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Buyers and Sellers Guide

You can’t take chances when buying or selling a home – with so much at stake, you have to make sure that you’re doing it right every step of the way.

Buyers Guide – Southern California Real Estate

Homeownership doesn’t have to be a distant dream. Make it a reality by keeping these tips in mind:

  1. Strengthen your credit profile – Avoid big purchases or opening new lines of credit in the months leading up to your loan application. This will show the lender that you’re reliable, and that you’ve got your debt and expenses under control.
  2. Get pre-approved for a home loan – Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you an idea on how much home you can afford. Best to get this done before you start going through listings so you won’t waste time and energy looking at properties that aren’t in your price range.
  3. Take stock of all costs – Aside from mortgage payments, you’ll have to shoulder property taxes, homeowners’ association fees, utilities, and repairs. Draw up a budget for these costs, and make sure you have an emergency fund for surprise expenses. 
  4. Hire a professional home inspector – There’s simply no substitute for a thorough and unbiased home inspection. This lets you identify any issues with the home, and helps you decide if you should go through with the purchase. Lenders also require a home inspection before approving a loan. If any issues crop up, you can use them as a bargaining chip and negotiate a lower price.
  5. Observe the neighborhood – Drop by at various times of the day and week to see how activity and noise levels vary. If your potential neighbors throw loud house parties on weekends, for instance, you’ll need to decide if this is the neighborhood for you. 

Sellers Guide – Southern California Real Estate

Time is of the essence when selling your home – you’ll want it to sell within a few days or weeks. Few buyers will be interested in a listing that’s gone stale, and many will assume that the reason behind its lengthy stay on the market is that there are issues with the property.

  1. Price the property right – This has been said over and over, but it bears repeating. If the price is too high, you might not get offers, but price it too low, and you’ll miss out on making a good profit.
  2. Doing a sales comparison with similar properties in your neighborhood is a reliable way of determining how much to sell your home for.

  3. Market your home effectively – Your agent will have a big hand in marketing the home, so check how well they’ve promoted properties in the past. Have professional photographers take well-lit flattering pictures of the property, and don’t hesitate to use today’s preferred platforms, including social media.
  4. Leave a few prized items behind – Selling in a buyer’s market? Sweeten the deal by leaving behind some items that aren’t normally included, like a new ultra-thin TV or fancy furniture. This can make your home stand out from other properties they’re considering.
  5. Maximize curb appeal – Never underestimate the effect of a good paint job, professional landscaping, and lovely outdoor furniture. Beautifying your home’s exterior helps create a good first impression.
  6. Depersonalize the interior – Buyers should be able to envision the space as theirs. Remove anything that marks the home as your own, such as pictures, portraits, religious icons, travel memorabilia, and so on.

Malibu | Pacific Palisades | Santa Monica | Brentwood

Buying or selling a property? I’ll be more than happy to help. Just call 310-401-0901or send an email to james(at)jamesweekley(dotted)com.