Shawn Sullivan, CRS's Blog
Selling a home rarely proves to be a simple, straightforward process. However, if you plan ahead for the house selling journey, you may be better equipped than other sellers to identify and address potential hurdles.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you plan for the home selling journey.
1. Identify Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses
No home is flawless. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to analyze your residence, you can identify your house's strengths and weaknesses. You then can take the necessary steps to transform assorted home weaknesses into strengths.
Oftentimes, it helps to hire a home inspector before you list a house. A home inspector will perform an in-depth evaluation of your residence and help you identify any underlying property issues. Next, you can use a home inspection report to prioritize property repairs.
2. Price Your House Competitively
What you originally paid for your house is unlikely to match your home's current value. But if you define a "competitive" price for your residence, you could boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful house selling experience.
The definition of a competitive home price varies based on the current state of the real estate market, a house's age and condition and other factors. If you gather lots of data about the housing sector in your city or town, you can see how your residence stacks up against the competition. Plus, you can use this information to establish a price range for houses that are comparable to your residence and price your home accordingly.
It generally helps to account for recent home improvements when you list your house, too. For instance, if you recently replaced your house's roof, this upgrade could help you differentiate your home from the competition. It also may help you get the best price for your residence.
3. Upgrade Your Home's Exterior and Interior
Enhancing your home's curb appeal is crucial. If your house boasts a stunning front lawn, pristine siding and other great exterior features, buyers may fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.
In addition, don't forget to maintain a neat, tidy home interior. By cleaning each room of your house and eliminating home clutter, you can show buyers your residence's full potential.
For those who are unsure about how to accomplish their home selling goals, you may want to employ a real estate agent. This housing market professional will take the guesswork out of the home selling journey and do whatever it takes to help you succeed.
Usually, a real estate agent works with a home seller and teaches him or her about the housing market. A real estate agent then implements a home selling strategy. And if a seller has concerns at any point during the house selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
Streamline the home selling journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.
59 Belmont Street, Everett, MA 02149
Your 401K is a great resource of investing for retirement. Many people use their 401k’s as a part of their overall investment strategies, pulling money out of it when it’s needed. When you’re ready to buy a house, you may think that pulling money out of your 401k for a down payment is a good idea. But think again.
Although you should always speak with a financial professional about your money matters, the bottom line is that is probably not the best idea to use your 401k to supply money for a downpayment on a home.
First, your 401k funds are pre-tax dollars. That means that you haven’t paid any taxes on these funds. Your employer will often match the amount of money that you put into your 401k, as an incentive to help you save money for your future. You need to keep your 401k for a certain amount of time before any funds in the 401k become available to you without having to pay any kind of penalty. If you decide to take on the penalty, you can often face a cut to your employer’s match programs as well. This is why you must make this decision wisely.
Anyone under the age of 59.5 pays a penalty of 10 percent to take the money out of the fund. In addition, you’ll now need to pay taxes on this money, because it becomes a part of your adjusted gross income.
If you are looking to invest in a property, there may be other options for you rather than pulling money out of your 401k. While some plans allow you to borrow money from it. However, if your only option to get money to invest in a property is to pull money from your retirement account, it may not be the best time to invest in property for you.
Keep It Separate
If you’re younger (say in your 30’s or 40’s) your best option is to have a completely separate account that is used to save for a downpayment and other expenses that you’ll incur when you buy a home. In this sense you aren’t spreading yourself too thin as far as investments go. You should compartmentalize your money. Buying a home is a large investment in itself. Home equity can also be a good source of a nest egg in later years when you need it. However, even if a property will be an income property, it’s never smart to take from one investment account to provide for another unless you’re shifting your focus. You don’t want to reach retirement, only to see that your funds have been depleted and you can’t retire as expected.
The more you know about the process of buying a house, the better prepared you'll be for doing it successfully.
How might you define "success" when it comes to purchasing a home?
There are a lot of standards that could be applied to successfully navigating the home buying process, but here are a few that immediately come to mind:
- Finding the house of your dreams: While very few people find a home that is absolutely perfect in every way, it is possible to come close to achieving that ideal. Although a certain amount of flexibility goes a long way, knowing what you want and prioritizing important features are among the main prerequisites to getting what you want. As baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." Thanks to the variety of websites devoted to home ownership, home decorating, remodeling, and landscaping, it's easy to find pictures online that can help inspire your imagination and clarify exactly what the house of your dreams might look like.
- Minimizing setbacks and frustrations: The process of house hunting is a journey that often involves bumpy roads, detours, and dead ends. One secret to getting through it successfully is to work with an experienced real estate agent who knows the ropes and can keep you on track. It also helps to approach house hunting with a sense of optimism, resourcefulness, and commitment. Although you probably have a lot of competing priorities in your life, finding a house that you and your family will be happy in for the next few years deserves a top spot on your list!
- Avoiding unpleasant surprises: Knowing your credit score and understanding the impact it will have on getting loan approval and a favorable interest rate will help prepare you for the financial side of buying a house. The ability to get prequalified for a mortgage and come up with sufficient down payment will also set the stage for a successful home buying experience. On the plus side, a higher down payment can potentially result in a lower interest rate and not having to pay private mortgage insurance (A 20% down payment is necessary to avoid PMI.) Since many loan programs and lenders require at least a 3-5% down payment, that can be a stumbling block for first-time home buyers. To purchase a $200,000 home, for example, you'd need to come up with a cash outlay of between $6,000 to $10,000 -- not an easy feat for everyone!