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Buying Tips

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Selling Tips

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"Selling Tips" section of this page

Buying Tips

Go Ahead & Get A Pre-approval Letter

You do not want to look for houses above and beyond your means, so why would you want to get pre-approval letter from your lender? Sometimes, real estate transactions do not make it to closing (we call it “falling out of escrow”) because the buyer proves unable to qualify for a large enough mortgage with acceptable terms (the length of the loan, the % rate of the loan, the stipulations of the loan, etc.)

A buyers ability to finance the transaction is particularly important in today’s market because many sellers are receiving multiple offers for their homes. We call this a “HOT” market! You will stand a better chance of having YOUR OFFER accepted if:

  1. You have a good credit history.
  2. You offer a sizable earnest money deposit with your offer.
  3. You are willing to make a high percentage down payment.
  4. You show other signs of financial ability to close the transaction.

One of the very BEST ways to demonstrate your financial strength (#4) is to attach a pre-qualification or preferably a pre-approval letter (from a reputable lender) with your offer. This COULD actually make the difference between YOUR OFFER being accepted over the others and/or with less negotiations.

Usually the pre-approval letter is more reliable than the pre-qualification letter as the pre-approval process involves more investigation by your lender. For a pre-qualification letter your lender usually only relies on a credit report and verbal data from you to calculate a rough maximum loan amount. For the pre-approval letter, your lender examines your recent paycheck stubs, W-2 forms, bank statements and possibly income tax returns.

Neither letter is difficult to obtain and neither is an absolute loan commitment. There will still be “subject to” items that must be completed before the loan receives FINAL approval. The pre-approval letter generally only requires an appraisal of the property.

We welcome an opportunity to discuss this process with you further and would be happy to give you a list of reputable lenders that will work with us on these pre-approval letters. There IS a certain way for these letters to be done AND there are some things about presenting your pre-approval letters in the correct manner that as your REALTOR® we are experienced in handling.

Selling Tips

The following tips may be helpful to you in your quest of selling your home.

Inside Your Home:

  • Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house, keep traffic flow areas open. Restrict decorative objects on the furniture to groups of 1, 3 or 5 items.
  • Rearrange or remove some of the furniture if necessary. As owners, many times we have too much furniture in a room. This is wonderful for our own personal enjoyment, but when it comes to selling, we need to thin out as much as possible to make rooms appear larger.
  • Clear all unnecessary objects from kitchen countertops. If it hasn’t been used for 3 months, pack it up!
  • Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, pictures, etc. (A sparse kitchen helps the buyer mentally move their things into your kitchen)
  • In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from countertops, tubs, shower stalls and commode tops. Keep only your most needed items in one small group on the counter. Coordinate towels to 1 or 2 colors only. Keep ceramics & chrome sparkling!
  • Take down or rearrange certain pictures or objects on walls – especially family pictures. Buyers should be able to envision this as their home with their family pictures. Patch and paint if necessary.
  • Review the house inside room by room, AND THEN…Paint…Clean carpet or drapes…Clean windows…all wherever needed. Be sure the house smells fresh…no strong odors.
  • Check those closets – you’ll soon need to pack up anyway, so get started here by straitening up AND boxing up. Put the boxes in the garage or attic or storage if you need to. How about a garage sale?

Outside Your Home:

  • Go around the perimeter of the house and remove all garbage cans, discarded wood scraps, extra building materials, etc., into the garage or storage…or take to dump.
  • Check gutters and/or roof for dry rot and make sure they are kept swept and cleaned.
  • Look at all plants…prune bushes and trees. Keep plants from blocking windows. “You can’t sell a house if you can’t see it!”
  • Weed and then mulch all planting areas. Keep lawn freshly cut, watered and fertilized. Remove any dead plants or shrubs – fresh flowers by the door are a nice welcome to potential buyers.
  • Clear patios or decks of all small items, such as tools, extra planters, charcoal, toys, etc. Put in garage or storage.
  • Check paint condition of the house – especially the front door and trim. “Curb Appeal” really works!
  • Consider have a home inspection done now – avoid losing a potential buyer over something you can have fixed ahead of time.
  • Consider purchasing a “Home Warranty” – it gives you an edge over most other listings on the market.