At the end of every December, people make all kinds of resolutions for the coming year.
Typically, these are things they want to improve about themselves, ways to make their day-to-day personal or work life better or ideas to put them on track for a change.When it comes to real estate, resolutions donâ€™t necessarily apply as itâ€™s unlikely that you do a real estate transaction each year.
But whether you plan to buy or sell, there are some real estate resolutions that buyers and sellers can and should make. Here are five to get you started.
â€¢ Resolve to get your financial house in order
Planning a home purchase takes time and effort, so you should consider meeting with a mortgage professional early in the year. Know your credit score and understand what your financial situation looks like from a lenderâ€˜s perspective.
If you have credit issues, identify what they are and the necessary steps to correct them. Sometimes, it can take six months to see your FICO score move up the much-needed 20 points to get you a better mortgage rate.
A good real estate agent can recommend an experienced, local mortgage processional. Local is always important, because many real estate deals are made on relationships, and being able to meet face-to-face with your mortgage professional can be a big plus.
â€¢ Resolve to start feeling out the market early
You may think you only need to go to open houses once youâ€™re ready to buy. But in reality, a buyer needs a couple of months learning the marketing, understanding home values, the prices per neighborhood and the market in general.
Going to open houses in the neighborhoods where you want to buy will allow you to start feeling out the market. It may also be the best way to meet your future real estate agent. Many agent/buyer relationships are forged at open houses.
Once you engage an agent, you may make several offers before you get into your dream home. Having your agent along for the ride will allow you to compare and contrast homes youâ€™ve visited to the home you eventually buy.
The homes you see and your experience feeling out the market will serve as the building blocks toward becoming an informed buyer and making your best offer.
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