Lay Good Groundwork Before Hiring Your Realtor

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Lay Good Groundwork Before Hiring Your Realtor

By Kris Louis

When you’re entering the housing market, there are important steps to take before you hire your real estate agent. By laying good groundwork, you set yourself up for success. Here are key points to help you start the home buying or selling process. 
 
Advice from a Pro
Selling or buying a house is a significant transaction. For most of us, it’s among the biggest financial undertakings we ever make. Therefore, it’s vital to make appropriate preparations and do research beforehand. The steps you take in advance will help to build your relationship with your real estate agent, keeping you active in the process and helping to make buying and selling positive for both parties.
 
Finding Answers
You’ll need to do some research before you can answer those questions, and there are important preparations that will affect your answers. By visiting open houses and exploring listings online, you can see what is available and narrow down the neighborhoods you like. And timing-wise, there are pieces of the buying and selling process that factor into your decision.
 
Pre-Approval
Buyers should talk to a mortgage lender before contacting a realtor. For home buyers, getting pre-approval for a mortgage loan is a big player in timing the purchase. Obtaining pre-approval can be time-consuming. For one thing, lenders check your credit history, and cleaning it up can take months to resolve. As USA Today explains, any number of issues can be found on credit reports, such as clerical errors, delinquent accounts, open but unused lines of credit, and stolen identity. Tidy that up before applying for pre-approval on your mortgage. Bring along the necessary paperwork when you visit your lender for pre-approval. This includes your most recent bank statements, your last W-2, your driver’s license, your most recent pay stubs, proof of retirement accounts, and balances. Some professionals note you may also owe a fee to your lender. If you wish to make comparisons with other lenders, you will need to go through this process with each one. 
 
Develop Criteria
Home buyers also need to know what they want in a property. Do you need room for a growing family, or are you downsizing? Do you prefer the country or city? Do you like room to breathe, or do you prefer close neighbors? Think through your preferences and note your “musts” and “wants.” Some experts suggest those priorities can help you find a suitable property quickly.
 
Make Repairs
Home sellers need to make preparations in advance of listing a home. One of the most important things you can do is ensure your property will experience a positive home inspection for the buyer. Your best bet is to schedule a home inspection well in advance of putting your home on the market. The inspector may find issues, and it provides you with sufficient time to remedy problems or price the home accordingly. The average price for a home inspection is between $268 and $403 in Denver. 
 
Consider a Facelift
Many sellers consider making updates and cosmetic improvements to help sell a home. Today recommends painting walls in neutral colors like white and gray (if you hire pros, it’ll run you an average of $400 for each medium-sized room) and staging rooms in accordance with their purpose. Enhance the home’s curb appeal with fresh paint and tidy landscaping. Any large updates should be postponed until your realtor looks at the home and you can get their professional advice, as sometimes upgrades don’t pay for themselves. 
 
Once you lay your groundwork, you can contact your realtor and move forward in buying or selling a home. Remember to do some research and make preparations. With your foundation in place, the process can be successful and smooth.