First-time Refinancers or Sellers

You’ve already gone through the purchasing process, but now it’s time to refinance or sell for the first time.

Is Refinancing Right For You?

Some homeowners may not fully understand what the refinancing process entails. When you refinance your home, you’re applying for a new mortgage and using the loan you receive to pay off your current mortgage.

Often you will go through most of the same steps you went through when you received your home’s current mortgage, including the loan application process, credit checks, appraisals and the closing. That means you’ll also face most of the fees and upfront costs you paid for during the original mortgage process.

In most cases, homeowners will see the greatest benefits from refinancing if they plan to stay in their home for many years to come. In addition, homeowners who have already built some equity in their current home often see the biggest advantages from refinancing.

Knowing When to Sell

For the most part, people don’t enjoy the act of selling a house and moving. But there are times when it makes sense, whether it’s for financial, geographic or personal reasons.

Aside from personal or geographic reasons, such as divorce or a job change, there are some valid financial reasons for selling your house.

  • Space. Whether you suddenly need less space or more space, if you have exhausted your options and moving seems like the ideal solution, go for it. It may end up saving you money in the long run.
  • Equity. If you’ve built a significant amount of equity in your home, it could really pay off for you to sell now.
  • Hot market. Even without a significant amount of equity in your home, if the market has turned into a seller’s market, you should give serious consideration to selling while the opportunity is there.

How to Not Lose Money

Once you’ve decided to sell, you must settle on an asking price. Before you make up a price, get a Comparative Market Analysis report (CMA) from your neighborhood. The CMA will tell you what houses in your neighborhood have sold for during the past few months. Professional real estate agents have access to CMAs.

Because sellers want to get the best price possible, most set their asking price at 5% to 10% above the market value in preparation for a slight knock down during negotiations.

Don’t allow your house to sit on the market for an extended time. This gives buyers the advantage because they’ll know you’re getting anxious to sell. If you can avoid it, don’t put your house up for sale during mid-summer or mid-winter; these are the slowest times for house sales.

Finally, make all those little repairs that you’ve been meaning to get to for the past few years, such as tile floor repairs, light fixtures, faucets and gutters. The little things will not go unnoticed by prospective buyers and will make your house slightly more desirable.

Negotiating as the Seller

Even if this is your first time selling a house, you have one big advantage during the negotiating process: you’ve already experienced the process from the buyer’s side. This experience will help you to recognize the difference between real prospective buyers and bad-faith buyers, and that will save you time and money.

The first step to good negotiating is setting a fair price for your home. If you overprice it you’ll discourage serious buyers from pursuing the purchase. Learn the local market and keep your price within range.

Second, you may want to have your home professionally inspected before any buyer even sees it. This will eliminate the possibility of a surprise emergency repair that will cause potential buyers to lower their bid. Knowing what’s wrong ahead of time can save you thousands of dollars.

Giving Your House Sell Appeal

Although it can be inconvenient, keeping your house presentable at all times during the selling cycle is imperative. But cleanliness aside, here are a few tricks to creating “sell appeal” within your home when prospective buyers pay you a visit.

  • Plant fresh flowers on the property and keep fresh flowers indoors as well
  • Keep all the beds made, with fresh bedding
  • Use soft lighting such as lamps or dimmer lights; avoid harsh fluorescent lighting
  • Organize your closets, as buyers may want a peek
  • Bake fresh brownies or vanilla cake to fill the air with a delicious smell
  • Clean the windows
  • Make sure the entry way, from the sidewalk to the front door, is clear of debris, dirt or mud, the kids’ toys and any other distractions.
  • Happy selling!

Tips For First-time Homebuyers Main