Archive for April, 2014

Mortgage lending is a very competitive industry. Lenders will sometimes promise home buyers that they can speed up the process. While they can cut a few days off of the process, it generally takes 30-45 days to close. To expedite the process somewhat, they can speed it up by scheduling appraisers, home inspectors and underwriters. There are some things you can do on your end to help cut down on the time is takes to close.

Get a handle on your credit

Having good credit is beneficial for so many reasons. Obviously, you’ll need to meet a lender’s credit benchmark in order to even qualify for financing. You’re more likely to qualify for a more competitive rate and term if you have higher credit scores. It also saves time because you’ll spend less time producing documentation and explaining some of the bad things that may appear. It’s important to pull your credit reports and credit scores so you’ll know what’s there and what you can clean up.

Respond quickly to requests

You’ll be asked to supply things such as tax returns and documentation from your employer. Ask your REALTOR® what your mortgage lender will need.

Buy a house that meets requirements

Federal Housing Administration and VA loans have standards and requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a loan. Make sure to ask your REALTOR® if your home meets those standards.

Don’t add any new credit

Don’t buy a car, boat, or make any other large purchase that can change your credit score. Don’t even apply for a new credit card at a department store.

Find the right lender

Specialized products like government-backed Veteran Affairs and United States Department of Agriculture home loans require different knowledge. Make sure to ask about their turnaround times on loan files and the average number of days from contract to close.

Be sure to talk to your real estate agent about what you should and shouldn’t do to speed up the mortgage process.

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Along with choosing a real estate agent that you’re comfortable with and marketing the home effectively, determining the correct asking price are three essential aspects of selling your home quickly and for the highest amount possible. The first are personal decisions; the last requires some research, finesse and some educated guessing.

Here are some tips to help you price your home right.

Look at the neighborhood

Consider comparable homes nearby that were for sale, recently sold or are currently for sale. This is perhaps the most important factor in pricing your home.

Local market conditions

Home sales is no different than any other industry. Supply and demand is a determinant of price. Your REALTOR® will have information about the supply of available homes compared to the demand of buyers.

Check out the competition

Visit open houses in the area to see how your home stacks up.

Price to appraise

The buyer’s appraisal price considers the prices of recently sold homes. Your sales price will be subject to an appraisal, unless your buyer agrees to pay cash or waives an appraisal contingency.

Don’t pay for an appraisal

Though the buyer’s appraisal will be important when it comes time to close, you don’t need to obtain a separate appraisal prior to pricing your home.

Square footage

Every home listing states the square footage, but not all square footage is created equal. Two homes could have exactly the same square footage, but one could be an open floor plan while the other has separated rooms.

Beware of the high asking price

An agent may propose a high asking price to flatter you in order to win the listing, but will then push hard for a price reduction almost immediately. This is known in the business as “buying the listing.” Make sure to avoid the trap by talking to several agents. If one comes in way higher than the others, they could be buying your listing.

Irrelevant factors

When it comes to pricing, there are a number of things that many homeowners think are contributing factors, but aren’t:

  • Price you paid for your house
  • Amount you want to net from the deal
  • Price the house would have sold for a few years ago
  • Amount you’ve spent on repairs, maintenance and improvements

Don’t overprice your home

You may be inclined to list at more than what your home is worth in order to hit the price point you really want to get when the buyer makes an offer. This is dangerous because if you don’t get an offer, you may have to reduce the price, which can be an indication to buyers that it’s probably more over-priced than the amount you just reduced.

Don’t underprice it, either

Some homeowners deliberately underprice their home to attract more buyers and start a bidding war. This is just as risky as overpricing the home. If the bidding war you hoped for doesn’t materialize, you may only receive one offer at exactly your artificially lowered asking price.

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