How soon should you call a Realtor?

Sellers

Before doing any improvements to sell your home… focus on decluttering, cleaning and basic repairs first, then call your Realtor before doing anything else. They know the market and can advise you on what changes will have a positive impact for your specific home… what is and isn’t recommended may surprise you.

Some things you’ll probably want to discuss when you get together with your Realtor at your home are…

  • Current market, what your house might sell for and your estimated net proceeds… possible variations based on potential impact of improvements you may be considering.
  • If you will be buying after you sell, what is available for you to buy… maybe make a ‘buying’ tour of homes. Does it financially make sense to make the move? Do you have special requirements with limited property choices so it makes more sense to buy first if you can?
  • If you decide to move forward, I can help you make decisions on what you should do to make your home have the greatest appeal… improvements should match the market for your home and neighborhood.
  • Before we list your home, I will bring in a stager to help make decisions on things such as paint colors and decor… staging is very different from decorating, and sets the stage so buyers want to picture themselves living in your home

It’s also important to stay in touch with your Realtor as you make progress on your plan. The two most difficult parts of getting your home ready to sell are often decluttering, which may involve renting a storage unit and cleaning every nook and cranny including closets, drawers, cupboards, garage, light fixtures, and most importantly kitchens and bathrooms.

Buyers

  • It’s not surprising today that 95% of Minnesota buyers start looking for homes on the internet. But a good way to shift from dreaming about a new home to making a new home a reality, is by driving by properties of interest in different neighborhoods to see which neighborhoods you like, and which ones you don’t, because the neighborhood will have a profound impact on how happy you are with your new home.
  • It is a good idea to also contact a lender at this point to establish your maximum loan amount, and also find out if there are things you can do to assure you get the best interest rate, tips to improve your credit score, or correct errors on your credit report.
  • After you find neighborhoods you really like, contact your Realtor and I’ll set up an automated MLS search for those neighborhoods so you can get a sense of what kinds of properties are available and their asking price.
  • Once you are about 3-4 months from when you’d like to buy a home, it’s time to sit down with your Realtor to clearly define what features you are looking for in a new home. How many bedroom and bathrooms, garage stalls, size of the lot, age of the home and style are all very important. Maybe you want a large kitchen because you love to cook or maybe you want a hobby room for sewing, you might want space for a workshop an extra room to make into a man-cave. The options are endless.
  • It’s also important at this point to get pre-approved for the mortgage, so you know how much home you can buy. It doesn’t make sense to look at homes for say $350,000 when your mortgage company will only approve you for a mortgage up to $300,000
  • The average time to find a home is typically about 2-3 months, plus another 1-2 months from purchase agreement to closing.

Finding the right home is a process, which usually starts by looking at 4 or more homes and getting a better idea of what you like and what you don’t like. Then narrowing your focus until you find the house that just feels like home as soon as you walk through the door.

Even if you aren’t planning to move for another six months or more, feel free to contact your Realtor whenever you have a question or need some help… that is what they’re here for! (That, and Realtors love to talk about real estate!)