Jim Valentine: things to do while waiting for the market

Jim Valentine on real estate

So you’re between buying and selling and killing time. What to do?
If you are a seller, look around your home and property. How many unfinished or unstarted projects do you see? It’s amazing how many of us think we’re going to do something but never quite do it. If your sales plans are on hold, it might be time to launch an improvement plan. Not only will you enjoy the house more when you’ve finished it, but when you’re ready to sell, you’ll have added value.
Buyers, too, can continue to prepare for their inevitable purchase. You’ll have more time to save for the down payment, perhaps to deal with any minor credit bumps you may have. Better credit will allow you to get a better interest rate when you apply for your loan. When the buy money was 2.5% and your lower credit got you a 3 or 3.25% loan, the difference was okay, but at today’s rates you might want consider doing a little credit repair to keep your rate manageable.
Things you don’t want to do while waiting include taking on more debt by buying toys. This could negatively impact your loan process. The owner must avoid entering into long-term contracts that a buyer would have to assume or for which he would be responsible. Keep it simple.
Sellers can focus on taking seasonal photos of their property while they wait. Spring flowers, summer greens, fall colors and the freshness of a winter day. Show your home at its best every season of the year. You can share them with your agent when you go to sell or leave them on the table for people viewing your home to enjoy while planning to live there.
If you have accumulated debris on the property, now is a good time to clean it up. Rather than doing it during an escrow when packing for moving among other things, clean things up now. When you come on the market, your property will look much better to a potential buyer. Old cars tend to blend into the landscape, but they can worry a buyer who doesn’t want to risk having to be the one to remove them if you don’t.
Speak regularly to your market agent. If you haven’t sold in a while, find out from your agent what contracts and declarations you’ll be signing and how the process will work. It will save your time and bring you comfort and confidence when entering the market. Buyers should do the same. Review the contracts and talk about the process. How will you be protected along the way, ie – inspections, disclosures, assessment, etc.? Everything should make sense to you even if you don’t understand everything. Kind of like taking your car to the mechanic – it makes sense when he describes it, but you wouldn’t know which nut to turn first doing it yourself.
Don’t try to read every real estate article every day while you’re figuring out what you’re going to do. There will be conflicting views, lots of speculation, and too much emphasis on the national market, not our local market. Keep your finger on the pulse of the market by reading local documents when available, talking to your agent, and paying attention to what’s going on in your neighborhood or the neighborhood where you’d like to buy. Your opportunity to act will present itself when the time is right.
Establish a vision of what you would like to see happen in your eventual transaction and if it is clear enough, you will undoubtedly manifest it and live your dream.
When it comes to choosing professionals to help you with your real estate needs… experience is priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, BS.3481, 775-781-3704. [email protected]

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