Buying/Selling Information

Information is Power

At, we are in the business of empowering consumers. That's why we encourage consumers to do their homework, understand the real estate process in an effort to ensure there are no surprises along the way. This area of was designed to aid consumers in getting basic information on the home buying and selling process. Buying or selling a home can be one of the most stressful activities in your life. Understanding the process, knowing what to expect and finding the right Realtor can go a long way toward alleviating that stress. Let the experienced professionals at make your next move a smooth one.

Here are five basic steps to get you started. (click on any subject for details)

    Step 1. Do your homework and have a plan prior to beginning your search.
    Step 2. Understand the financing process and how much home you can afford.
    Step 3. Find a neighborhood that meets your requirements.
    Step 4. Choose an agent that is experienced and knowledgeable in your selected community.
    Step 5. Find a home that suits all of your needs.

Step 1 - Doing Your Homework

Buying a home is one of the most significant investments in your life. A home is much more than just a place to live. A home is where you raise your family, entertain your friends and spend much of your life. Your home makes a statement about who you are. The more prepared you are at the outset, the less overwhelming and chaotic the buying process will be. The first step is to get a notebook and begin an outline of your wants and needs. Once you have an idea of what you're ideal home would be, it's time for a reality check to see just how much home you will be able to afford. Be sure to keep track of every step of the process in your notebook, it will help keep you focused as you move through the process.

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Step 2 - Understand Financing

Today, there are more financing options for would-be buyers than ever before. But the bottom line is the same as always - - how good is your credit, how much do you have for a down payment and what is your income-to-debt ratio. With today's low interest rates, many people are finding that for nearly the same amount they are paying to rent, they could be living in their own home. Of course, the challenge for many is finding the money for a down payment. At this stage of your search, it's probably a good idea to keep it simple. The mortgage calculator on the site will help you get an idea of how much your monthly payment would be at a variety of interest rates and terms. But be conservative, although everyone is looking to get as much house as they can for their dollar, there are many additional costs involved in the process…not to mention the cost of new items for your new home.

Before you actually search for your home, it is a good idea to obtain pre-approval from your lender. One of the best ways to find a local lender is with the help of a highly experienced and professional agent. Your agent can assist you in obtaining the best interest rate and loan terms for your loan with a local lender that has a proven track record for closing your loan.

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Step 3 - Finding A Neighborhood

While finding the right home is important, finding the right neighborhood is critical. There are several things to consider including property values, schools, crime, location, future development, lifestyle and neighbors. It is important to find a neighborhood that fits your individual needs and tastes. At the same time, you need to look for neighborhoods that have homes that fit your price range. One of the standard rules of real estate is to look for the worst house in the best neighborhood. While many have benefited from this strategy, it may require a lot of hard work and "sweat equity" to make it work for you. Another option is to consider purchasing a condominium or townhouse. Regardless of your needs, once you decide on a neighborhood or community, finding a top agent in that area will help you narrow your choices. Top producing agents are keenly aware of the local marketplace and may even know of homes that will become available before they hit the market.

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Step 4 - Choosing an Agent

Selecting the right Realtor is the most important decision you will make in the home-buying process. Providing consumers with access to the best agents is a key part of the system. While many Web sites promise reduced commissions and qualified agents, the truth is that you get what you pay for when it comes to real estate agents. In real estate, approximately 20% of the agents do 80% of the business that means access to more listings and more buyers and sellers. Real estate is truly a service-dominated industry -- consumers contribute to an agent's success through repeat and referral business. Most of our agents have built their business through years of quality service and satisfied clients. agents are professional and experienced but also bring with them the technical edge that can make a difference in today’s competitive real estate marketplace.

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Step 5 - Finding a Home

Once you have determined the amount of house you can afford, the neighborhood you prefer and found a qualified agent, its time to start your search. While you may have done some preliminary work on your own, now is the time for a reality check. It is critical not to rush into buying, but at the same time, you are competing with others to find your dream home. A Realtor can help you narrow down your search by pinpointing your wants and needs. In addition, a good agent knows the local inventory, even about some homes that have not yet hit the open market. Furthermore, your agent can even help you plan for your next move by showing you how to structure a mortgage, evaluate market conditions and leverage your real estate investment. It is also important to remember that buying a home is not the final step in the process. There are many additional costs associated with purchasing a home including possible renovations and upgrades, decorations and furniture and landscaping. All of these things are why having a top agent is a critical part of the process.

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Selling Your Home

If your are ready to sell your home - whether you're a move-up buyer, ready to downsize, are preparing for retirement or for any other reason - you want to get the best price while also obtaining a quick sale. The number one factor in getting the results you seek is to make sure your home is priced right for existing market conditions. If you set the price too high, your home won't get the traffic needed to obtain serious offers. If you set the price too low, you could end up shortchanging yourself. Your local Realtor is the best person to rely on when setting your listing price.

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Through a Competitive Market Analysis, your agent should:
  • Furnish comparable sales from your area.
  • Provide an analysis of current market conditions.
  • Help you determine the need to offer incentives.
  • Estimate your costs and net proceeds.

    Remember, although your house may be full of memories and have a special place in your heart, it's just another house on the market to others. Put yourself in the role of the potential buyer. Take the extra time to make sure your home shows well. New paint, clean carpets and a thorough cleaning can make all the difference. And don't forget the importance of "curb appeal." A well-maintained yard and landscaped garden will help draw potential buyers into your house where they can see all of the things that have made your home special to you.

    Most of all, it is critical to seek the advice of a real estate professional when it's time to sell. A good agent knows the market and economic conditions surrounding the real estate transaction. Setting a price for your home is a critical part of the process: Set it too low, and you've cost yourself money. Set it too high, and you may miss the opportunity to get the best possible price. Depending on the market, a one-month delay in selling can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

    To find out the true value of your home, ask your agent for a free comparative market analysis to give you a good idea of what your home is worth under current conditions.

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