Trading Places: Tips for First-Time Buyers and First-Time Sellers

When you’re on the housing market looking to buy or sell, chances are you can use a few tips. Whether you’re buying or putting up Elkhorn homes for sale, here are some tips that both buyers and sellers can use for their first time.

First-time Buyers

Know your credit: Having unknown discrepancies in your history can only hurt you.

Plan out your budget: Know exactly what you make in a month and how much you already have to spend on food, travel, utilities and entertainment. Figure out how much you will need to spend on legal fees and searches along with what you expect to pay for your mortgage.

Be serious: If you don’t look like you’re ready to put some money down, nobody will take you seriously. Speak with a broker about getting a decision in principle, which will tell you how much you will be able to borrow and which will prove to buyers that you are committed to making things happen right now.

Be flexible: There are very few people who get the 100 percent perfect home. Most people will end up having to compromise when it comes to location or the size of a home they want that will fit into their budget. Figure out what you are willing to change and what needs to be set in stone.

Consider sharing ownership: This requires meeting certain criteria, but you will often buy about 25 or 75 percent of a home from an association and pay subsidized rent to pay off the rest. You can get more shares later until you own the entire thing if desired.

Seek an equity loan: First time buyers can own a new build on a development with the assistance of an equity loan that goes up to 20 percent of the price one would buy it for without having to pay interest for 60 months. Buyers are required to give at least 5 percent as a deposit and the mortgage will need to carry 80 percent or more of the rest. Much like shared ownership, you can make additional payments until you fully own it. However, this kind of loan has an annual income ceiling.

Seek new builds: Housebuilders often provide incentives to those looking for a home despite their means. This might include offering 95 percent mortgages or double the deposit. Even if nobody is advertising, ask what there is.

Share with someone else: While you should consider this carefully, you can split the bill with a friend or family member. This means sharing the deposit and overcoming steep payments for the mortgage, but it’s important to trust the other party. Both parties will need to sign an ownership agreement and agree on exit strategies if one wants to leave.

Get a deposit: Even if you need to move back in with mom and dad, get as large a deposit as you can. The more you put down, the less you will need to pay as a mortgage payment. Think long term when buying home.

Keep thinking long term: It will be a few years before you can look to buy again, so check for a property that lets you expand.

First-Time Sellers

Have a good agent: A good agent is well known in the area and will market your home on major portals and his or her own website.

Make it perfect: Taking bad photos can draw attention away from your property. For instance, pictures with weeds indicates it has been around for awhile, unwanted. Change the photos if you are unhappy with them.

Price fairly: Even if you want to maximize your profit, you need to be realistic with pricing. Listen to what your agent has to say, especially since he or she knows the market and demand better. Act on a good offer rather than holding out for something else.

Make a good impression: Unkempt homes draws attention away from the home, so fix up the exterior.

Keep the impression good: Likewise, you’ll need to spruce up the inside of the home too.

Make everything appealing: Ask friends to check out your home and let them tell you whether they would buy it based on the looks. Keep decor neutral and walls bright.

Be flexible: Prospective buyers tend to give up if they cannot meet at a convenient time. Be flexible with when you can meet.

Consider part-exchange: You may be able to sell your home for its full value in exchange for buying a new build. However, your home would need to be worth less than what you’re buying.

Understand the market: If you sell to first time buyers who cannot afford much, you’ll want to do some maintenance. This lets them feel more secure about buying it since they won’t need to do anything.

Organize: Secure an offer for property you want to buy, or you can agree to rent to someone when you are off looking for a new home.

Image Credit: propertysnaps

Derek is an active blogger. This article is for elkhorn homes for sale.

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