New Year’s is an ideal time to make resolutions to hit the gym, eat healthier, and make better choices. For many homeowners, the process of making their home marketable can feel overwhelming, and the prep stage often gets put on the backburner. Why not resolve to make 2020 the year to get your home ready to go to market? Here are some ideas to get you started.

A clean home is a happy home! Use the new year as an excuse to really give your home a deep clean and get rid of unnecessary items. When your home looks clean, it gives a positive impression that you take care of your property. Along with eliminating your home’s dirt and grime, take a moment to go through your belongings and get rid of things you don’t need anymore. Try starting with one room and sift through it thoroughly. Beginning the cleaning process now will not only make your house less cluttered, but will also reduce the amount of packing to be done once your home is sold.

Despite the popularity of house flipping reality shows, many people will not be attracted to homes that need heavy repairs or upgrades. A home that needs major fixes means the buyer will have to invest even more money into the purchase, and that can make a sale less likely to happen. If you needed another reason to get problem areas fixed, improving utility issues can increase your home equity. Take action to get everything in your home in working order before it opens to prospective buyers.

The exterior of your home is the first thing buyers will see when your home is on the market. If they aren’t intrigued by the outside, they may not want to look at the inside, either. You don’t need to do any fancy landscaping, simply mowing the lawn and trimming overgrown vegetation can do wonders. Additionally, consider giving your house a fresh coat of paint if it’s looking faded.

Before you officially declare your home for sale, it’s important to find a realtor who understands your needs and can help you get the best price for your home. An experienced agent will be able to guide you through the selling stage and know how to market your home. You may have to try out a few agents before you find one that’s a good fit for your situation, but having a competent agent is well worth the search.

Figuring out how much your house is worth and how much you could potentially make from a sale can be a bit confusing. Work with your agent to perform a competitive market analysis to get an estimate of your home’s value. Once you have an idea of its value, you and your agent can discuss an ideal selling price.  Finding that sweet spot for your asking price will help optimize future profits and attract buyers.

Don’t feel like you need to fulfill all these resolutions at once. Start with one and make it your goal to work your way through them. In no time, your home will be ready to show off to prospective buyers. What better way to start the new year than to make your home the best it can be!

If you have any questions or want more information about the home selling process, contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin the home buying process, click here to get started!

Last week, we talked about the second step in the home purchase process: choosing your loan type. Once you and your lender have determined the type of loan that will best suit your needs, the next step is to begin your home search. This may be the most exciting part of the process, and it can be easy to get caught up in that excitement. It’s important to make this decision carefully, consider your options, and to work with knowledgeable professionals who can help you make the best choice.

Choose the Right Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent will be your guide through your home search, so he or she should be someone that you can trust. Hire a Realtor who takes time to understand your needs and to explain anything that is unclear. The right agent will help you enter the process prepared and confident.

“It’s very important to work with a real estate agent who first consults with you to find out your needs,” says David Bonanno, California Branch Manager with NFM Lending. “Home buyers are our lifeblood and who we serve. We have to know what their wants, needs, and budget are.”

For more tips on choosing a real estate agent, click here.

Choosing a Home
There are many factors to consider when looking for a home. Plan carefully and talk to your real estate agent about the following things before beginning your home search:

“Everyone thinks buying new is the best way to go. What they do not realize is all the money that will be spent on the yard, light fixtures, window coverings—things that may not be included in the purchase of the home,” says David. He recommends that buyers interested in purchasing a newly built home keep in mind the extra costs associated with this kind of purchase.

Other things to keep in mind when searching for a home are your short- and long-term goals. David suggests thinking about how long you plan to live in the area, and whether you will need room to grow as your family grows. Buying a new home is an investment in your future, so it’s important to have your future in mind when you are choosing your home.

Once you’ve found the right home, you will work with your real estate agent to make an offer on the home and sign a contract. From there, you will move onto the next step to purchasing a new home: applying for your home loan.

If you have any questions about searching for a home, contact one of our licensed mortgage professionals. If you are ready to start the home buying process, click here to get started!

Purchasing and investing in real estate is a big deal. For most Americans, the purchase of a home is the most expensive purchase they will ever make. But choosing to fly solo in such a major transaction could end up being more costly than a real estate agent’s commission. So how do you choose a real estate agent?

Not All Agents Are Created Equal

When you’re looking for a real estate professional to help you, know that above all else, a good agent will put their clients first. The agent you choose is going to be your advocate to help you make your dream of home ownership come true.

Real estate agents are often chosen solely on the recommendation of a friend or family member. It is best if you do your own research: check how long they have been in business; talk to recent clients or request recommendations; look up their licensing information; and finally, choose someone that is right for you.

A Great Agent Will Help:

Remember, a home is an investment. Choosing a good agent and consulting with them will ensure that you are making an informed decision.

If you are ready to purchase a home, contact one of our Licensed Mortgage Loan Originators today to get started!