Those of us at 1850 Realty live busy lives, just like you. We have bought and sold property personally before, and are familiar with the pain points and stress involved. We have bought and sold concurrently, while planning our wedding; and we have had our own home for sale with an infant! It doesn’t get much more stressful than that. One phrase we hear from many folks regarding their real estate experience is “it happens so fast!” That gives us a bit of pause, because this is a time to not be rushed. A sound and thorough strategy built in advance pumps the brakes on any “hurry,” so you can feel comfortable and in control. At 1850 Realty we know there are no emergencies in real estate. Let’s take a closer look to see if we can’t slow things down, and how your trusted advisors at 1850 Realty can help.
Step One: Shopping and Selecting your REALTOR
Some folks are continually in the shopping mode for one reason or another. While not dissatisfied with their property and accommodations, if the right home came up for sale it could be a contender to help them move off of the fence. This could be as simple as looking at homes with signs in your neighborhood or a drive home from work, to looking online at a certain area or price range. Maybe you enjoy touring open houses in your area to get inspiration for decorating and design on your own home.
This is a casual, worry free time during the process. Depending on how close you are to making something happen, it might be a once a month bit of entertainment to a daily indulgence looking for fresh options. While in this phase, it might appear that there is a cliff’s edge in the distance, that defines a sharp definition between “looking” and “oh my goodness we are flying looking for a soft landing!” This is the ideal time to have a REALTOR in your court, that way we can help you filter the chaff displayed online with up to the minute data from the MLS and our extensive network.
In reality, that edge is just a line on the safe plane you are enjoying now. The perception of speed is really just the conclusion of “we are doing this” being put into action. It is best to have someone like us on your team in this early stage, so when you make a decision to buy or sell, a succinct plan is already formed for moving forward on your terms. What does this mean? You won’t be “jumping off the cliff;” we will help press the brake pedal for you, eliminating surprises and stresses before they come up, and to help point out ones that might arise during the process.
With 1850 Realty’s help, we can help you set up the perfect plan to buy a home or prepare yours to sell. If you want to negotiate hard or get top dollar on your sale, you need a plan in place before you start moving to the next level.
Step Two: Getting Qualified/Preparing to Sell
We will cover both sides of the buy/sell process in this section. Sometimes this is a tandem process, especially if you are wearing both shoes in a sell/purchase scenario. Let’s break down the steps separately and tie them together at the end.
As a buyer, the second step after you select a REALTOR: you need to explore your purchasing power and the comfort level you are willing to spend. There is absolutely no problem spending less that you can qualify for, despite what some folks say. That said, it is also helpful to know a ceiling in case an opportunity comes up that has room for negotiation. Eric bought a home in this zone, it didn’t appear it would be affordable. But with some excellent timing and negotiation, it became reality. You also might have a few more options than you think, feel free to contact us for a confidential, in depth look at them and mortgage brokers who can help you achieve your next step.
Typical documents you will need to start a loan approval process:
- Last two years of filed tax returns
- Last two years of W-2s/1099s
- Most recent two pay check statements
- Most recent two months of bank statements
As a seller, the second step after you select a REALTOR: determine your home’s current value based on comparable sales and it’s current condition. Remember the three rules of real estate? Location, price, and condition. We help our seller’s determine a plan of action for clean up, de-cluttering, staging and repairs/minor upgrades to maximize your proceeds based on current market conditions. Not all improvements are equal: some don’t even net 25% of the cost. At 1850 Realty we know what buyers are looking for, and what improvements net you the most value on your home sale. Want to know more? Contact us for a consultation.
In this phase, it is very important to establish your goals and timelines during a time when things are calm in the process. When you have a granular road map from the beginning to your destination, it gives peace of mind even when it feels like you are stuck in traffic. Why do you need such a great road map? To keep you on time and track. You don’t want to miss a turn or exit while you are enjoying the drive and scenery.
Step Three: Offers to Buy/Sell
Depending on your financial situation, the market climate, and velocity, you might be able to purchase a property before you sell your primary residence. This is a “less” stressful course of action versus going a contingent route. Looking for a new property is difficult, especially if you like or love your current home. Once a property is identified or you are ready to take your house to market, assembling or procuring an offer is the next step.
Key terms of a purchase offer:
- Offer price
- Length of escrow period
- Earnest money deposit
- Proof of funds and ability to qualify for a loan if needed
- If using a loan, down payment amount
- Contingency periods
- Close of escrow
As a buyer, we help you translate your situation into a purchase agreement through the terms that will tell a seller you are ready, willing and able to purchase their home. Putting your best foot forward can make a big impact on a seller, especially in a multiple offer scenario. But guess what? That doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate! You are in the driver’s seat when you have a plan that is formed in Step Two. If you don’t have a plan, it will seem like you are speeding toward that cliff’s edge again.
As a seller, generating offers is what you want to do. Sometimes they might not be exactly what you are looking for, and you need the help of an expert to parse the details of terms above so that if a counter offer is to be made, it can be executed simply and quickly. As with a buyer, having consulted with an expert before hand let’s you know what scenarios you might see, so there are little to no surprises.
Step Four: Contingencies
This can be the most compressed time for both sides in a transaction. As a buyer, you want to know what is wrong with the property you can’t readily see. As a seller, you are on pins and needles to see what is wrong with your property you aren’t aware of. If anything comes up, now is the time to put together a request for repair. Having an expert on your team can put you in touch with contractors quickly who can determine the extent of repairs and costs that might come up. It also helps when you know how craft a request to maximize the chance a seller will agree to your wants.
As a seller, you want to review this request as objectively as possible. This is the time to be realistic and thoughful in a response: you aren’t delivering a new home, but you should deliver a home in working order. Is there an issue you have been living with, that you just haven’t had time to get to? Many repairs are cheaper than you might expect.
Step Five: Closing
If all goes well, you will either get your keys or proceeds about thirty days after your offer. It happens so fast!