Selling — Buying
Selling Your Home
As a real estate seller, you can play an important
part in the timely sale of your property. When you
take the following steps, you'll help your RE/MAX Sales
Associate sell your home faster, at the best possible
The easiest and most reliable way to improve the appeal
of your home is to enlist a quality home service professional.
The right professional can help real estate sellers
get everything in order - from repainting the kitchen
to arranging a thorough cleaning.
Guidelines for the real estate seller
- Make the most of that first impression
A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and
a clutter-free porch help real estate sellers put
their best foot forward and make prospects feel
welcome. So does a freshly painted - or at least
freshly scrubbed - front door. If it's autumn,
rake the leaves. If it's winter, shovel the walkways.
The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true
appeal of the real estate seller's home, the better.
- Invest a few hours for future dividends
Here's your chance to clean up in real estate. Tidy
the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If
your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading,
consider some minor touch-ups and redecorating.
Real estate sellers can benefit from updating the
hardware on kitchen cabinets, adding new slipcovers
to sofas and keeping a vase of fresh flowers in
the entryway. These are some of the simple touches
that can go a long way. If you're worried about
time, hire professional cleaners or painters to
help get your house ready. Remember, prospects
would rather see how great the real estate seller's
home really looks than hear how great it could
look "with a little work."
- Check faucets and bulbs
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks
and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned-out
bulbs or faulty wiring leave prospects in the dark.
Don't let those problems detract from what's right
with your home.
- Don't shut out a sale
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you
can be sure they will also stick in a prospect's
mind. Don't try to explain away sticky situations
when you can easily plane them away. A little effort
on the real estate seller's part can smooth the
way toward a closing.
- Think safety
Real estate sellers learn to live with all kinds
of self-set booby traps: roller blades on the stairs,
festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs
and low-hanging overhead lights. Make your residence
as safe as possible for visitors.
- Make room for space
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than
just comfortable living space. They're looking
for storage space, too. Real estate sellers should
make sure attics and basements are clean and free
of unnecessary items.
- Consider your closets
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears.
Now's the time to box up those unwanted clothes
and donate them to charity.
- Make your bathroom sparkle
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and
repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs
and showers. For added allure, real estate sellers
should display the best towels, mats and shower
- Create dream bedrooms
Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms.
For a specious look, get rid of excess furniture.
Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must
if real estate sellers want buyers to be able to
imagine relaxing there.
- Open up in the daytime
Let the sun shine in! Real estate sellers should
pull back curtains and drapes so that prospects
can see how bright and cheery the home is.
- Lighten up at night
Turn on the excitement buy turning on all your lights
- both inside and outside - when showing your home
in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and
make prospects feel welcome.
- Avoid crowded scenes
Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they
enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving
your house the attention it deserves, they're likely
to hurry through. Real estate sellers should keep
the company present to a minimum.
- Watch your pets
Dogs and cars are great companions, but not when
real estate sellers are showing their homes. Pets
have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody
a favor: Keep Kitty or Spot outside, or at least
out of the way.
- Think volume
Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a
real estate transaction. When it's time for a real
estate seller to show the home, it's time to turn
down the stereo or TV.
It's best if you're not there when your home is being
shown. However if that's not possible, be friendly
- but it's not necessary to force conversation.
Prospects want to view the home with minimal distraction
from the real estate seller.
- Don't apologize
No matter how humble your abode, never apologize
for its shortcomings. If a prospect volunteers
a derogatory comment about your home's appearance,
let your experienced RE/MAX Associate handle the
- Keep a low profile
Nobody knows a home better than the real estate seller.
But RE/MAX Sales Associates know buyers - what
they need and what they want. Your RE/MAX Associate
will have an easier time articulating the virtues
of your home if you stay in the background.
- Don't turn your home into a second-hand
When prospects come to view your home, don't distract
them with offers to sell those furnishings you no
longer need. You may lose the biggest sale of all.
- Defer to experience - It's the Experience®
When prospective buyers want to talk price, terms
or other real estate matters, let them speak to
an expert - your RE/MAX Sales Associate. As the
real estate seller, you might feel tempted to weigh
in, but your two cents could cost you much more.
- Help your agent
RE/MAX Associates have an easier time selling homes
if showings are scheduled through their offices.
And real estate sellers appreciate the results.
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Buying a Home
Whether you've spent years saving and preparing to
buy a home, or you're unsure if you can afford it,
the questions surrounding home buying can feel endless.
You can find the answers - and peace of mind - by working
with RE/MAX, the industry leader in experience and
Here are some tips to help you become your own landlord
through home buying.
- Hire a real estate professional.
An important first step is selecting a home buying
professional to help you find your dream home and
fine-tune your financial expectations. Working
with a buyer agent is worth consideration because
he or she is legally responsible for representing
the buyer's interest in a real estate transaction.
Before making a decision, however, have a REALTOR® explain
the pros and cons of using a buyer agent versus
a dual agent. Your RE/MAX Associate can guide you
through every step of home buying.
- Shop for mortgage rates and terms.
A difference of even half a percentage point can
mean a considerable savings over the life of a
loan. For example, the difference in the monthly
payment on a $100,000 mortgage at 8 percent vs.
7.5 percent is about $35 per month. Over 30 years,
- Prequalify for a loan.
Also early on, you'll want to get prequalified for
a mortgage loan, which determines how much you
can afford. It allows you to move swiftly when
you find the right home, especially when there
are other interested buyers. It also indicates
to the seller that you are serious about home buying
and can afford to buy the property.
- Outline what you want.
The next step in home buying is to create a realistic
idea of the property you'd like to buy. What features
are most important to you? Make two lists: one
of the items you can't live without and one of
the features you would enjoy. Refine the lists
as you house-hunt. It is also helpful to search
online to see what is currently available on the
market. Your real estate professional can then
show you houses that meet your expectations.
- Visit properties.
Now you're ready to visit houses. Ask your RE/MAX
Associate to help in your home buying process by
arranging showings. Be sure to keep track of the
properties you've seen. Each time you venture out
to see more properties, revisit your notes to immediately
eliminate any that clearly do not meet your standards.
- Know the features that help or hurt resale.
In some areas, a swimming pool actually detracts
from a home's value and makes it harder to sell.
In neighborhoods with two-car, attached garages,
a single-car or detached garage may affect the
home buying prospects and future value. Your RE/MAX
professional can point out features that hurt or
help resale value.
- Rate the houses you tour.
After touring each home, write down what you liked
and didn't like. Develop a rating system that will
help narrow the home buying field. For example,
pick the house you like best on day one and compare
all other houses to it. When you find a better
one, use the new favorite as the standard. Avoid
trying to track more than four top choices at any
given time since this can quickly become overwhelming.
- Make an offer.
Once you've pinpointed your dream house, it's time
to get serious about the financial and contractual
side of the purchase. Let your RE/MAX Associate
guide you through this sensitive home buying process.
Because you and the seller have different goals,
rely on your RE/MAX agent's experience and expertise
to bring order and calm to the process - and help
both parties reach a favorable outcome.
- Arrange for a home inspection.
After your offer is accepted, set up a home inspection.
It's common to find problems, including leaky roofs,
cracked walls, insect infestations and foundation
problems. Your real estate professional can help
find a reputable inspector, and will negotiate
to get you the most for your money once the inspector's
report is final. If you negotiate repairs as part
of the purchase, ask for a "walk through" before
finalizing the home buying paperwork. Ask your
real estate expert about home protection plans,
which may save you money in the near future.
Before your closing date, make sure you've made all
necessary deposits and completed the paperwork
- including mortgage, title, homeowner's insurance
and any other paperwork required by local or state
governments when home buying. Your RE/MAX agent
will be there to help you complete that closing
checklist and avoid any last-minute snags. You
deserve to enjoy every moment of the home buying
- Prepare for life in your new home.
Before rolling out the welcome mat, consider some
moving basics: arranging for an alarm company,
turning on electricity, water and gas, cleaning
or replacing the carpet, and notifying your local
post office of your new address. The best time
for renovations is often before you move in.
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