Tara Padula Cassery's Blog
Shopping for a new house can seem like an overwhelming experience because there are so many factors to consider.
The top priorities for the majority of house hunters include the quality of the school district, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the overall condition of the house. Price is also a major consideration, as is square footage, commuting distance, and the character of the neighborhood.
In many cases, house hunters have specific requirements in mind, ranging from privacy to the layout of the rooms.
Although your search will be much more efficient if you know exactly what you want, the process of looking at houses will help you clarify your preferences, needs, and design ideas for your next home. Touring houses online and browsing home decorating websites can give you a lot of useful ideas, but nothing compares to actually visiting houses and taking a close look at everything the property has to offer.
Working with an experienced real estate agent is often the best way to find a home that checks off most of your priority items and meets your expectations. Searching the real estate market on your own is like going on a self-guided tour of a large historical site or tourist attraction. Without expert guidance, you could easily overlook some of the best aspects of the property, and you could also miss some "red flags" and negotiating opportunities that only a trained real estate professional could recognize.
Other than price, location, size, and property condition, what are other key features you might want to keep your eye out for? Everyone has different priorities and "wish lists," but when you know what you want, you'll be a lot more likely to be satisfied with the outcome! While there is no shortage of house hunting checklists online, here's a quick overview of some of the features and property characteristics you'll want to keep in mind.
Although you'll generally want to have a home inspector take a close look at any home you've made an offer on, there are a few key things you can notice before you even get to that stage. The condition of interior walls, the roof, and basement are three areas worth paying close attention to. Wet basements are not uncommon, but they can cause damage to your foundation and many things you might want to store there. Wet basements are also breeding grounds for mold spores, so a chronically wet basement can potentially be hazardous to your health, too -- especially if you or your family is prone to allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. The Environmental Protection Agency is a good source of information on indoor air quality issues.
There are literally dozens of other details you'll want to pay attention to in prospective homes, including amount of storage space, the size of the back yard, privacy -- or the lack, thereof -- the house's distance from the street and other houses, the neighborhood noise level, the amount of street traffic, the reputation of nearby schools, and convenience to shopping centers, medical facilities, transportation, recreation, and entertainment. Other desirable features include a nice patio or deck, a garage, a fully functional HVAC system, updates to bathrooms and the kitchen, and enough room in the house for your growing family, overnight guests, and the occasional holiday party.
For home sellers who want to accomplish the optimal results, it is important to remain open to negotiations with buyers. There are many reasons why home sellers should negotiate with buyers, and these include:
1. You can accelerate the house selling journey.
If your mission is to sell your house as quickly as possible, you should be open to negotiating with a buyer. Because if you can negotiate a home purchase agreement, you can move one step closer to concluding the house selling journey.
As you enter a negotiation with a homebuyer, it is important to keep your house selling goals in mind. At the same time, you should be willing to adjust your goals as needed. If you maintain flexibility throughout a negotiation with a homebuyer, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience.
2. You can reach an agreement that works well for both a seller and buyer.
If you find a buyer's initial offer to purchase your house falls short of your expectations, you can open up negotiations with this individual. Then, you and a buyer can work together to come to terms on a home sale agreement that suits both parties.
Of course, a negotiation with a buyer does not guarantee instant success. If you and a buyer cannot reach a home sale agreement, there is no need to worry. Even if negotiations with a buyer fail, you can wait for another offer to purchase your home that falls in line with your expectations.
3. You can get the best price for your house.
As a home seller, it is important to do everything you can to optimize your house sale earnings. If you negotiate with a buyer, you can increase the likelihood of getting the best price for your house.
Furthermore, home sellers should keep in mind that they have options during a negotiation with a buyer. If you are not satisfied with the progress of a negotiation, you can walk away from the negotiating table.
When it comes to negotiating a home sale, you may want to hire a real estate agent, too. A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of home sale negotiations and will do whatever it takes to help you achieve the best-possible results.
Typically, a real estate agent can handle a negotiation with a buyer on your behalf. This housing market professional will continue to provide status updates throughout a negotiation and do what it takes to streamline the house selling cycle. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions during a home sale negotiation, a real estate agent can instantly respond to them.
Don't stress about negotiating the sale price of your home. If you are open to negotiating your house's sale price with a buyer, you may be able to speed up the home selling journey. Best of all, you could maximize the profit from your home sale.
As a first-time home seller, you may feel the need to make a counter-offer based on a homebuyer's initial proposal. However, if the homebuyer rejects your counter-offer, you may be forced to return to square one in your efforts to sell your house and obtain the best price for it.
A homebuyer's rejection of a counter-proposal is not the end of a home selling journey. And for home sellers who know how to proceed after a counter-proposal is rejected, they may be able to streamline the process of getting the optimal price for any residence, at any time.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that a first-time home seller can use to handle a rejected counter-proposal on his or her house.
1. Consider the Homebuyer's Perspective
Why did a homebuyer reject your counter-proposal? A first-time home seller should consider why a homebuyer decided to move on from a house after a counter-proposal was submitted and learn from the experience.
For example, if a home seller held firm on his or her home price, a homebuyer may have been unwilling to pay this amount. Thus, a home seller may want to consider lowering the price of his or her residence in to help stir up interest from large groups of potential homebuyers.
2. Review All of Your Options
A first-time home seller who submits a counter-proposal and receives a rejection from a homebuyer still has plenty of options, regardless of the current state of the housing market.
For instance, a home seller can keep the price of his or her house intact. Then, this home seller can await potential offers that match or exceed his or her expectations.
On the other hand, a home seller may choose to conduct assorted home improvements to upgrade his or her house's interior and exterior. These upgrades can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers, and as a result, may make a home more attractive than other residences that are currently available.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a difference-maker for a first-time home seller, and for good reason. This housing market professional can offer expert guidance that a home seller may struggle to obtain elsewhere and ensure that a property seller can make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can map out your next steps in the home selling journey accordingly.
Typically, a real estate agent will be able to tell you why a homebuyer rejected a counter-proposal on your residence. As such, you can learn from the experience and gain the insights you need to prevent the same problem from happening once again.
Selling a home can be difficult, particularly for those who have listed a residence for the first time. A real estate agent will help you take the guesswork out of selling your residence and do everything possible to ensure you can get the best possible price for your house.
Ready to overcome a rejected counter-proposal on your home? Use these tips, and you can proceed with confidence along the home selling journey.
The amount of money you will need to ensure you can purchase a house varies based on a number of factors. For example, if you want to purchase a house in a big city, you may need to save more money than you likely would require to buy a residence in a small town. Meanwhile, your decision to choose a fixed-rate mortgage over an adjustable-rate mortgage – or vice-versa – can impact your monthly housing costs. And let's not forget about the costs of home utilities like electricity and water, either.
Ultimately, it helps to put together a homebuying budget before you embark on a house search. Because if you know how much money you have at your disposal, you can map out your house search accordingly. And as a result, you can minimize the risk of spending too much to acquire your dream residence.
Let's now take a look at three tips to help you craft an effective homebuying budget.
1. Evaluate Your Current Expenses
An in-depth assessment of your current monthly expenses is key. If you conduct an expense evaluation, you can find out how much you spend on various must-haves and wants. You then can take steps to reduce your monthly expenses and increase your savings for a new home.
It also never hurts to consult with a financial planner. If you have a financial planner at your side, you can gain expert insights to help you evaluate your current expenses. Plus, you can work with a financial planner to determine the best course of action so you can eventually buy your dream residence.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions and explore your mortgage options – you will be happy you did. If you assess your mortgage options closely, you can find one that complements your finances. And once you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will know how much you can spend on a house.
Generally, it is beneficial to meet with as many banks and credit unions as you can. If you consult with myriad lenders, you can receive extensive insights into many mortgage options. Best of all, you will be better equipped than ever before to find the lowest-possible interest rate on a mortgage.
3. Consider Your Down Payment Options
The down payment required for a home purchase varies, but it commonly ranges between 5 percent and 20 percent of a house's total price. If you account for a down payment as you craft a homebuying budget, you can use this total to plan ahead for the property buying journey.
Lastly, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as you prepare to launch a home search. In addition to helping you find your dream residence, a real estate agent can put you in touch with potential lenders and offer plenty of guidance throughout the property buying journey.
Ready to pursue a home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you create a successful homebuying budget.