Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a house-flipping veteran, buying or selling a house is one of the most adult decisions you’re likely to make (ever). It requires plenty of planning, market research, and know-how to ensure everything goes smoothly. In this blog, we’ll give you some helpful tips that everyone should know before you buy or sell a home.

Buying a House

Ask a Pro

There’s a reason that becoming a real estate agent takes a lot of time: it’s a difficult job! That’s why you shouldn’t try and go it alone. It’s always a good idea to work with a qualified and experienced agent you can trust when buying a house. They’ll help you set a target price range for your budget and navigate the mountain of paperwork that comes with the buying process.

Buy the House You Can Afford

This might seem obvious, but it’s important to know what your budget limitations are. Mortgage companies don’t always know what you can actually afford. There’s no magical method for determining what kind of home you can buy, but some lenders say that your mortgage payment should total 28% of your gross income.

Consider What’s Important to You

Before buying a house, take some time to think about what’s important to you. If you have animals, is the yard pet-friendly? How is the commute to work? What sort of businesses and entertainment are nearby? It also doesn’t hurt to think about the future. If you plan on starting a family, how are the schools in the area? Are the rooms suitable for kids? These questions – and many more – may influence your buying decision.

Research Home Ownership Costs

Buying a house costs more than just the mortgage payment. The overall cost includes insurance, taxes, maintenance costs, homeowner association fees, etc. Heating and cooling your home can also add up, so keep that in mind before moving into that mansion you’ve been eyeing.

 

Selling a House

Research the Local Housing Market

When selling a house, it’s always helpful to research the local market to gain a general understanding of housing prices in your neighborhood. Take a look at how many homes are listed in your area and see how long they’ve been on the market.

Set Your Asking Price

Setting the correct asking price when selling a house is incredibly important. If the home-buying demand is high in your market, then you can often set your price more aggressively. In a less active market, you may want to set your price at or slightly below market value.

Make Needed Improvements

It’s time to make those home improvements you’ve been putting off for months! Making sure your home is in tip-top condition is essential when trying to make a great first impression. Trim the hedges, mow the grass, and give your house a deep clean to ensure it has plenty of curb appeal before putting it on the market.

Get Social

The internet isn’t just for cute animal pictures! There are many ways to give your house social media exposure – including Trulia and Zillow. Personal sites like Facebook can also be used to show off your house and potentially attract buyers.

Taking the proper steps before buying or selling a house can make a painful process nearly painless. From market research to home improvements and maintenance, do everything you can to make informed decisions. Remember to contact your Germania Insurance agent for guidance on your property coverages!