Spring Has Sprung. Are You Prepared?
Trees are budding. Flowers are blooming. Birds are chirping and home buyers are rushing into the market! Yes, Spring has sprung. Are you prepared? Are you ready to look for a home? Are you ready to sell your home? If you are, you need to be prepared for the onslaught.
If you are looking to buy a house in the next few months, there are a few things you need to do to be prepared and put yourself in the best position possible to get the house of your dreams.
- Make sure you have spoken to a lender. Do you really know how much you can afford or how much a lender will give you? Get a pre-approval letter. Better yet, get a conditional commitment letter. There are lenders that will underwrite the loan on the front end, even before a property is chosen. They will give you a letter that’s almost as good as cash. This goes a long way in swaying a Seller, especially in a multiple offer situation.
- Have your wish list well defined. Do you know what you want? Are you sure? Do you know what your partner wants? Are you sure? I consult with many buyers that thought they were on the same page with their spouse when they came in my office and left with a completely different picture. Make sure you know what is negotiable and what is not. If you don’t know exactly what you want, your dream house may slip through your hands because you didn’t see it based on the criteria you were including or excluding.
- Patience “smatience”. If you want to buy a house in a hot Spring market, you need to act fast. Take detailed notes while you are in each property because you may not have a chance to have a second viewing prior to writing an offer. If your Realtor says, we don’t have time to wait, they are likely not just being a sales person trying to make a commission. They are likely advising you that if you don’t act quickly, someone else will buy it. There is a quote that I am paraphrasing, “the house you are thinking about until tomorrow, someone else bought today.”
If you are hoping to sell your house in this Spring market, you have to be just as prepared.
- Do your Spring cleaning. Don’t wait until you sell and are packing up to make things squeaky clean. Your house will look a lot better to prospective Buyers if there are not dust bunnies in the corners and dead flowers in the garden.
- Get the honey-do list done. We all have the little list of items that should be repaired, painted or replaced. We live in our house every day and just learn to overlook them. Now is the time to get them done. Don’t think a Buyer won’t notice them or won’t care. Every little thing you leave undone is more money the Buyer will take off the price of your house because it will have to be done once they move in.
- Price it right. Do not think you can price your house the highest in the neighborhood if it’s the smallest in the neighborhood. When I do presentations, sometimes I will ask, “who here has the best house in their neighborhood?” Almost all hands go up. We all think we have the best, that is why we bought it! Unfortunately, not all buyers will share our sentiment. If your house is priced too high for the location and condition, it will not sell. If it doesn’t sell within the amount of time that is reasonable for your market, it will become stale and people will wonder what is wrong with it. You will get a decreased amount of showings and, in the end, make less on it than if you would have priced it right to begin with.
If you are prepared, you will be a lot less stressed through the process. Do the work ahead of time and you will thank yourself later. Happy Housing Market!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.