Tips for Selling Your Home – Fast!

The spring season is one of the most popular times to list a home for sale. Of course, you don’t want to miss out on this short window. Summer is still a great time to have your home up for sale, but people get busier with summer vacations and other plans. So, to make the most of the spring selling season, follow these tips.

Separate Yourself from the Neighbors

Just because there isn’t a lot of inventory on the market doesn’t mean that your house shouldn’t stand out. Find ways to attract attention and distinguish your home from every other one on the block. When potential buyers turn onto your street, you want them to see your home and think, “I hope this is the one for sale.” Ideas include freshly planted shrubs and flowers, landscape lighting, energy efficient windows, a new roof, newly painted shutters, professional landscaping or a functional backyard.

Stage Your Home

We all think our homes are the greatest, but remember that potential buyers will have a completely different idea of what’s attractive. Therefore, all of your personal belongings and clutter should be removed so that your home is a clean, neutral palate. You can hire a professional stager to help with this step, but even realtors can offer a few pointers. You’ll be moving in the near future, so now is a great time to de-clutter anyway.

Add an Incentive

Selling your home quickly offers plenty of rewards: you get to move on sooner, and you don’t have to have any more showings. So, don’t be afraid to sweeten the pot a bit. Money toward closing costs, a transferable home warranty or fast closing times are all examples of what can be done to get you that contract sooner.

Get Your Home in “Move In” Condition

What this means is that your home is ready to be moved into. Families today are short on time and money, so being able to move in over the weekend and start enjoying a new home is invaluable. This equals more time and money for the buyers, and it will set your home apart from the many other short sales and foreclosures that still flood the market.

List at a Competitive Price

Most sellers are taking a hit on the sale of their home because of the housing market’s slow recovery, but there are gains to made on the other side. Instead of sticking it out to get a certain amount from your home, price it competitively and get it sold fast. If you’re planning to purchase again, you’ll be pleased to know that housing prices are still competitive and interest rates low.

Tips for the First Time Homebuyer

First-time homebuyers – those who have no present home ownership – are some of the luckiest in the market today. In order to stimulate a sluggish housing market, there have been a handful of incentives and loan opportunities that encourage those without a home to buy, in turn stimulating a down economy. Since the housing bubble, the market has been most generous to new buyers thanks to low housing prices and historically low interest rates. The drawbacks have been that lenders have tightened their lending guidelines, and there is a low inventory of homes available.

Why Buy?

Homeownership offers many benefits:

  • Increased control (no more cancelled leases)

  • A residence that better meets your needs

  • Home equity

  • Tax benefits

  • Builds credit

Below are a few tips for the first-time homebuyer.

  • Check the selling prices of homes in your area. For the most accurate data, you’ll need to look at the MLS, so contact a real estate agent who can give you access to this up-to-date, real-time system.

  • Use a mortgage calculator to determine how much you can afford each month. Overestimate your expenses so that you leave ample room to afford your mortgage and the hidden costs, such as HOA fees, property taxes and utility bills.

  • Find out what property taxes will be. There are big differences from one county to the next. Unfortunately, no matter where you live in NJ, you can expect to pay high taxes.

  • Determine how much closing costs will be. First-time homebuyers sometimes have more incentives than other buyers, so you may be able to get your closing costs paid for. Still, it’s not as common for these costs to be rolled into your loan as in years past, so know what you will have to bring to the table.

  • Work with a reputable realtor. A realtor is your best guide during the home buying process and will match you with the best properties, while also keeping you up-to-date on fluctuating interest rates and taxes.

  • Start the pre-approval process. A lender will look at your finances, qualify you based on your income and tell you how much home you can afford. Fannie Mae recommends that you spend no more than 28 percent of your income on housing, so take this into consideration. You want to afford your home, not make it a financial strain.