Home Buying and Home Selling in Quad Cities
Jean Mueller

Home Buying and Home Selling

Home buying and home selling can be a challenging process. That is why it is so important to involve a real estate advisor. A Realtor can walk you through the process of purchasing a home or selling your current home. They understand the importance of being pre-approved for a mortgage, market values of homes in your neighborhood or area of interest, negotiating on your behalf, and above all, the intricacies of all the paperwork for home buying and home selling.

Buying a Home

Buying a home is probably the biggest investment you will make, with long-term financial ramifications. It calls for many informed decisions and for good advice from a real estate professional. Your Realtor will help you determine how much home you can actually afford. They can also introduce you to a mortgage loan officer, with our partner Shelter Mortgage, and arrange to have you “pre-approved,” which can improve your negotiating position and enable you to achieve your home-buying objectives faster and with less stress.

Your Realtor will help you work out a realistic idea of the home best suited to your needs - size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping, and other personal preferences. They have access to all available homes on the market, can evaluate them in terms of your needs and affordability. And they can often suggest simple, imaginative changes that could make a home more suitable for you and improve its value.

Your Realtor can supply information on real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and may be aware of proposed zoning changes that could affect your decision to buy. They can help familiarize you with the closing process and they will obtain closing figures in advance of closing for your review. And they can provide you with a list of qualified home inspectors, pest inspectors, surveyors, and help to coordinate inspection appointments.

Top Tips to Successful Home Buying

  • Make a Plan and Get Pre-Qualified: Developing a home buying plan can help you focus on the important factors and organize the entire process. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps you determine the home price you can afford and presents you as a genuine prospect to the seller. A thorough plan will save both time and money and your Realtor can help you start the process!
  • Create a List of Amenities: When shopping for a home, list the features (fireplace, fenced-in yard, new appliances, etc.) that are most important to you in deciding on which home to buy. Establishing "your criteria" early on will save time shopping for inappropriate homes and may keep you from buying a home on a whim. 
  • Sign a Contract That Protects You: Make sure that the contract you put on a house allows you to arrange financing, inspect the home and negotiate any problems that you uncover. 
  • Put Yourself in the Seller's Shoes: If you take time to understand the reasons the seller bought the home, their reasons for selling, and the home improvements they have or have not made, you'll be in a better position to evaluate the home and negotiate a better deal. 
  • Get a Quality Home Inspection: Paying for a qualified home inspection before you buy a home isn't just spending "a little extra" for peace of mind; it's absolutely essential for anyone who doesn't want to spend thousands of dollars for repairs.
  • Peace of Mind: Home Protection Plans: To protect both you as a buyer, as well as the seller, it is a good idea to purchase a home protection plan. A home warranty, or home protection plan, is a service contract, which protects homeowners against the cost of unexpected repairs or replacement of their major systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear. 

Selling a Home

A growing family, a new job or retirement – no matter what your reasons are for selling a home, remember that we are here for you. The process of preparing for selling a home can take a month or more. So, here's how to start:

  • Take a Fresh Look at Your Home: Scrutinize your home as a prospective buyer will see it for the first time. Consider what's called "street appeal;" does it need washing or painting? Does the driveway need repair work? Is the landscaping in good shape? Remember, be very critical when selling a home; your buyer will be. Size up the interior as though seeing it for the first time. Take a tour and imagine what your real estate agent might say about each room. Make a mental note of the things that might put off potential buyers, along with another list of the things that first attracted you to the dwelling. Remember, the home's become a great place for you, but a new buyer will see things that you don't.
  • Clean out the Clutter Before you Start to Sell: Before putting your home on the market, get rid of clutter in every area -- closets, attic storage, kitchen cabinets, drawers, bath vanities, and shelves -- everywhere. Remember, this is no time to be sentimental: if you don't use it, lose it. Potential buyers are seriously put off by clutter, and most of us drag a lot more things through life than we really need.
  • To Sell, Sell, Sell -- Clean, Clean, Clean: After you've cleared out the clutter, it's time to really clean. Have the carpets professionally cleaned, strip and polish the floors, scour the bathrooms, go over the laundry room, polish the furniture, scour out the cabinets, wash the windows and window coverings, and spiff up the ceiling fans and kitchen appliances. In short, clean everything. Don't forget the exterior; paint or power-wash everything that needs the work. Remember, this is a ceiling-to-floor, roof-to-foundation clean-up project.
  • Get More for Your Home: Mall the repairs necessary to attract a buyer. So, patch up the roof, touch up all the paint, repair the screens, spruce up the porch framing, and make your entry area really shine. Don't forget to water the lawn and landscape beds, and take the time to trim, mow, edge and get rid of sick or dying plants. Inside, fix the grout in the bathrooms and on tile floors, adjust any doors that need it, fix any scratches on the walls, cover any stains, and be sure to fix any plumbing problems. Remember, do what your home needs before the first buyer appears at your door.

Home buying and home selling can be challenging but your real estate advisor is here to help you each step of the way.

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