What New Year’s Home Resolution Do You Have For 2019?

Are you looking to buy a new home or sell your current home this year? As with any major purchase or sale, there are countless things that run through your head. If you’re the buyer, you want a nice home in a great neighborhood at a good price. As the seller, you’re trying to make enough money to recoup your investment, pay off the existing mortgage, and roll that money into your next purchase.

There are so many factors to consider and the to-do list just seems to never end. We’ve compiled a shortlist of top tips for buyers and sellers for 2019.

Get Home Finances in Order
Before even thinking about buying or selling a home, you need to get a handle of your finances.
Frankly, you need to know your numbers and what you can afford. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the monthly mortgage payment if you’re the buyer or the amount of the check you get at the closing table if you’re the seller.

One way buyers can do this is by getting pre-approved. Pre-approval will give you a sense of what you can afford. With sellers, it all comes down to that final number. Your financial advisor and real estate professional can help advise you on the financial realities of selling your home, such as potential tax implications of the sale, as well as your area-specific obligations, like closing costs.

Learn the Area
Get educated about the homes in your area. It’s relatively simple to begin learning about the market in your area. Much of the information you need is at your fingertips in the smartphone you’re likely reading this on.

Real estate portals are a great way to see active for-sale listings as well as get to know a neighborhood. For instance, Realtor.com’s local pages provide a snapshot of the local housing market to get a sense of the median home price or average days on market.

That’s not all you can find out about either. You can search by schools, learn about local amenities, and even compute your commute from a potential new home.

Buy Now
For buyers to get the lowest price, it’s best to get out there now. Home buying season is starting earlier and earlier, and it’s important to get ahead of the competition. Kids still in school and snowy weather makes for less competition with other buyers. Additionally, you need to get a handle on what you can afford and shop for rates and loans. Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity offers an easy application for qualified home buyers.

Seller’s Market
Peak selling season is spring through summer. However, it’s important to consider the trends in your own area as well. The first-time-homebuyer market is anticipated to expand in 2019, so if you have a starter home to sell, expect demand to be up significantly. And while it’s exciting to think about taking that quick, first offer, patience will pay off so take a beat and let a few more bids come in before making a final decision.

Another important point is to make a good first impression on potential buyers. Buying a home is emotional and you want to connect with people who stop by for a showing. Some easy prep work to your home like, ensuring all lightbulbs work, the front door and entry (inside and outside) have a fresh coat of paint, freshly potted plants on the porch or yard, a new mailbox, and a new doormat will all go a long way with homebuyers. Stop by Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores for these budget-friendly home fixes.

Buying and selling a home is both exciting and daunting. Both sides are embarking on new chapters in their lives. So, it’s not one to be taken lightly. Consider these tips as you enter the real estate market this year and find the right professional to help you out. When you do the hard work of educating yourself and finding the right people to work with, it truly is a rewarding experience for all.

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