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As a layperson who has sold four primary residence homes in the last eight years, I know all too well how stressful the home selling process can be. If you're considering putting your home on the market, here are some tips that might help you dodge a few stress bullets along the way.
Choose the Right Realtor
I can't stress enough the importance of choosing the right realtor. Before you start the interview process, write down your expectations. Are you a detail-oriented person who wants to know every little thing that happens? If so, make sure your realtor knows that and agrees to it. (I had a realtor once who refused to update me on showings more frequently than once a week.) Whatever your expectations are, be specific with your realtor and get their buy-in before you sign the contract.
You Set the Rules
Make sure your realtor is letting you make the decisions and not just pushing their agenda on you. For instance, you will be able to set how much notice you need for a showing. The less notice that is required the better, but you also want to make sure the house is in tip-top shape for each showing. So if you require 24-hours' notice, don't let your realtor push you into agreeing to two hours.
Condense Your Living Quarters
While your home is on the market, it will be far less stressful if you confine your family to a smaller area within the house. For instance, have everyone use the same bathroom and maybe designate the front room as off limits. For me, one of the most stressful things when selling a house is trying to get it in perfect condition for each showing. Living in a smaller area of your house allows you to have a few rooms that remain untouched, and therefore don't have to be cleaned each time.
Insist on Docusign
Selling a house requires mounds of paperwork to be signed by all parties. Having to physically meet with your realtor for each of these signatures is a pain in the backside. Docusign is a digital (and legal) program that sends forms electronically to be signed by each party. What used to take hours and tanksful of gasoline can now be done literally in seconds while you sit at home.
What Does This Mean to a Buyer?
We are deeply saddened by the events that have unfolded over the last week due to the landslide in Oso, Washington. We have heard from many of you who wish to support and provide emergency relief for those that have lost their homes and loved ones. 100% of the funds designated to the Windermere Foundation's Oso, Washington Relief Fund will go directly to the families affected by the slide, through the Darrington Emergency Task Force for immediate assistance.
You can donate online at https://store.windermere.com/content/foundation-donation. The Windermere Foundation will match the first $5,000 donated.
A special thanks to the Windermere office in nearby Arlington, owned by Gene Bryson, for raising awareness and starting the fundraising effort.
Our hearts go out to all the families affected by this disaster.
Thank you for your support.
Christine Wood | Executive Director
5424 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
OFFICE (206) 527-3801
FAX (206) 393-3444
I hope you can join me on Tuesday at the Everett Golf and Country Club for a talk with Everett's Mayor, Ray Stephanson and Economist Matthew Gardner. If you would like to be there, please give me a call or email to RSVP. Elly@Windermere.com.
| | By: | on Realtor.com
The majority of first-time buyers need to finance their home purchase, and a consultation with a mortgage lender is a crucial step in the homebuying process because you need to understand your purchasing power before you begin to look at homes.
Lenders offer borrowers a prequalification letter or a preapproval letter, but most real estate agents recommend that you get a preapproval before shopping for a home. A prequalification letter will state the amount a lender thinks you can borrow based on your income and your credit profile without any actual documentation. Mortgage-lending standards have tightened since the housing crisis, and all loans now require full documentation and verification of income and assets, so most sellers will only accept an offer from a buyer with a full preapproval letter that’s based on verified information.
Sellers aren't the only ones who benefit from you obtaining a loan preapproval, though. You're better off with a preapproval for two reasons:
How to find a lender
Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a lender or two for you to interview, but you should also ask friends and colleagues for someone they trust. You can check for a loan officer's license and read reviews online to be sure you're working with someone reliable. As a first-time buyer, you should call a few lenders to find someone experienced with first-time buyer needs who can possibly help you identify special loan programs in your area that could help you get into a home.
What to expect from your lender
The best lenders take a collaborative approach with borrowers and explain all your loan options. When your lender checks your credit report, you should get feedback about ways to improve your credit profile and recommendations for how to handle your money between the time you apply for a loan and settlement day. Your lender should provide advice about when to lock in your loan rate and discuss the pros and cons of various loan programs.
What your lender expects from you
Your lender needs you to be honest about your finances and responsive to all requests for additional information, no matter how unimportant it may seem to you. The more cooperative you are with a lender, the easier the loan process will be. You should be prepared with tax returns, W-2s, bank statements, employer names and addresses and your current landlord's information.
Your lender will generate a loan approval based on your debt-to-income ratio and credit score, but you should also consider your budget and your own comfort level with a payment. There’s no need to borrow the maximum amount you qualify for, particularly if you know you plan to spend money on items that don’t show up on your credit report such as greens fees or ski trips. Your careful planning and preservation of your emergency fund are important for responsible, long-term homeownership.