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Preparing your home for sale

Posted May 22, 2013 in Altoona, Advice Column, Pleasant Hill

So you have decided to sell your home for a bigger home or downsizing as your family grows up.

You want to make sure first that your credit is in order and that you can be pre-approved before you sell your home. This is just the reassurance that if you sell your home you are able to move into the situation you are intending to move.

Plan for every home-selling scenario — it could take months to sell your home or it could take a few hours. It is best if you don’t run out and fall in love with a home to buy before your house is actually sold. Unless you are pre-approved to buy a home without selling your current home, don’t put yourself through the pain of falling in love with a house if your house is not yet sold. My advice is, just don’t even go shopping until you have a buyer.

When an offer is written for you, the seller and for you the buyer, give yourself plenty of time to close on the deal. Thirty-day closings right now are not going to happen. There are so many underwriting hoops that buyers need to jump through for approval that they take extra time. Also the appraisers, abstractors, inspectors, underwriters and processors are all backlogged with many purchases currently. It is best if you accept or write an offer with a 60-day window to give all the details time to occur. If it is cleared to close ahead of 60 days, you can always move the closing date and time up with flexibility. Plan for delays, and then you can always adjust as allowed.

Interest rates are incredibly low. People buying your home want to benefit from these low rates. You, too, can benefit from the excellent mortgage rates. Your payments and their payments are going to be lower because of interest rates in the low range.   Because of low rates, buyers are going to be able to buy more house. They are finding that they get more house for their money, and in some cases the purchase price of some homes have been lowered. There are deals out there to be had. In turn, you as the seller might have to offer some closing costs to be paid by you the seller, to entice that buyer to choose your house over another house. Keep this in mind and consider your options.

You will benefit from selling your home quickly, perhaps by offering some seller paid closing costs to sweeten the deal, which in turn will put you out into the market to find your great deal of a home. Ask for seller-paid closing costs in your offer to buy. Consider all your options and what your goals are with your new home. Are you looking to buy the least expensive home on the block? Are you looking for something maintenance-free for years to come?  Whatever you are looking for, work with your real estate agent to find the best deal out there for your situation. I can refer some great agents to you if you need some help.

Information provided by Lori Slings, Valley Bank, 160 Adventureland Drive, Suite H, Altoona, (515) 967-4700,

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