Wayne Semprini's Blog
Real estate market data is readily available to home sellers across the United States. With this information at your disposal, you should have no trouble maximizing the profits from your home sale.
Now, let's take a look at three real estate market data that every home seller needs to check out before listing a residence.
1. Prices of Comparable Houses
Let's face it – determining a competitive price for your house may prove to be difficult, regardless of your home's age or condition. Fortunately, if you analyze the prices of comparable residences in your city or town, you can better understand how your house stacks up against the competition and price it appropriately.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to conduct a home appraisal prior to listing your house. This appraisal enables a home expert to assess your house both inside and out. Then, you'll receive an appraisal report that contains a property valuation, which may help you determine a competitive price for your house.
2. Prices of Recently Sold Houses
Are you preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market? Review the prices of recently sold houses in your area, and you can find out whether the current housing market favors buyers or sellers.
If home sellers are receiving offers at or above their initial home asking prices, now may be an ideal time to list your residence. Thus, you may want to add your house to the real estate market sooner rather than later to capitalize on a housing sector that likely favors sellers.
Conversely, if home sellers are receiving offers below their initial home asking prices, you may want to allocate significant time and resources to find ways to improve your house. Because if you enhance your house's exterior and interior, you may be able to help your house stand out from the competition and increase the likelihood of a profitable home sale.
3. Average Amount of Time That a House Is Listed
Check out how long houses stay on the real estate market before they are sold – you'll be glad you did. With this housing market data in hand, you can assess the pulse of the real estate market and map out your home selling journey accordingly.
If you need help collecting or analyzing real estate market data, there is no need to worry. Hire a real estate agent today, and you can gain the insights that you need to make informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to help you in any way possible. He or she will provide recommendations about how to price your house and improve your home's interior and exterior. Plus, a real estate agent is available to respond to any of your home selling concerns or questions, at any time.
Ready to list your home? Review the aforementioned housing market data, and you can obtain deep insights into the real estate sector prior to selling your house.
Looking to buy a house? Ultimately, you'll want to attend at least a few open houses in your city or town. By doing so, you'll be able to understand exactly what you'd like to find in your dream house.
Before you attend an open house, there are several factors to consider, and these include:
1. Your Homebuying Budget
With a budget in hand, you can narrow your search for the ideal home. That way, you can avoid the temptation to attend open houses for residences that fall outside your price range.
To establish a homebuying budget, take a look at your current financial situation. Then, consider your future expenses like those related to student loans or children and plan accordingly.
In addition, it never hurts to get pre-approved for a home loan. If you gain pre-approval, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and review a broad array of houses that match your budget.
2. Your Homebuying Checklist
If you're living to a warm-weather climate, you may want to own a home with a swimming pool. Or, if you plan to reside near the ocean, you may consider houses where you can dock your boat nearby.
Create a homebuying checklist before you visit open houses. This will allow you to streamline your home search and accelerate the homebuying journey.
Also, it may help to separate your homebuying checklist into "wants" and "must-haves." Although your dream house may not include all of your homebuying checklist "wants," you can use these categories to determine exactly what you'd like to find in your ideal residence.
3. Your Homebuying Timeline
Are you planning to move next week or in the next several weeks? Some homebuying journeys are faster than others, and you'll want to map out your property buying journey based on when you need to move.
For example, if you've accepted a new job in the city, you may need to move quickly to relocate. This may require you to act so you can get settled in a new home before you begin your new job.
Comparatively, if you're in no rush to relocate, you can take a wait-and-see approach to the housing market. And if you attend an open house and like what you see, then you can submit an offer to acquire a residence.
If you're unsure about how to approach open houses, there is no need to worry. In fact, many real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide to assist homebuyers.
A real estate agent can offer expert insights into a home before a homebuyer attends an open house. Plus, this housing market professional can provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and will even negotiate with a home seller on a buyer's behalf.
Get ready for an open house – consider the aforementioned factors, and a homebuyer should have no trouble exploring a broad array of residences and finding one that he or she can enjoy for years to come.
Should you cosign on a mortgage loan to help someone else buy a house?
Hopeful home buyers who lack the necessary credit history, W-2 income or overall income versus their debt can face problems getting a mortgage lender to approve a loan. Borrowers with a 43% or higher debt-to-income ratio may learn their income doesn't suffice. Yet if a cosigner steps up, promising to pay the mortgage if needed, the loan might be approved.
If you are the one who steps in, it's highly likely that your name will actually be on the title. Most lenders want it that way, so the asset can be pledged as collateral by both of you.
Are You Prepared to Do More Than Simply Cosign the Loan? Should You?
So, if the mortgage company asks you to serve as a co-borrower, not just a cosigner, understand the lender's expectations. Does the lender expect you to become a co-owner? If so, your name will appear, along with the primary borrower's, on the deed — even if you never set foot in the house and don't expect to pay anything.
If the person you are helping ever gets in a bind and can't make a mortgage payment, you'll be second in line to pay. And your credit report will be dented if you don't.
Were you a mere cosigner, you'd be asked to pay the debt but never have a claim to the value of the home. In other words, mere cosigners get liability for the debt — without the asset.
What Does a Good Outcome Look Like?
Of course, you want the person you're helping to enjoy living in the home, to pay the monthly mortgage and, ultimately, to apply for a new loan that refinances the debt and turns the primary borrower into the sole borrower and the sole owner.
Even if you are 100% sure all will go as planned, it's a good idea to have a lawyer draw up a binding agreement that memorializes the primary borrower's intent to let you off the title, deed, mortgage and homeowner's insurance policy by a date certain after closing on the home. It will keep the primary borrower focused on making regular mortgage payments and developing strong credit, anticipating the refinancing application process.
When the primary buyer successfully refinances the home mortgage, it will be time for you to take your name off the title. You can sign a quitclaim deed to release yourself from ownership.
Then you can congratulate yourself for enabling someone to buy a home. And congratulate the new homeowner for keeping both of your credit ratings as strong as your relationship.
Sometimes the timelines for buying and selling a home don’t match up perfectly. You may have purchased a new home or need to relocate before you can sell your current residence. In these cases, your property may remain empty for weeks or months at a time. Here are a few ideas for keeping your home secure until ownership is transferred.
Keep Your Utilities Running
It is an extra expense to keep paying for a utility bill on a property you do not occupy, but it's ideal for security purposes. Electricity, in particular, allows for the use of lights to create the impression of occupancy. Consider using lights you can set to a timer — ensure the lights come on at appropriate times in the evening and go off during daylight hours. Installing exterior motion detector lights will turn on your lights when someone comes within range of the sensor.
If your home is vacant during the winter months, you will want to keep the heat running to avoid issues like frozen pipes. You can maintain the temperature with a programmable thermostat or one that you can connect to remotely. It is helpful to have a local contact who can check in on your heating system during especially harsh weather.
Maintain Your Security System
If you have one, maintain your security system until the next occupant moves in. Let the security company, as well as your local police department, know that your property will be uninhabited. The more security measures you have in place, the better the protection for your property. Having a security system in place can notify you and the local authorities if there is unusual activity on your property. Notice of a security system often serves as a deterrent for keeping criminals away.
Keep the Yard Neat
Hire a landscaping service to mow the lawn and keep the landscape looking tidy. If you leave your yard looking untidy and unkempt, it is a visual cue to passersby that the house is vacant. If the weather is cold, plan for snow and ice removal to ensure the property is accessible.
Your unoccupied home is a financial asset until it is sold to someone as their forever home. Keep it in the best condition possible until you transfer ownership. If your property may be vacant for an extended period of time, it can be helpful to arrange for a property management service to keep an eye on your home. Your real estate agent is a great resource for management services in your area, call for recommendations today.
Purchasing a home may prove to be a long, arduous process, particularly for individuals who fail to prepare for potential house buying hurdles. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to put yourself in position to enjoy a successful homebuying journey, such as:
1. Establish Realistic Expectations
Much in the same way that Rome was not built in a day, you should not expect to find and acquire your dream house right away. If you establish realistic expectations from day one of the homebuying journey, you can identify and resolve potential problems before they escalate.
Think about why you want to buy a home, where you want to reside and other homebuying factors. Then, you can make a list of homebuying goals and criteria. And once you have this list in hand, you can map out your quest to achieve your desired house buying results.
2. Get Your Home Financing in Order
If you find a home you want to buy but cannot quickly obtain financing for this residence, you may lose the house to a rival buyer. On the other hand, if you start a home search with a mortgage in hand, you could seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ mortgage specialists who can teach you about all of your home financing options. Next, you can select a mortgage that enables you to acquire your dream residence without spending beyond your means.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Oftentimes, it helps to hire a real estate agent prior to launching a home search. Because if you work with an expert real estate agent, you can gain comprehensive homebuying insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to purchase a house in any housing market, at any time. First, he or she will learn about you and your homebuying expectations. A real estate agent then will craft a plan designed to help you identify your ideal residence. This housing market professional next will put this plan into action and ensure you can check out a broad array of quality residences. Finally, when you discover your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to acquire this home.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides after a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her home, too. At this point, a real estate agent will help you schedule a home inspection and finalize your house purchase. And if you ever have concerns or questions before you complete your home purchase, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
There is no telling what challenges you may encounter when you try to buy a house. With the aforementioned tips, you can minimize risk during the homebuying journey. Perhaps best of all, these tips could help you speed up your quest to find and purchase your dream home.