Christmas is almost here. I don’t know where the year went, but it’s gone. Hopefully after the holidays, people will be thinking about getting into that bigger house or taking advantage of the bargains in investment properties. Right now we’re all just trying to make it through the month. I thought I would offer some advice to those of you who may be thinking about buying or selling a home in the new year.
First, if you’re planning to buy a home after Christmas, don’t let the Grinch steal your dream. That mean old Grinch will suck the resources right out of you and leave you farther from your dream than you are now. I’m talking about debt. If you plan to be a buyer, limit, or even avoid altogether using credit accounts. Big balance run-ups in the during the holidays can negatively impact your ability to get a mortgage. This will be an exercise in delayed gratification. Your kids won’t burst into flame if they don’t have the latest toy craze or Abercrombie jeans. Your spouse won’t melt if you don’t get him or her hundreds of dollars worth of proof of your love. Tone it down, and focus on the long term. Think of the great Christmas you will have next year in your new house.
If you’re thinking about selling in 2012, there are things you can do to prepare and make your life easier. Start de-cluttering now. Survey after survey of home buyers show that houses that are neutral and open show better than those with bold colors and lots of furniture and brick-a-brac. Buyers want to be able to picture the space – not your stuff. Also, consider having a professional cleaning done if it is not your strong suit. Carpet cleaning goes a long way toward removing pet smells if you have them. If you have pets, you have pet smell – just take my word on that.
Start prepping the family for the need to keep the house clean in order to show at a moment’s notice. The easier you make it for Realtors to show your home, the more likely qualified buyers will see it. I have had buyers completely cross a home off their list because the sellers made it hard to make an appointment. The sellers who always have family in, or claim it isn’t a “good time.” These are the houses that don’t sell as quickly or for as much as they should. Make it easy, keep it clean, and leave when it’s being showed. It really makes buyers uncomfortable when the owners are home during a showing.
The best advice I can give you if you’re either going to buy or sell a home is to use the services of a licensed Realtor. We know the market, and the inventory. We know the tricks to making your home look it’s best. We want you to buy or sell – it’s how we get paid. I’m ready when you are.
All Real Estate. All The Time