The new year is only a few days away. Most likely, many people have set goals or made plans for what they want their 2023 to look like. So I thought I’d offer some goals for sellers and tips for buyers when it comes to real estate. Here are some tips if you’re thinking of buying or selling in 2023:
The first thing that you want to do is contact a Realtor, even if you are thinking that you will sell more towards the end of the year. They can help you come up with a plan of what needs to be done and what doesn’t. Together, you can determine the budget or the list of things that you are willing and not willing to do. However, I still want to offer you some tips that are free or cheap but make a difference:
* Start getting rid of stuff. Most people keep a lot of stuff including me. The best thing that you can do is start to go through things to see what should be kept and what needs to be given away now. It will make the home look better when it is ready to list and make it easier for you when time to sell.
* Clean well. You can either clean your home or pay someone to do it but it will need a good cleaning. This means walls, woodwork, carpets, all of it. It would be best to do it right before listing but can also be done earlier and then maintained.
* Consider touchup painting. I know that painting can be expensive but if it is within your budget then consider it. Pets and kids especially can make walls look dingy a bit quicker. If the budget is tight, start with cleaning the walls. Sometimes that is enough to avoid needing to paint.
* Freshen up the landscaping. You don’t want people walking on your grass to get to the front door because your bushes have overgrown across the sidewalk. Weeding, trimming bushes back, sweeping the porches, and power washing the house will all make a difference.
There are some do’s and don’ts before, during, and after the preapproval process that make a difference too. Here are a few I’ve learned over the years:
* Get pre-approved months before you are looking to buy. If you find that you aren’t able to get approved, this will give you a chance to potentially do what needs to be done (like pay off some debt) before you are ready to buy. If you can’t get approved, ask your lender exactly what you need to do and what your timeframe is. They will be able to guide you.
* Use a lender that your Realtor suggests. This usually, but not always, makes the transaction go smoother. There are so many random lenders that you can find online and it often ends in disaster. When Ryder Realty suggests a lender, we know that their rates will be good, their terms are competitive, and most importantly the loan will close which is what the buyer wants!
* Don’t sign up for a bunch of credit cards. The “why” behind this is more of a lender question. But when you are at the store and they tell you to sign up and save an extra 10 percent, think twice or talk to your lender.
* Don’t become an economist. This one is my personal opinion based on experience. I remember many people were positive that the housing market was going to crash in March 2020 and so some buyers waited. And prices skyrocketed. Many of those people didn’t buy and probably wished that they did! I am one of them. We looked at condos in Florida in the summer of 2020 and I was afraid to buy. We waited until January and spent about $20K more than we would have a few months earlier. You can keep waiting for the market to crash and who knows, maybe it will but if it doesn’t, I don’t want you to look back like I did with a regret for not buying earlier.
* Be careful co-signing. Your lender can let you know if this is the right or wrong move for you.
I hope my tips were helpful. But more importantly, I hope that 2023 is your best year yet!
Esta Ryder, Broker/Owner
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Ryder Realty, LLC