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Sell First, Buy Later… Buy First, Sell Later?

Sell First, Buy Later… Buy First, Sell Later?

If you own a home but intend to sell it and buy another as part of your move, you may find yourself asking, “What should I do first – buy or sell?” It’s complicated to keep everything balanced in either situation, but there are advantages both to selling first, then buying or taking the opposite approach.

To help you decide which fits your situation best, you first have to determine the state of the real estate market you are selling in. But you will also have to seriously consider your finances, your comfort level in balancing transactions, your interest in moving once or multiple times and more. Keep reading to make this balancing act work for you.

Seller’s Market
Right now, while homes are selling quickly, it’s easier to purchase your new home first, since there are fewer homes on the market for buyers to choose from, so your home should sell faster. The main drawback is the possibility of getting caught in a transition market – it doesn’t take long for a seller’s market to cross the line. We can advise you as to the local real estate market in our area. Sometimes in a seller’s market, sellers would rather sell first, move into temporary housing, then take their time purchasing their next home. The sell first, buy later choice removes one stress of the transaction before the buying phase begins. It will also allow you the luxury of time to find the right house for your needs.

By selling first, you will also know exactly how much equity you’ll have that can be invested in your new home. If finances are tight, this might be the right choice for you.

However, don’t forget to plan for the numerous expenses of moving out of your home and into a temporary home (for an undetermined amount of time), then out of that temporary home and perhaps paying for storage of excess belongings along the way. These costs can add up, so consider this scenario with finances in mind.

Buyer’s Market
Trying to sell in a buyer’s market may take some time. Ideally, you’ll sell before you close/settle on the purchase of your next home. If you commit to purchasing a home without having sold first, make sure you can afford a down payment, and perhaps double payments (including mortgage, insurance, maintenance, utilities, etc.) until the first home sells. You may also consult with a mortgage pro to determine whether a bridge loan might be the answer.

To protect your interests, consider using a Home of Choice (HOC) clause in the sales contract of your current home. The HOC clause allows you to make the contract contingent on finding a home to move into – within a specified time frame – before your current home goes to closing/settlement.

Contact us to find out what the best approach is for your situation if you are considering both selling and buying in today’s market. We are always available for advice! 352-973-2366.

10 Ways To Invest Less Than $1,000 in Your Home And Sell it For More

10 Ways To Invest Less Than $1,000 in Your Home And Sell it For More

When it’s time to sell, every homeowner wants to get the highest sales price possible. One of the best strategies to keep the price high is to eliminate reasons for buyers to reduce their offers. At first glance, it may seem counterproductive to spend money when you’re trying to sell your home for the best price, but it does make sense. A thoughtful and limited cash infusion to your home will make it show better, perhaps function better, and attract more homebuyers.

Before you start any work, consider your home’s competition. For example, if your older home is up against new construction you will need to make sure your home shines in comparison to the model homes buyers are touring. It’s imperative to make sure your home looks squeaky clean, open and airy, bright and shiny.

Look around your home before you put it on the market. You’re sure to find a few places where some elbow grease or a little cash could make a big difference. Ten ideas of how to use $1,000 in your home is by no means exhaustive and you may want to focus on certain areas that need attention or that your local buyers put more emphasis on. Don’t be limited by our list, but use it to create a move-in ready home all buyers desire.

Here are 10 ways to spend just a little to help bring in top-dollar offers:

1. Wash The Windows
Here’s what prospective buyers think dirty windows say about you: “I don’t take care of the parts of this home you can see, so imagine how neglected the parts you can’t see are.” The would-be buyer sees grimy windows and thinks: “This home isn’t worth what they’re asking.” Price this service out and you’ll find that windows can be professionally washed for not nearly as much as you might think. Or do it yourself and save some $$!

2. Magic Carpets
Hire an experienced professional to clean all the carpets in your home. Make the carpets look as good as new and you’ve just possibly saved a few thousand dollars on the offer. If the carpet in a particular room is in rough shape, go ahead and replace it. Often one room can be re-carpeted for less than $1,000, while punching up the overall appeal of your home.

3. Work The Yard
Unless your lawn is in really bad shape, $1,000 can go a long way toward weeding, seeding, mulching, adding plants and generally greening it up. Because curb appeal is so important, you might consider adding landscaping color and design to the spots that count.

4. Kill The Clutter
Are you surrounded by clutter? If you can’t chuck it all, then consider renting a storage unit white your home is on the market. Even a couple of months will run you less than $1,000. Extraneous books, excess furniture, mounds of kid’s toys, unused yard tools, etc., can make a home look too lived-in and drop the value of the home in the eyes of a buyer.

5. Color Changes Everything
There’s nothing that can make a home look better, cleaner, newer and ready-to-move-into than a new paint job in neutral colors. If you do the work yourself, $1,000 can cover a lot of walls – and trim.

6. Look Down
Are your hardwoods as good-looking as the day you walked in? A good cleaning could make them look new and cover up small scratches. Refinishing may cost more than $1,000 depending on the square footage. Replacing worn linoleum or cracked tile in smaller spaces can also be doable with the budget at hand.

7. Appliance Upgrade
If the microwave, dishwasher, dryer, washing machine, or other small to medium sized appliance indicates that its best days are behind it, replace the item and make your new buyer happy.

8. Spruce Up The Front
A new steel front door on average, costs just over a grand, but the impact it gives to would-be buyers is priceless. Don’t forget a new welcome mat and a welcoming wreath or potted plant!

9. Hardware Shines
Consider updating doorknobs, drawer pulls, hinges and the like with a uniting new finish to bring your home up-to-date with the small things. If you do the work yourself, you could have this task done in a quick weekend.

10. Deep Clean
Consider replacing all tub and tile grout and caulk to start with a fresh, clean look for your kitchen and bath areas. Remember clean and bright sells!

If you have any questions, please contact us. We’re here to help you get your home sold fast and for the best price!

Four Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

Four Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

Are you thinking about buying a home but want to improve your credit score first? It may not be as hard as you think but sometimes it can be a long-term process. Here are some things you can do that may help:

1. Pay bills on time. Late payments and collections can have a serious impact on your credit score.
2. Do not apply for credit frequently. Having a large number of recent credit inquiries on your credit report can lower your score.
3. Request increases on credit limits and reduce credit card balances. This will lessen your “debt to credit” ratio. Using less of your available credit limit will increase your score.
4. Obtain enough credit to establish a credit history. Insufficient credit can negatively impact your score.

Just remember, a lower credit score will help you receive a lower interest rate on the mortgage for your new home!