Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Chicago or its suburbs for the first time, this exciting experience is life changing and can be complicated. Given that this is a major purchase / sale, Realtors® at Ryan Hill Realty advise you on how to avoid a few pitfalls.
Our agents offer these short tips of some of the most popular mistakes that they have witnessed:
Establish a budget and look at homes within that budget.
We’ve noticed that there is a certain level of excitement, enthusiasm and fear when first time homebuyers decide to start looking at homes. Although understandable, keep in mind that your home purchase will include additional fees. You will need to establish a budget of how much home you can afford, consider any additional fees – such as inspections, and then look for homes within that price range. It will help you stay focused and you won’t be disappointed if you can’t buy a home you have seen and fallen in love with. Remember, the American Dream is available to everyone, you just have to take it one step at a time. Your initial investment will help you move up when the time is right.
The best step you can take before looking at homes is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approvals help you learn the valuable information you need to know for what you will be able to afford. During the process, the lender reviews your tax documents, year-end pay stubs, and bank accounts to determine how much of a loan they will give you.
Don’t be too quick to buy or sell a home, if you can wait. While it might be tempting to think of buying a house as a fast and easy process, especially for first time homebuyers, it’s not. Impatience at not selling or buying as fast as you’d hoped soon gives rise to desperation. When that occurs, sellers might accept too low an offer, or buyers might make an offer on a home they aren’t fully satisfied with, all for the sake of just getting it done. But to do so can cost you more in the long-run, and it is much better to wait it out, instead. Listen to your agent on when is the best time to shop or sell according to what your needs are for moving.
Home sellers, don’t set your price too high or too low. In Chicago area real estate and housing, prices for homes should be realistic. It’s understandable to want to get as much as you can from the sale of your home, but you don’t want to set on that’s overpriced for the market. But here’s the thing – buyers will know just by looking around at other homes in your area if your home is higher priced than the rest, and they will simply ignore yours. From there, the longer your home remains on the market, it will make many home buyers lose interest. Avoid stalling the process of selling your home by taking your agent’s advice on what to list your home for in the first place, and the right offer will come to you.
Emotional attachments and offense have no place in a real estate transaction. Getting emotional or offended at lowball offers will only set you back. Yes, it can be disappointing when a buyer doesn’t see your home the way you think of it, to where they make you a low offer. Keep in mind, at that point you do still have the power to make a counter offer, and ultimately, refuse an offer if they still don’t go as high as you’d like. But, be smart about it. Here, too, patience is needed. Ending negotiations prematurely, before agreeing to the best offer, might mean you lose out on the sale altogether, setting you back further in time and money.
Be prepared for open houses and showings – everything decluttered and clean. Your home is on the market and your Realtor® has done their job and need to show the home. Showings you turn down, or don’t prepare for, is a sure path to hampering the sale of your home. Whether or not you are living in it, it has to be tidy, clean, impersonal (remove personal photos, etc), and de-cluttered. Potential homebuyers need to imagine themselves and their belongings in the space. They will be paying attention to detail, and will need to inspect as much of each room as possible. When your agent informs you of a showing, you will have to be prepared in advance. That way, you can leave quickly and easily (as much as possible) so that your home can be more readily available to as many potential buyers as you can obtain. After all, without them, your home won’t get sold.
Buying or selling a home is more complex than you might assume. Many people make easily avoidable but common mistakes that cause them stress, if not handled properly. No one understands this more than your REALTOR®. Seasoned agents have witnessed a variety of mistakes by first-time buyers and sellers, as well as move-up buyers. Please, always consult and hire an experience Realtor® to assist you with your first time home purchase or sale. Their knowledge is invaluable and will work to your benefit during one of the most important transactions you will experience.
If you are looking for a new home, Teresa Ryan, Broker and Team Lead, Ryan Hill Group (Century 21 Affiliated) can help you find the perfect match! Contact Teresa today at 630-276-7575 or email ClientServices@RyanHillGroup.com.