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With the economy on a slow rise back to normalcy, many are still unsure of whether they should be buying or selling a home. Despite the uneasiness you may feel, you don’t necessarily have to stay put. With low mortgage interest rates, it is the perfect time for first-time buyers, investors and existing homeowners who are looking to upgrade to purchase a property.  Interest rates are predicted to rise in the coming months.

Whether you’re a buyer, seller or both, check out these  tips for navigating the real estate market successfully.

Tips for buyers

1 Location is everything
Whether you’re a first-time buyer, investor or existing homeowner, you need to understand the best locations for your investment. Buying the smallest house on the best street versus the largest house on a less preferred street will reap big rewards when it comes time to sell.  As an investor, a condominium that is near public transit or a university is a good move.

2 Don’t Rule Out Condos

There’s a surplus of inventory in the condominium market, so we should be able to negotiate a good deal for you when it comes to buying a condo. If you’re buying as an investor, rather than a first-time homebuyer,  you will want to consider leasing out your suite for the next four to five years before selling. Just sit on this investment for awhile.



3 Know your credit scores
It’s best not to just assume your credit rating is in order. To avoid getting any surprises before you meet with a lender, check your rating first so you have time to resolve any issues that might stand in your way of buying. 

How do I get a copy of my credit report? Get a free copy of your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. You can receive a free credit report from each nationwide credit reporting company once every 12 months.

You can also order your free credit report:

  • By phone: Call (877) 322-8228
  • By mail: Download and complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
    Annual Credit Report Request Service
    P.O. Box 105281
    Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

No matter which method you choose, you have the option to request reports from the nationwide credit reporting companies all at once or one report at a time.

4 Know your price range and stick to it
Meet with one or more mortgage lenders to obtain a pre-approved mortgage before you start house hunting. We have several referrals for you once we get you started. Once you know how much you can spend you can narrow down your choices. It’s safer to buy within your budget, no matter the economic situation. This is one of the more crucial steps to home buying. Staying within budget will keep you from the saying house poor.

5 Head out of the city
Young families are heading to the foothills especially Folsom,  to buy affordable and newer resale homes. Sometimes it pays to go further out depending on what you’re looking for. If you want more space and more property, but have a budget to stick to, a downtown location won’t do. You have to widen your circle of prospective locations.

Tips for sellers

1 Beautify and Refresh
Getting your home ready for sale is crucial. Colleen is  a professional stager so your home’s potential is maximized when potential buyers see it. Think about getting rid of clutter, adding stylish accents to tired furniture and tidying the yard for curb appeal. A staging review is provided with each listing we take.

2 Upgrade and update

You don’t have to completely renovate your home, but consider updating areas that are tired such as replacing worn carpeting or a fresh coat of paint. These are relatively inexpensive fixes that go a long way to make your home appear clean, bright and newer.

3 Make sure the price is right
We price your property right the first time, according to the current market conditions in your area. Some sellers believe that if they overprice their property, they have more room to negotiate or they can always reduce it later. This strategy can really hurts the seller.  Prospective buyers will search for homes within their price range. If your home is listed too high, buyers may skip over it. If your home sits on the market because it was overpriced from the beginning prospective buyers wonder what’s wrong with your home.

4 Don’t worry about a closing date conflict

If you receive a great offer on your home but the closing date is up to 30 days later than the closing date of the property you already purchased, don’t sweat it/ Most mortgage lenders will approve bridge financing for approximately 30 days, if all conditions have been removed and you have a firm sale. Speak to your current lender prior to listing your property to confirm this.

5 Get the best representation

Your home is most likely your largest investment so you’ll want to feel comfortable when you go to sell it. Start off right by selecting a real estate agent who you feel you can trust. Find someone who has a solid marketing plan plus a proven track record of successful negotiated sales.