Buying your new home is a serious venture. It can be an absolute pleasure or it can be very stressful. Your house is not just your home, it's also a major investment in your future. When buying a home, you're bound to have many questions. For example, "In what area can I find a home that suits my needs?", "How much money will I need to afford the monthly payments?", and "How long will the home buying process take?" These are all excellent questions that I can help you answer based on your needs, time frame, and budget.
Needs vs. Wants
Start by making two lists. The first list should include items you must have (the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, proximity to your job, etc.). The second list is your wish list, all the things you would like to have but that are not absolutely necessary (pool, bonus room, deck, finished basement, etc.). Most people ultimately find a home that has the right balance of needs and wants. There is always one important intangible - the sense of "this feels like home" when you walk into the one that feels like the right house.
Set Realistic Expectations
The home buying process can be as short as several weeks or it can stretch over several months or more. On Cape Cod, location plays a big determining factor. Take the time to get acquainted with the different areas of the Cape and know what is a good fit for you (i.e. school system, proximity to beach, etc.). It's also important to have a trusted team of professionals assembled early; this ensures that, from the start, you will be working with experienced and knowledgeable professionals who will guide you through the process with ease and assurance. Click here for a list of Trusted Partners.
Determine Your Budget
Knowing how much you can afford is the first step and you'll be more confident knowing which homes are within your price range as you begin to look at properties. With a pre-approval from your lender, your offer will also be considered stronger in the eyes of the Seller when you are ready to make an offer.
We're on the Same Team
If all this seems overwhelming, you can rest assured you are in good hands with my real estate expertise. I will listen to your goals and concerns, help remove potential obstacles, and offer referrals for other professionals to add to your team such as attorney, lenders, inspectors, service people, etc. I will be with you throughout the process and help you keep track of all the details while protecting your best interests.
Regardless of why you have made a decision to sell your home, it can still be an emotional journey. Perhaps it was the first home you owned, or your children grew up there, or maybe it was your family's home. It's often difficult to separate the memories from the property, but the first step is to know the memories reside with you. The process itself is fairly straightforward.
First Things First
The Buyer's first impression of your home, starting with curb appeal, can set the tone for their overall feeling about the property and small things can make a big difference. The outside of your home should be inviting with seasonal flowers, tidy lawn, and well-maintained exterior. The interior should be decluttered, clean, void of odors such as smoke and pets, and in good condition (make necessary repairs if possible).
Why do you Need a CMA?
A "CMA" is a Comparative Market Analysis. This is a report comparing your house to similar properties in the marketplace and is a critical piece in knowing where your house should be priced in the current market. Comparable active homes in the market will be your competition, but recently sold comparable properties will determine the true market value. A property must be competitively priced in the market to sell in a reasonable amount of time. *Please note that the CMA is not an appraisal. An appraisal must be performed by a licensed appraiser.
Marketing your Home
There are several factors involved in successfully selling your home. Pricing it correctly is key. However, there are other important components such as staging the property to entice Buyers, making necessary repairs, and marketing it effectively to generate interest and maximum exposure. I have extensive knowledge in all these areas and I am happy to share my experience as part of your trusted team.
Septic inspections, well water tests (if you do not have town water), and smoke/carbon detector inspections are typically the responsibility of the Seller. If you have not had your septic inspected recently, it is a good idea to have it done when putting your house on the market and before an offer comes in. Buyers are reassured knowing the septic has already passed and if an issue is found, it is beneficial to you to have time to do necessary repairs and avoid an offer falling apart at the last minute.
Not All Offers are Created Equal
It's not always all about the money. Sometimes the terms of the offer can also be a determining factor in what is more beneficial to you. Do you need a quick close or are you hoping to get it under contract but spend one more summer on the Cape? Is the Buyer offering a full priced offer but needs to sell their house first? Are there any unusual contingencies to their offer?
Closing the Deal
Sometimes unforeseeable issues arise just prior to closing the sale. Buyers and Sellers are both emotionally invested in the transaction. If you are working with a trusted team of professionals (lawyer, lender, Realtor, etc.), you will be guided by people who will help you negotiate around these issues to find workable solutions and keep you on track for achieving your goal.