The first thing you should do is focus on what you're looking for in a home. You can start by establishing priorities in the following three areas:
For affordability, try our mortgage calculator or contact our mortgage experts.
Finally, contact one of our friendly agents to help you find neighborhoods and properties that appeal to you. The more knowledgeable you become with our experts at your side, the better your final decision is likely to be.
When you’re ready to look at a home, bring your own:
Be prepared to "snoop around" a little. After all, you want to know as much as possible about the home you buy. Sellers understand that because their home is on the market, it will be looked over pretty thoroughly.
If you need to go back to a home for another look, your agent will be happy to schedule an appointment. Also, be sure to ask any questions you have about the home, even if you feel you're being nosy. You have a right to know.
Many people buy a home to get extra space for growing families, changing lifestyles, or to more comfortably host guests. Extra space also makes homes more appealing to buyers when it comes time to sell. Here are 8 questions to ask—and answer—when looking at properties:
As a rule of thumb, ask any questions you have about specific rooms, features, or functions. Pay particular attention to areas that you feel could become "problem" areas—additions, defects, areas that have been repaired.
And above all, if you don't feel your question has been answered, ask until you do understand and are satisfied. In most cases, your real estate agent will be able to provide you with detailed information about each home you see.
Unless your house is nearly new, chances are you'll want to do some work to get it ready to market. The type and amount of work depends largely on the price you're asking, the time you have to sell, and of course, the present condition of the house.
In general—stick to light, neutral colors. Keep the yard and rooms free of clutter or kids' toys. Remember, when a buyer looks at a house, he or she is trying to imagine living there. Create as clean a canvas as possible.
Here are a few low-cost ways to achieve that:
Certain higher-cost home improvements have proved to add value and/or speed the sale of houses. These include:
Improvements that return less than what they cost are generally items that appeal to personal tastes, like adding fireplaces, wet bars, swimming pools, or converting the garage into an extra room.