For many folks, as the clock strikes 2012, careful plans to sell their home or to buy one go into action. Setting new goals is an important way of improving your life and making each new year more meaningful than the last. Our lives are short and knowing that you are personally responsible for the life you lead right now (this instant) can be an awakening. Owning a home can be an important pillar of that plan.
A 2012 real estate resolution?
If you have made a real estate resolution for 2012 then here are some of my top tips for both sellers and buyers.
Top 5 home seller tips:
- Minimize – Even if you live in a grand mansion, you want your home to appear as spacious as possible. Some common themes include removing a chair from the living room, clearing off the kitchen counters, or taking 30% of your clothes out of every closet.
- Paint – A fresh coat of paint can really transform a room at a very low cost. Instead of the white that we used to recommend, using a classic color that is in style will appeal to today’s picky home buyer.
- Flooring – Nothing will turn off a buyer faster than flooring that’s in poor condition. Most hardwood floors can be refinished or super-cleaned (even 50 year old hardwoods). Carpets can be swapped out in a day. And vinyl floors cab be replaced.
- Landscaping – Home buyers started to assess your home as they pull up, so you want to make sure your yard, plantings, driveway and front door are looking their best. Handles, door knockers, doorbells and front a mat all set the stage for what they see next.
- Appliances – Home buyers look closely at kitchens, and seeing an old range, fridge or dishwasher can be a deal breaker. Laundry machines, hot water heaters and AC units are systems that are factored in when making a decision to buy one home over another.
Top 5 Home Buyer Tips
- Price Range – Your mortgage lender will pre-approve you for a maximum price range, but it is up to you to decide how much you really want to spend.
- Long-term Needs – Buying or selling a house is expensive, so it is essential to consider what your situation will be like in five years. Will you have children, be retiring from your job, or relocating out of the area? Any of these factors need to be calculated into making your home selection today.
- Quick Decisions – Being able to make decisions quickly can especially help you in the active Northern Virginia real estate market. Get to know the sales contract and the process for putting in an offer quickly when you find a home that fits your needs.
- Flexibility – Your willingness to compromise will help you be successful. For example, buyers looking at Vienna VA homes often make a compromise on smaller homes because of pricing and commuting times.
- Teamwork - This process will easily involved fifteen important people who are all working on deadlines, and each can easily disrupt the flow of the process. Online home searching is the easy part of the process. You should view your real estate agent as the project manager helping you understand your options, meet deadlines, be a resource and ultimately achieve your goal of buying a home.
If you have made a resolution for 2012 to buy or sell a home in Vienna, VA or virtually most of Northern Virginia, you can start be meeting me here on my blog and then having me over to see your home to see what it is worth, or to meet to discuss your plans to buy a home and how I can help achieve your goals. Send me an email at doug@DougFrancis.com and I will follow up from there.