if you don't cancel within the first week or month. Before you register for a service, ensure you know how much it really costs and how long the free period lasts. 

Your Credit Score Matters

Everybody is entitled to shop around for the best mortgage for their financial situation no matter their credit score. So, checking your credit history, fixing any mistakes, and knowing your credit scores will make you most suitable for getting a mortgage to buy a property for yourself.




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