2017’s Top Real Estate Tips — Good for Next Year Too

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Buying or selling a home can be more than usually stressful. For buyers there are worries about finding the right home at an affordable price and securing the financing needed to make the purchase. Sellers need to think about how to present their home in the best possible light at a price that meets their needs and that buyers will pay.

Navigating these issues, especially for first-timers, can be tricky. Fortunately, there is a lot of good advice available for both buyers and sellers along with good, experienced real estate agents who’ve been down these roads plenty of times before.

The real estate experts at Realtor.com have published dozens of articles that can help in your search for a new home and your ability to sell your home for the right price. We’ve rounded up several of their best tips from 2017 to give you a head start on plans you might have for 2018.

First, find an agent you can work with and one whom you trust. Then, follow that agent’s advice as closely as you can.

A second tip for buyers is to be careful about what you say whenever you’re within range of the seller. Do not, for example, reveal a change in your finances that may kill a deal at the last minute. Your lender may already know that you’ve quit your job or bought a new SUV, but there’s no need to put doubt in the seller’s mind about whether or not you can complete the deal.

Likewise, sellers should not offer free insight into why they’re selling. Let your agent do the talking. Being completely truthful may result in a lower offer than you might otherwise have received.

Buyers should not expect a home inspection to reveal any little problem with the home they hope to buy. Paying for a specialized roof inspection, for example, could save thousands of dollars for an investment of a few hundred.

Sellers need to make sure that their home is as clean as they can get it. If potential buyers miss something, chances are a home inspector won’t and indications of poor maintenance can lower a buyer’s offer.

Just because you love the way you’ve decorated the living room, be prepared to remove some of your most treasured items if you want to sell the house quickly. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in the house with their stuff, not surrounded by your stuff.

Sellers also need to pay attention to a home’s bathrooms. In some cases an outdated bathroom could kill a sale. Sure this is just trendy stuff and is likely to change by next year. But you’re selling the home today, and it matters.

Finally, buyers are strongly encouraged to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This is not the same as being pre-qualified. Listen to your agent and take the extra time required to get pre-approved. For one thing, it indicates that you are truly serious about buying and not just some tire-kicker.

Visit the Realtor.com website for more tips and links to articles that offer more detail about buying and selling a home.