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Top Tips for Buying and Selling a Home


Buyers

Looking for a home

-Use Internet for overview of properties, communities, and schools.
-Visit potential neighborhoods at different times of day.
-Research price trends in communities and neighborhoods.
-Consider resale prospects on home before you purchase.

Get your new home inspected before you buy.

-Hire a home inspection professional who is certified or licensed.
-Attend inspection, ask questions and take notes.
-Use inspection tour to verify home fits your needs.
-Submit inspection problems to seller for remedy.

Research home financing options before making a decision.

-Fixed rate. The interest rate you pay is fixed over the term of the loan.
-Adjustable rate. Interest rate changes at end of adjustment period.
-Seller financing. Mortgage contract between property seller and you.
-Avoid paying Private Mortgage Insurance. An insurance fee charged monthly to higher-risk borrowers less than twenty percent down payment.

Retain a real estate attorney and buyers real estate agent.-An attorney should review contracts before you sign them.-Your attorney is your legal advocate from contract to closing/escrow.-Locate a real estate agent who has a fiduciary responsibility to you.-Fiduciary. Part of the common law of agency, indicates a relationship based on trust.

Understand common contract terms.

-Contingencies. A provision in a contract requiring certain acts to be completed before the contract is binding.
-Approvals. Contract period where the sellers, their attorney, you or your attorney can approve or void the contract.
-Earnest money deposits. Money given to the seller at the time of contract is made as a sign of the buyer's good faith.
-Tax Pro-rations. Credit issued at closing from the seller to the buyer for unpaid property taxes.

Sellers

Gather opinions of value from professionals on your home.

-Invite three real estate agents to submit a price range based on recorded recent sales.
-Consider hiring an independent real estate appraiser.
-Use similar properties based on age, condition and size.
-Properties sold in the last six months offer the best indicators of value.

Stage your home before buyers come through.

-Streamline clutter and place the focus on your home.
-Neutralize colors so buyers can visualize their belongings in your home.
-Visit new-construction model homes to gather ideas from the pros.
-Invite family, friends or real estate agents over for feedback.

Internet marketing provides wide exposure for your home.

-Have a virtual or digital tour of your home in multiple websites..
-Post interior and exterior photos of your home on the Internet.
-Hire a professional to write a description of your home.
-Utilize maps to showcase your location for out-of-town buyers.

Understand the elements of a contract to purchase.

-Require all offers to be in writing.
-A good contract has favorable terms in addition to price.
-Limit fixtures excluded from sale of home to a maximum of three.
-Keep negations non-emotional and amicable.

Recognize the variables that real estate agents can't overcome.

-Buyers bypass over-priced homes.
-Homebuyers discount homes in poor condition.
-Homes with poor locations have longer market times.
-Buyers are more relaxed and curious during showings when sellers are gone

Mark Nash real estate broker, writer and author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home (Thomson 2005) specializes in helping others succeed in real estate. http://www.1001realestatetips.com


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