Bethany Blessing's Blog
When you put your home up for sale, it can be an emotional time. You need to say goodbye to a place where you have lived for at least a small portion of your life. You created memories in that home, and now, it’s the job of a new family to make new memories.
Once the home is well on its way to being sold, there will be an appraisal of the property. It’s scary as a seller to think that the appraisal has the ability to actually halt the entire sale of the home. It can be a confusing process, to say the least, to have your home appraised. You have determined your listing price and received an offer on the home already. It seems like backtracking to value the home after this part of the sale process is complete.
The Appraisal Removes The Tension
The appraisal is one of the factors that bridges the worlds of the buyer and the seller. As a seller, the things that you think add value to your home may not be all you have hoped them to be. As a buyer, you want to be sure that you’re paying a fair price for the home. Below, you’ll find some common myths about home appraisals and the truth about them.
The Appraisal Is Not The Same As An Inspection
The home inspection is used as a tool to protect the buyer. Although the appraisal is used as a protection for the buyer, the two are separate entities. The inspector looks at everything in the home that can be a problem including leaks, cracks, and faulty electrical systems. The home appraiser is simply meant to find the objective market and the estimated value of the home in that market.
The Appraisal Isn’t How Much The Buyer Will Pay
While the appraisal gives a good estimate of the value of a home, it doesn’t take every single factor into account. It’s one version of how much the home should be priced at. What the appraisal does affect is the contract on the home.
If the appraisal doesn’t match the contract price, let’s say that the home is appraised lower than what you’re paying for it, the lender will not make up the difference. It can become a discussion between the buyer and the seller to see who will pay for the additional uncovered cost of the home. The buyer can pay the difference themselves. The seller may decide to cover the difference themselves. Either way, this is where the home buying process can get kind of messy.
Bigger Homes Don’t Necessarily Appraise For More Money
Just because a home is bigger, doesn’t mean that it’s worth more than the smaller home next door. A larger home could have issues with age such as an older roof, or less complex fixtures. If a smaller home is more updated, it very well could appraise for more. Don’t count on the square footage to dictate the appraisal price of a home.
As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to ensure your residence makes a positive impression on buyers. Because if your residence fails to impress buyers during a showing or open house, your home may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.
Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to ensure buyers feel good after they view your residence, such as:
1. Bolster Your Home's Curb Appeal
When buyers view your home for the first time, you likely want them to fall in love with your residence. If you allocate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, you may make it simple for buyers to see your residence's full potential and envision what life could be like if they purchase your home.
To upgrade your home's curb appeal, you should perform lawn care tasks like mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges. You also should repair any cracked or chipped home siding, as well as correct any other property exterior issues that could negatively affect a buyer's perception of your house.
2. Remove Clutter
Clutter is a problem that may make it tough for buyers to picture a future in your home. If you have excess items scattered around your home, there may be no time like the present to get rid of these items.
To eliminate clutter, you may want to host a yard sale or list excess items online. In addition, you can always donate any items you no longer need to a local charity or give them to family members or friends.
3. Clean Each Room of Your Home
For homebuyers, nothing beats a pristine, tidy home interior. If you clean each room of your house from top to bottom, you can help your home's interior make an unforgettable impression on buyers.
Taking a room-by-room approach to home cleaning may be ideal. Furthermore, if you need extra assistance, you can hire a professional home cleaning company.
Of course, if you are searching for ways to streamline the home selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent is happy to teach you the ins and outs of selling a house and ensure you can maximize your home sale earnings.
A real estate agent can guide you along each stage of the home selling journey. First, he or she will learn about you and your home selling goals. A real estate agent next will help you list your residence and promote your home to dozens of prospective buyers. Finally, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you determine whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
Clearly, there is no shortage of options to upgrade your residence and ensure it garners buyers' attention. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you could simultaneously help your house stand out to buyers and speed up the home selling cycle.
With school loans at an all-time high, and growing for each passing generation, many homeowners are ready to shoulder off any and all debt as quickly as possible. If you’re in this camp and looking to aggressively pay down debt there are a few options available when it comes to paying your mortgage off.
Also known as seller contributions, are where the seller agrees to pay a portion of the closing fees for the buyer. This can include title insurance, inspection fees, and processing fees. If the seller is looking to sell the house quickly they may consider agreeing to seller concessions.
Government options for loans.
Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM) was created to help homeowners renovate to add environmentally friendly features to their home. So if you’re looking to install double-pane windows or update insulation this could be the loan for you.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans offer lower closing costs, smaller down payments, and a fair interest rate.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans can be applied to homes in rural areas, regardless of if they are a part of a farm. You may qualify to apply for zero down payment and loan payments will be at a fixed rate.
There are also many local programs offered at the state and city level. A quick Google search for loan options for your area should set you in the right direction!
Plan to Refinance
Down the road, you can refinance for a fifteen year home loan instead of thirty. You’ll pay off your loan in roughly half the time and save money on payments towards interest.
Throw It Everything You’ve Got
You’ll want to check with your lending company first as some have penalties for payments outside of the loan terms. However, if possible, making an extra payment either regularly or time to time will help cut down the overall time it takes to pay off your loan.
For example, you can make one extra mortgage payment each year or tighten up your day to day budget and apply what your savings towards your loan. Many homeowners get creative and take on side gigs to create the extra cash necessary to make additional payments.
If you don’t have that room to flex you can also always apply any bonuses, tax refunds or windfalls that come your way. This also makes a bigger impact when paired with regularly scheduled extra payments.
Aggressive debt payoff strategies aren’t for everyone. And that’s okay! However, if you’re looking to live a debt free life and enjoy your home knowing it’s been paid in total these tactics are for you. With some strategy and creativity, you can find plenty of ways to make the process go quickly and smoothly.
If you want to purchase a home, it pays to establish a homebuying budget. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and narrow your search for your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three best practices to help you create a homebuying budget.
1. Look at Your Finances
Your finances will play a major role in your ability to purchase a home. Thus, you should evaluate your current financial situation closely so you can map out an effective homebuying journey.
Request a copy of your credit report – you'll be glad you did. You are eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) annually. Take advantage of this complimentary perk, and you can gain deep insights into your outstanding debt.
If you have outstanding debt, try to pay this down as much as possible. That way, you can boost your credit score, which ultimately will help you improve your chances to acquire your ideal residence.
2. Meet with Banks and Credit Unions
When it comes to buying a home, meeting with banks and credit unions usually is a great idea. That way, you can learn about your home loan options and get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Apply for a mortgage from several banks and credit unions. Then, you can receive various mortgage quotes and select one that suits you perfectly.
Also, don't hesitate to ask plenty of questions during a lender consultation. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals – all of whom are happy to help you make an informed mortgage decision. Therefore, if you're unsure about whether to proceed with a 15- or 30-year mortgage or can't decide between an adjustable- or fixed-rate mortgage, you can ask these mortgage professionals for expert advice.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A homebuying budget is tricky to establish on your own, especially if you are entering the real estate market for the first time. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead for all stages of the homebuying cycle.
During a real estate agent consultation, a housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals. Next, this professional will help you establish realistic homebuying expectations and ensure you can discover a great house at a budget-friendly price.
Of course, let's not forget about the world-class support that a real estate agent provides after you kick off a home search, either.
A real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about open houses and offer homebuying recommendations and suggestions. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on a house.
Ready to begin your search for your dream home? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can craft a homebuying budget and start your homebuying journey.