One of the most commonly used phrases in our office is "At the End of the Day . . ." which is usually used to summarize a reality check for the issue at hand. Almost every person I know is pinching pennies to get by. Whether it is the average family cutting back on their annual summer vacation, or the single person who is seeking out cheap entertainment with friends, we all are not living the lifestyle we were living a few years ago.
Working in real estate I have seen the ugly side of this recession: divorce, foreclosures, bankruptcies, abandoned pets, molded homes. Dealing with the realities of what is going on can easily make a person question how everything came unhinged so quickly. There is a positive side to this recession too: Home values are down to where families can actually afford to purchase a nice home at a reasonable price, and the credit crunch is teaching us all how to live financially responsibly ( whether we want to or not).
Here is my top 8 "At the End of the Day . ." tips for homeowners and REALTORS
1.) KNOW what you want: Take the time and effort to figure out what you want out of your home purchasing and selling experience. Make a list of your goals, a loose time line and interview agents until you find one that "clicks" with your vision.
2.) BE REALISTIC: All the upgrades in the world do not matter right now! The bottom line is price. Your home must be priced well to sell!
3.) STOP watching HG TV! ( Just Kidding) You can watch, but again make sure that your expectations are realistic. The majority of their programs are filmed in CA, or suburbs of large cities. Be familiar with your market, and which homes are selling.
4.) BEWARE of Open Houses: The time and energy you spend baking cookies, and the cash you dump into a newspaper ad, may be better spent on effective Internet marketing OR cleaning stained carpets ( painting a neutral color) . If your home is not a showcase, and it is not priced aggressively, you will be disappointed with the results of an open house.
5.)SHOP your Mortgage!: I do not care if your loan officer is your Grandmother! Make sure that you are not being charged an arm and a leg in closing fees. Always ask for a Good Faith, and Always get a second opinion.
6.) HOME INSPECTION: A good home inspection can make or break a deal. Vacant properties can have underlying issues. Encourage an inspection for informational purposes and find an inspector you trust.
7.) BE a Conductor: A good REALTOR needs to stay on top of the entire transaction, and encourage good communication with their clients. This is hard on both parties, but the effort must be there, so make yourself available but also remember to set some boundaries.
8.) DON'T BE the Problem: If you have a buyer that wants to buy and a seller that wants to sell, make sure that you are not getting in the way of making that happen. Sometimes, lending, pricing, and commissions will need to make a deal happen. Be flexible and ready to think outside of the box.
We have more ways than ever to get a real estate transaction completed. For more tips and options visit my site www.equitynegotiations.com, to search for homes, get information and even find out how much your neighbor's house SOLD for!!