Whether you are in the market to buy or sell, there are a few things you should know about real estate. The experts at Bankrate have come up with a list of six essential facts that you ought to have in your mental repertoire as you get ready to buy or sell a home.
Some of the advice is very basic, but a few of these pronouncements are a bit more subtle. Write them down, memorize them or simply read through the list and brush up on what you already know. The point is, when it comes to buying and selling a home, you need to be armed with as much information as possible.
Here’s a quick summary of what everyone should know about the real estate market:
• It is usually a good idea to set a selling price that is slightly below market. It’s a fact that the longer a property is on the market, the less likely it is to fetch a fair price. If you are selling, try to gather as much data about recent local sales as possible, then set you price a tiny bit below that.
• Preapproval is not set in stone. Be extremely careful with credit usage until after closing. Lenders typically do a last minute check on your financial health before the final paperwork gets signed. If you’ve been overdoing it on credit cards or opening new lines of credit in the past few months, you could sink the transaction and not get final approval.
• Not so fast! Allow about six months for a sale to be finalized once you decide to sell your home.
• Get preapproved, not just prequalified. The latter involves no income verification and carries no weight. Preapproval, on the other hand, shows that you are a serious buyer who has already applied for the loan and submitted your financial data for verification.
• Details can make or break a deal. Sellers should remember to make their home look its best. It should be uncluttered, smell fresh and look good inside and out.
• Agents don’t get massive commissions on real estate deals. For some reason, there’s a huge misperception about this topic. Many non-real estate professionals assume that agents get a 5 or 6 percent commission on a deal. In the real world that’s just not how it works. The actual numbers have a wide range and more typically hover around or below the 1 percent mark.
Of course, there’s much more to the world of real estate that those few items but it’s a good place to start. Whether you are getting ready to sell your home or venturing into the market as a buyer, always make sure you partner with an expert. That way, you will have the benefit of essential advice along the way, and will be more likely to make a deal that you’re satisfied with.