What Homebuyers and Sellers Should Do Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Whether you are buying or selling a home (or both), you need to be prepared. This is especially true if you are also relocating your business at the same time. In fact, getting the business move plans underway may take precedence over your personal move. The more you know ahead of time, the better your chances of hiring the right agent, getting your finances in order, and, all in all, making the home-buying and selling experience easier for everyone. Here are some tips from Frank’s Worldwide Moving to get you started right.

1. Know What You Want

When you prepare to sell your home and then purchase your next one, you need to know what you want. First, determine what you want to get out of your existing home. Having a sale price in mind and a rock-bottom price will help you predict how much of a profit you will make from the sale and then how much money you can invest into your next property. LowestRates.ca recommends strategies for pricing your home that may be helpful before meeting with a real estate agent, including checking out their online marketing creds, researching their selling history, and timing your sale wisely.

When you get to the point that you hire a realtor, you can discuss your sale price and determine whether you are on-target with comparable homes in your market. Remember, you are hiring an agent for their expertise, so the final pricing decision should account for their advice. Top-notch real estate agents will come to your home and look it over closely to advise you on a sale price. Many do this as a courtesy because they anticipate your hiring them to represent you both as a homebuyer and seller.

Regarding the house you want to buy, Family Handyman advises considering your long-term plans and not basing your criteria strictly on today’s needs. For example, are you soon to be an empty nester? If so, there’s no need for that extra bedroom any longer. Overall, knowing what you want from your new home saves everyone time because you won’t schedule visitations of homes that don’t have features you consider to be must-haves. Your real estate agent also will appreciate knowing what you want so she can present only those homes that meet most of your requirements.

2. Talk to Lenders and Get Pre-Approval

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you start searching for homes and surpass your budget. Far too often, potential buyers get disappointed when they realize they can’t afford their dream home. 

That’s why one of your first steps should be talking to lenders and getting pre-approval for a mortgage. That way, you can take steps to improve your credit if necessary. Better yet, you will know approximately how much lenders are willing to approve so you can stay within your budget when house hunting. Also, most realtors require pre-approval letters from lenders before scheduling a walk-through, so you will save yourself some time by having your letter done ahead of time.

When you meet with lenders, be prepared with copies of your two most recent pay stubs, last two years of tax returns, and last two years of W2s. If you are applying with your spouse, make sure you have copies of documents for both of you available. Lenders use these documents to get a clearer picture of your financial past. They’ll also check your credit to ensure you have a clear financial history and are not too much of a risk for obtaining a mortgage. 

3. Visit Open Houses

It’s also helpful to visit open houses in the area so you can see how people stage their homes and to get a feel for the market in which you are selling and buying. You’ll also know how much houses are worth and be better prepared to make offers with the help of your realtor when the time comes. It never hurts to check out the competition, either.

Buying and selling a house can be daunting. Be prepared by knowing what you want, both in terms of your home price and your future home’s must-haves. Then, ensure that the time is right for this purchase. Talk to lenders, get your pre-approval letter, and explore non-traditional mortgage options that you may qualify for. Last, visit open houses to get a clearer picture of the housing market.

Frank’s Worldwide Moving provides clients with the highest level of quality and excellent customer support. Contact us today for more information! (613) 546-1828

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