A Dozen Tips for Buying or Selling Your Home in 2012

Forecasts for 2012 predict growth in home sales but with the abysmal years we’ve had, that’s not much consolation. Whether you’re buying or selling, you may need some help. Check out Business Insider’s 12 tips for selling or buying your home in 2012 – or read the article in its entirety here.

  1. Price it right from the start: Holding out for a better offer is unfortunately not the best strategy right now. According to the National Association of Realtors, almost half of owners accepted less than 90% of their asking price for sales that took four months or more.
  2. The little things matter: All of the little things such as caulking, painting, planting flowers, adding potted plants, cleaning windows, edging sidewalks, trimming bushes, and other small maintenance items can go a long way. It won’t empty your wallet and could tip the scales in your favor.
  3. Don’t ignore any buyers and be willing to negotiate: The whole “stick to your guns” thing doesn’t work as well as it used to. You might have to give a little in order to sell your house. Also make sure your agent doesn’t ignore the lowballers. Don’t succumb to their demands but they could also be one of your only prospective buyers.
  4. Take your home to the Web: There are a plethora of listing sites at your disposal, as well as social sites such as Facebook and YouTube. The Web is one of the easiest places for a buyer to find a listing and you need to be where the buyer is looking.
  5. Be wary of scams: Con-artists and fraudsters will try to kick you when you’re down. The deals they offer may seem legitimate, especially if you are desperate to sell. Always use caution, do your research and if you’re unsure, hire an attorney or adviser.
  6. Financing is tough: Qualifying for loans is no small feat nowadays. You have to understand that buyers are probably under as much financial pressure as you, so try and meet them halfway. Reject low offers courteously and with encouragement saying that the offer is very close.
  7. Be there for showings: In the past, agents advised homeowners to leave during showings to prevent you from disclosing unwanted information. That has changed and it can actually be a benefit for you to be there for showings. Just control the emotions and be ready for some questions about the community.
  8. Buy quality: The first thought of a quality home is usually around the structure; brick or concrete and steel homes are usual more durable and quieter. However, you should also buy based on your surroundings. Purchasing near a good hospital, university or growing business district is usually a good idea for sustained quality.
  9. Shop around: You wouldn’t buy the first car on the lot that started and you shouldn’t buy the first home you see that is “livable.” There is a lot of affordable inventory out there, especially in short-sale and foreclosure situations.
  10. Get an appraiser: You can go online and get a general idea of what your house might be going for. However, this calculation might be considerably different than a valuation from an appraiser. So don’t feel bad if a firsthand professional appraisal values your home at 25% less than what an online source did.
  11. Add to your buying checklist: Generally you will start your home buyer checklist with financial details, contracts, protections and disclosures. You should also hire a title company, hire your own inspector (don’t use the seller’s), have that inspector check for unpermitted work, get an energy efficiency audit and be sure the property lines are accurate.
  12. Construct a quality of life checklist: Buying a home isn’t just about the home, it’s about the community. Check the National Sex Offender Public website, spend some time in the neighborhood and check for any unwanted activity (loud neighbors, gangs, etc.) and determine what kind of buildings can be built on vacant lots adjacent to the neighborhood. In short, do your homework of the neighborhood.

For more tips from Lieberman Management Services, click here. If you’re interested in LMS managing your property, you can submit an RFP or contact us for more information.

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