The must-read tips for house buying and selling. Get the scoop on finding the right real estate agent and home for you with UpNest online. AD #AgentsCompete
House Buying and Selling
The Tips You Must Know Before You Start
So, you are thinking about moving? Looking to buy or sell a house? Or just gathering information for future plans? I have some must-read tips that will help you find the house of your dreams with a real estate agent that is a proper fit for your needs and SAVE you TIME and MONEY.
Acquaint Yourself with Real Estate Terminology:
How will you know what is going on, if you do not understand the words and exactly what they mean? Do not be afraid to stop and ask for explanations. Check out this glossary of Real Estate Terms, Definitions & Dictionary — it is an invaluable resource.
Do Your Homework:
House buying and selling is not something most people do every day. So, it is important to really prepare yourself as best you can in order to get the most out of the deal. Don’t rush, DO some research.
- Know the Hidden Costs
Be aware that the price of the house does not include all of the costs. You will have added expense for Land Transfer Fees, Mortgage Costs, Home Inspection, Home Insurance, Title Insurance, Legal Costs, etc. Another thing to consider in the price department is how much you will be paying in Property Tax. You cannot go off what the previous owner is paying.
- Know the State of the Market
The state of the real estate market will vary according to the area. Find out if it is a seller’s market or a buyer’s market where you are looking to buy or sell a home. A Buyer’s Market is one where inventory lingers and sellers must get serious about price reduction, credits, and throw-ins or incentives. A Seller’s Market is when inventory remains below demand. Sellers enjoy control over prices and terms.
- Establish a Price Range
Buyers, get pre-approved for a loan. What is your monthly income? Make a list of your recurring monthly bills such as car payments, life insurance, etc. How much money do you have for a down payment? Then, you can factor in the research you have done with the hidden costs and the state of the market to determine a price range. Have a workable range, as different properties will have their own added operation costs.
Hire the Right Real Estate Agent:
Let’s face it, most likely, you are not an expert in house buying and selling. The purchase of real estate is a big deal, don’t blow it or make costly mistakes because you do not know the ins, outs, and legalities of the business. Hire a qualified professional. But how do you know if a real estate agent is right for you? Here are some things to consider:
- Check online Marketing Material and Listings
- Pay close attention to Photography, Video, and Descriptions (are they accurate, complete, complimentary but not exaggerated)
- Check profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media. Read reviews. Get a sense of who the agent is and how they work.
- Narrow your search to three agents and meet with each, in person ideally.
- Ask for Sales Activity Reports, Existing Listings, and Time on Market Averages, plus the Local Requisite Comps.
UpNest is an awesome online resource for finding the right agent for your needs. It takes the pain and complication out of the process and helps you find a qualified and trusted local real estate agent. Plus, with UpNest, agents actually compete for your business, which means lower commission rates and thousands in savings for you! Take a look at this quick, easy and FREE online tool…
All you need to do is answer a few questions on UpNest and they will get you started in the process of finding the right realtor for you.
- Don’t hire a luxury home agent when you are looking to buy a farm. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable and experienced in your market, your needs, and your wants.
- An experienced real estate agent will know the best times for Open Houses, and how to initiate a Price War if your market allows.
- Never consent to a listing contract longer than 90 days in a seller’s market — you can always extend.
Learn the Community:
- Get to Know the Neighborhood
You are looking to live here and maybe raise a family here. Drive around the surrounding areas. Where will your do your shopping, get gas, find restaurants, go to the doctor or hospital? Where are the schools, and how are they rated? How are the roads? What route will you take to get to the highway, and how far is it?
Actually, WALK the neighborhood prior to making your purchase. Learn about the noise, traffic, and density of the community. You will be surprised how much more you can learn about the area by walking it rather than driving past. Get to know the locals, they will give you the inside scoop.
Consider the Costs of Owning and Operating the Property:
Different properties have different operation and upkeep costs. Know what you are getting into, especially if moving from city to country or vice versa. Research costs of maintenance and repairs, or added insurance costs. Some things to keep in mind:
- HOA Fees
- Sewer vs. Septic Tank
- City / Municipal Water vs. Well Water
- Utilities – electric and /or gas, internet capabilities
- Private Road – maintenance and upkeep
- Fire Hydrants – is there one on the property or nearby
- Creek, Pond, or any other water source on the property
You need to know if utilities are at the property ready for use, or if you will need to pay to have them brought to the property.
NEVER Skip the Home Inspection or Survey:
You want your house buying and selling to go smoothly and not have any problems when you move into your new home. The inspection and survey are vitally important whether it be a new-construction home, remodeled, or a fixer-upper.
- The Home Inspection will point out things you need to know. The seller will usually take care of any issues prior to your purchase. Be sure all required permits for the property are in order. ONLY make an offer SUBJECT on your approval of home inspection.
- A Survey tells you the exact borders of the property. You do not want to find out that a fence, shed, or a portion of your house is sitting on your neighbors land. Knowing the correct borders will help you plan and develop your property, and save time and issues in the future.
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64 thoughts on “House Buying and Selling Tips You Must Know”
My husband and I are planning on buying a place at the beach within the next few years. This info will really come in handy. It’s been a while since we’ve purchased a home, so I need to be up on the latest. Thanks!
My sister and her husband just went through this process and it was hard. There is so much to know, but like you said- doing your homework helps!
These are all excellent tips! Buying or selling a home is a huge commitment. You need to be prepared.
My husband and I had a 30 day window to find a new place and move out of our current place. While we would’ve liked to buy a home, it wasn’t in the cards to deal with all the planning and money that goes into buying a home. At least we are moving into a bigger apartment this time!
This is absolutely one of the best post I’ve read about buying a house. There are so many hidden fees that people do not realize are involved. I know when I bought my house there were things that totally shocked me.
I long to sell our house and get something bigger. But my husband is pretty set in this house, and I doubt we’ll ever move!
Although I’ve never bought or sold a house before, doing your homework is a MUST when it comes to any big purchase. It’s so important to make sure you know about the hidden fees included in buying a house.
I followed these steps religiously. Made sure the inspection was done, the neighborhood was less than desirable, but not the worst by far. I personally didn’t have a great first home buying experience. It was my first home since my divorce. But it served its purpose.
Some friends of mine just bought a house for the first time and were having a conversation with me. They were using a lot of terms that I was not clear about. After reading this, what they were saying to me made a lot more sense. Great post!
Thanks for this informative post! I believe in doing your research first, especially if the purchase requires a huge amount of money. Although we are not thinking of selling our house, or buying a new one, I will still bookmark this page for reference and share it with friends or family members who I think would need it.
Having the right real estate agent is so important. They can really make or break the house buying experience!
These are great tips for buying a home. I am about to be in the process of selling my first home and I’m getting excited!!
There’s so much to know when buying a home, this is a good list to start with. Another thing people will want to know about is how trash is picked up.
UpNest sounds like such a great resource for people trying to buy and sell their homes. We just sold two homes and bought a new one last Spring…wish I would have known about this resource back then.
There are a lot of things to really consider on buying a house. A lot of research is really needed. Never heard of UpNest before. I will take note of this. Thanks!
One of the best tips I can say you gave is to know the hidden cost. A lot of people don’t ever realize the extra cost that may come in with buying a house and its good to upfront so you don’t go over your budget.
Purchasing a new home is a huge step. It is a must that I do it with someone that understands my wants and knows their stuff. I was so thankful for an amazing agent to ease a tough process.
When we bought our new home, we were still living at our old home. It was tough paying two mortgages but we chose not to list our former house while still living there. We listed it when we vacated it already, thanks goodness, it got sold after 18 days on the market. These are great tips. We have been on both sides so I know how important to know these things.
What a fabulously informative article! Most people never consider many of the costs you listed! UPNest looks like a really useful app also! Thanks for the great info! #HomeMattersParty
Lorelai, great tips! A very thorough list of musts. Fortunately, we have good friends who are realtors, so we’d be all set in that department. If I could add one thing to the list for buyers it would be to refuse to be shown anything that’s out of your price range. It can only lead to being disappointed with what IS in your price range. And it could lead to what I call “escalation,” where you find yourself thinking “But it’s only $10k over our budget” and then before you know it you’re looking at one that’s $50k over!
Yes, great added tip, Jean. Escalation and disappointment are definitely things to avoid. If you did your homework, there was a reason you came up with the price range you did — stick to it!
We have a great real estate agent in our family, and your list includes all of my favorite buying/selling tips I have learned from her. Great advice for anyone looking to buy a home. #HomeMattersParty
Great tips here! We bought our current house about a year and a half ago, our realtor hung with us for over a year until we found the house that was meant for us! Thanks for sharing #HomeMattersParty
Such important tips here. It can be the most amazing and difficult process. #homemattersparty
Thankfully I don’t plan on selling my own house for another 10+ years but my husband has mentioned ideas about us flipping a house or two in a few years. These tips will come in handy to remember.
These are really great tips. Pinning for future. #HomeMattersParty
It’s interesting that you pointed out that hiring a professional real estate agent will help you avoid costly mistakes when buying a house. My husband and I have decided that we’re ready to settle down, so we want to purchase our first home. We have no experience with this kind of thing, so perhaps it would be a good idea to hire a professional so we don’t make any blunders that will cost us a lot.
The home inspection is not optional where we live. We also have to have a survey done. We are actually getting our home ready to sell now. Hopefully we will list it early summer. We plan to relocate to a nearby city so there is less of a work commute.
Those HOA fees are big turn off for me but they are a double edged sword and we may wind up paying them.
Great tips. Especially about the home inspector and survey. I can not tell you how many people I know who never got their survey ( or house plans) and had to pay extra having it redone.
My sister and her family are looking for a new home, as they recently had a baby and need more space. You wrote that you should choose a home based on the neighborhood, school and hospitals located near it. Since those are so important in our daily lives, it makes sense that you should consider them when choosing a home. Thanks for the read.
So glad you enjoyed the article and found it helpful. Good luck to your sister and her family in finding the perfect home for them. 🙂
My husband and I are getting ready to start the process of buying our first home, but since this is the first, we want to make sure we do everything as right as possible. I like how you said that one thing we might want to consider doing is get to know the neighborhood we are looking to buy in. That way we can decide whether or not that is a place where we can live and raise a family, it will help us get a better picture of what life would be like there.
My husband and I are looking for a new place to live, but it’ll be the first time we’ve actually moved to somewhere we want to live at for a few years. One thing that you said that I really liked was to drive around the neighborhood and see what is around it and then to get to know some people who are living there already. Your tips will help us find a good piece of real estate.
I have been wanting to buy a new home and figured it would probably wise to get some tips before I start doing some real house shopping. You advised walking around the neighborhood of the home you are interested in, and checking things like traffic and noise. Things like that are extremely important to me, as I have kids and would really like to live in a place where they can be safe crossing the street.
Glad you found this information helpful, Rachel. Good luck with your house hunting! 🙂
I think the budget is the most important thing and it’s necessary that you should figure out your budget before start searching for a home.
It’s a great feeling when you will live with your family, no matter it’s luxurious or not.
Keep Sharing and Thanks. 🙂
Thanks for sharing this article. Would follow your tips and share my knowledge to my friends. Great work, keep it up Lorelai!
Great article! The tips about house buying and selling tips are really helpful. Thanks for sharing these.
I could see why walking the neighborhood before you purchase a house is important considering you can judge the relative value the other houses add to yours. My wife and I are thinking about buying a house and we want to find a quiet neighborhood. Thank you so much for the house tips!
Thanks for talking about getting to know the neighborhood before buying a house so you know the nearest grocery stores and schools. My husband and I are looking to move to a new house, and we want to make sure that we’re near some entertainment so our teenagers don’t have to go far to have fun. Taking a look around the neighborhood of a possible house is the best way to see what’s nearby.
I’m grateful for that reminder to make sure that the real estate agent is knowledgeable and experienced in your market. That’s probably one of the reasons my friend said research will probably help me find a good agent as well. Overall, that’s good to know since I wan to move within the near future.
I like how you mentioned that the state of the real estate market could change based on area. My husband and I are going to be moving out of our apartment, and we’re finally ready to settle down and purchase a house. We’ll definitely do some research to find out which areas would be the best market for us to buy in.
My wife and I are looking to buy a home together. I liked how you pointed out the need for us to check out the neighborhood before committing to a home. We’ll be sure to do this since being in a place where our kids can make plenty of friends is near the top of our priority list.
Thanks for letting us know that the home inspection is necessary so that you can make sure all issues are taken care of and that all permits are taken care of. My husband and I are planning on buying our first house together and wondering what some of the best tips are. We’ll definitely be sure to have the house we plan on buying inspected before anything else so we make sure it is a great investment.
I love that you recommended getting to know the area you’re thinking of moving to. I will make sure to take a drive through the neighborhood I’m thinking about relocating to. This should help me get a better sense of what to expect when I move there next month. Thanks so much for enlightening me about this, I feel much better about my decision now!
When I try to sold my house and move to a condo near our place I had a hard time selling it but the good thing is that in the end I was able to sell it. Thanks for sharing this!
It’s also good to be cautious of the activities of your future neighbors. Your safety also depends on them sometimes. And It’s good to specify the nearest go-to establishments when selling a house. People seem to always choose what’s convenient for them.
You make a great point about driving around the neighborhood to see where you’d be shopping, getting gas, going to the doctor, and local restaurants. I also like your tip for researching other costs like HOA fees, utilities, and private roads. My parents are wanting to sell their current home and purchase a luxury home to retire in. They’ve been saving up to buy their dream home for a long time. Since all the kids are finally out of the house, selling it makes a lot of sense. I’ll have to tell them about driving around potential neighborhoods to see if it’s a place they’d love to be in.
Hi Lorelai, and thank you for this post with multiple different aspects of buying a house. My husband and I have started thinking about buying a house and I will show this post to him as well because this got me thinking it in a more serious way. You can read from many sites about the practical things you need to remember but your tip on seeing and getting to know the neighborhood beforehand was something I hadn’t thought. Thanks again!
It is definitely important to be knowledgable about home buying and selling. Especially the terms, the costs, and the process. Great blog by the way and thanks for sharing this useful information.
Great post that I ever read, well explained. This is what we are looking for, my wife and I were completely clueless when we met with a realtor first time. Bundle of thanks for sharing such informative content and we got some fantastic recommendations from here and I am just sharing this post on my social network for my community.
Very informative! thank you so much for this quality post.
I always get to know something different from your post. We always skip to know the neighborhood, when we are planning to grow at that place we should get some information about our community. Loved to read your post. Thanks!
Great article! So many good information. The information you have provided about house buying and selling tips you must know is really outstanding and very helpful to me. Thanks for sharing the valuable information with us. Enjoyed the read and noted some important checklist. Keep Posting Similar articles.
I liked your suggestion to drive around the surrounding area of a home you’re considering buying. My husband and I are looking at moving across the country so we can’t quite do that. We’ll have to see if we can find a realtor who can give us a good idea of what to expect from the neighborhood.
We are looking at buying a house. I’ll for sure do my research before making an offer on anything. That way, I can be sure I’m not overpaying.
My brother and his wife want to buy a house on a golf course so that they can have something close by to do on the weekends. I found it interesting when you talked about how it is important to be aware of how much the property tax is going to be. It’s great that you also mentioned that it is important to get pre-approved for a loan even before you find a property that you like. I’ll be sure to share this information with my brother so that he and his wife know what to look for.
I like how you suggest making a list of your monthly expenses so that you can have in mind how much you can spend on your home loan. My brother told me that he has been saving money to buy a house but he hasn’t been able to check what are the requirements to start the buying process. Thanks for sharing this article, I will definitely tell my brother to hire a real estate agent that can better assist him.