Karen Lawley's Blog
A mortgage pre-approval can be a valuable tool for understanding how much you can afford to spend on purchasing a home. It can also make you seem much more attractive to sellers and help to identify any potential problems that may make it difficult to get a loan. In fact, many lenders claim that if a buyer isn’t pre-approved for a mortgage, they will have a difficult time navigating the real estate market. But what does pre-approval really mean?
What is a Mortgage Pre-Approval?
While it can sound like you’ve got a sure thing locked in when you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, being pre-approved doesn’t promise that you’ll be able to secure a loan for the home that you want to purchase. A mortgage pre-approval simply means that a loan officer has reviewed your finances and decided how much money you're allocated to borrow, what you should be able to pay each month towards your mortgage and what your interest rate will be.
Once, you’ve been pre-approved by a lender, you will get a letter that can be shown to sellers. This letter indicates that you’ve already established a working relationship with a lender. This helps to give sellers peace of mind in knowing that you’re serious about putting in an offer on their home, and they don’t have to risk wasting time with a buyer who isn’t serious.
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Pre-Approval?
A pre-approval doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a mortgage but it does offer a few key advantages during your search for the ideal home. It helps to give you confidence while looking at potential properties, as you look at homes that are within your budget. There’s no need to fall in love with a home that you can’t afford. Additionally, it establishes credibility as a buyer, showing that you have your finances under control and can help to put you on the fast-track to closing once you’ve found the perfect home.
Are Pre-Approval & Pre-Qualified the Same Thing?
Unfortunately, no. These two similar real estate terms are not interchangeable. When you are pre-qualified for a mortgage, this indicates that you have given your lender information regarding your income, debts and assets. Without doing further research, the lender then tells you that you should qualify for a certain mortgage. Pre-approval is a much more in-depth process, requiring your lender to verify the financial information provided by pulling your credit history, as well as verifying your income and assets.
Putting your home on the market is a life-changing decision and, for some people, it may involve conflicting feelings.
Ideally, all members of your family should be on board with the decision to sell. If you, your spouse, or your kids are ambivalent or even against the idea of moving, it could send a negative message to prospective buyers, estate agents, and others. Helping your family stay positive and motivated can ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction.
A common stumbling block for many sellers is the inclination to attach too much sentimental value to their home. While you may associate your home with fond family memories, years of hard work, and thousands of dollars in home improvements, your actual selling price should be a reflection of market conditions and the price comparable houses in your neighborhood recently sold for.
Based on a comparative analysis, your real estate agent can help you come up with a realistic asking price that will reflect both its market value and major improvements you've made in recent years. Although remodeling your kitchen or bathrooms will not provide you with a dollar-for-dollar return on investment (ROI) when it comes time to sell, prospective buyers will be much more attracted to a home that's been updated and well maintained.
When selling your home, perhaps the most important principle to keep in mind is that "You don't get a second chance to make a great first impression." By minimizing the negatives and making the most of your home's attributes, you'll be increasing the probability of selling your house within the shortest period of time
Keeping your home meticulously clean for every showing can often be a challenge, but it's a goal worth striving for. Other ways to make a favorable impression on potential buyers is to focus on maximizing your home's curb appeal and minimizing clutter -- both inside and out. While it may seem like a tall order to declutter your home, keep your lawn looking manicured, and apply fresh coats of paint where needed, you'd be surprised at how much you can accomplish by setting your mind to it. One simple but effective strategy for getting things done is to create checklists of priorities, projects, and important tasks that need to be completed. When you commit goals to writing and review your priority list every day, you'll tend to be much more organized, action oriented, and focused.
Although a lot of people take a sense of humble pride in saying that their home is "a work in progress," once it's on the market, you need to have as many of those rough edges smoothed out, as possible! Putting your best foot forward for every showing could make the difference between a fast sale and a house which lingers on the market for months!
When it comes to selling a house, there is no need to make rash decisions. Instead, you should review your home selling options closely so you can make informed choices time and time again.
There are many factors to consider as you review your home selling plans, and these include:
1. Your Home's Condition
How your home looks to buyers may have far-flung effects on your house selling experience. If you allocate time and resources to upgrade your house's appearance, you could boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling journey.
First, you may want to upgrade your house's curb appeal. You can mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other home exterior upgrades to bolster your house's curb appeal and differentiate your residence from other properties.
You should clean each room of your house, too. That way, homebuyers may be more likely than ever before to fall in love with your residence as soon as they walk through your house's front door.
2. The Current State of the Housing Market
The current state of the housing market may dictate how you price your home. If you analyze the local housing sector, you can set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.
Take a look at available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. You then can use this information to establish a price range for your residence.
Also, find out how long recently sold houses in your area were available before they were purchased. This housing market data can help you determine if the current housing market favors buyers or sellers.
3. Your Home Selling Goals
Consider what you want to accomplish during the home selling journey. By doing so, you can map out what you will need to do to achieve your home selling goals.
For instance, if you want to sell your residence as quickly as possible, you may want to establish an aggressive initial asking price for your home. On the other hand, if you want to optimize your home sale earnings, you may want to consider myriad possibilities to promote your residence to as many potential buyers as you can.
For those who want to review their home selling options, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to streamline the home selling journey.
A real estate agent offers comprehensive insights that you can use to accomplish your desired home selling results. Plus, he or she is ready to respond to your home selling concerns and questions. And if you are unsure about how to navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent can provide guidance to help you make informed decisions.
Ready to list your residence? Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can plan ahead for all aspects of the home selling journey.
Deciding whether to accept a buyer's offer to purchase your house can be exceedingly difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you assess the pros and cons of a homebuying proposal and ensure you can make an informed decision.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine whether to accept an offer to buy your home.
1. Examine the Current Housing Market
The current housing market may play a role in your ability to stir up interest in your house. In addition, the real estate sector may impact whether you're able to receive multiple home offers at or above your residence's initial asking price.
To understand the present state of the housing market, you should look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. If houses are selling quickly, you may be operating in a seller's market. Or, if houses linger on the market for many weeks or months before they sell, you may be operating in a buyer's market.
Ultimately, a seller's market may lead to many offers on your house in the foreseeable future. If you receive an offer that fails to match your expectations when you're operating in this type of market, you may want to decline or counter the proposal in the hopes of receiving superior offers down the line.
On the other hand, it usually requires hard work and persistence to sell a house in a buyer's market. And if you receive a competitive homebuying proposal in a buyer's market, you may want to accept this offer.
2. Consider Your Home's Condition
The condition of your house may prove to be a critical factor as you debate whether to accept an offer. If you assess your house's condition closely, you may be better equipped than ever before to make the best-possible decision about a homebuying proposal.
If you feel a home offer is fair based on the current condition of your house, you may want to accept the proposal. Conversely, if you feel a buyer has submitted a "lowball" proposal based on your home's condition, you should not hesitate to reject or counter this offer.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to evaluating a homebuying proposal, it generally is a good idea to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of accepting an offer and determine the best course of action.
Typically, a real estate agent will present a buyer's offer to you and offer recommendations about how to proceed with this proposal. As you assess all of your options regarding a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will be able to respond to any concerns or questions that you may have too.
Ready to take the guesswork out of reviewing a homebuying proposal? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the process of deciding whether to accept an offer to purchase your home.
There are a number of reasons you may want to sell your home quickly. Whether you’re hoping to avoid making two mortgage payments, or if you are moving a long distance and have a limited time to close on your old home, it can become imperative to sell quickly.
Many homeowners in a rush to sell their home are at a loss for what they can do to increase their chances of selling quickly without substantially lowering the price.
If you’re in a competitive buyer’s market it can be even more difficult to make a quick sale. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help expedite the selling process. In today’s article, we’ll show you how to do just that.
Read on for tips on selling your home faster so you can move on to focusing on your new home.
To give yourself the best chance of attracting buyers, you’ll want to focus on cleaning and staging your home.
Many sellers leave their belongings in the home and simply fill up their closet and basement while selling their home. A better approach is to rent a storage unit to keep your belongings in. This will make sure you can showcase the size of your closet and other storage areas in viewings and in your photography.
When it comes to photography, using high quality photos that show off the lighting and spaciousness of your home will attract more leads on your home. Spending money to hire a photographer for the day can save you valuable time and give you quality, marketable photos of your home.
Rethink your pricing
If you need to sell quickly, the easiest way to do so is to make sure you’ve priced your home reasonably. Many sellers have a tendency to aim high, thinking that they will be haggled down by a buyer.
However, fewer people will reach out if your home is outside of their budget. Set your home price close to its market value and make adjustments accordingly.
Add quick curb appeal
Curb appeal is the measure of how welcoming and desirable your home looks upon driving by or pulling into the driveway. This can be achieved with landscaping, paving the driveway, and cleaning the house’s siding.
However, you don’t have to spend thousands to clean up the outside of your home. Sometimes simply mowing and edging the lawn and adding fresh mulch goes a long way toward improving curb appeal.
Another thing to consider is the best time to take outdoor photos of your home. If you have a great view or sunsets, try taking photos at different times of the day to show off all your property has to offer.
Remove personal items
You want your home to appear livable--not lived in. Make sure family photos and other personalized items have been removed for real estate photography, open houses, and viewing.
Similarly, if you have any rooms painted colors that others may find jarring, re-paint them in a neutral, calming color. And, if any of your walls are painted a dark color, brighten them up to make the room appear larger.
This approach stands true for the driveway and garage as well. You want potential buyers to imagine how they could use the space--not how you’re currently using it. Make sure your vehicles and outdoor equipment are out of sight in your photos and during showings.