Mike O'Keefe's Blog
It sounds like it should make things easier -- selling your home to a friend or family member should be a breeze for both parties -- but in reality, a home sale can disrupt your relationship if you don't go about it the right way. With the exception of parent to child transfers (and even some of those have issues) real estate transactions with family can go horribly wrong. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent strife and ensure that both parties get what they need from the process and that the relationship stays intact or even improves. Here's what to know when you sell your home to a friend or family member.
Don't Attempt to DIY your Home Sale
For Sale by Owner transactions are already tricky, but if you try to navigate not only the purchase price, conditions and transfer of ownership on your own, you could end up in a family feud that lasts long after the sale is done. Working with an agent ensures you have an objective third party and that everything runs as smoothly as possible. While they won't be your referee or babysitter, these skilled negotiators can make sure everyone walks away happy, with the relationship intact.
Get Objective Opinions
Use fair market value to determine the houses selling price, and be willing to make concessions. When you have an objective agent help determine the right price, you can be sure it is fair to both parties and that everyone's needs are met. Simply trying to work it out on your own can result in sale that leads to resentment and trouble later, if the home ends up being worth less (or more) than you expected. A professional appraisal done by someone who is a stranger to all involved can help set the right price.
Hire an Inspector
With an eye for home conditions and the ability to detect even minor issues, this valuable team member is even more important during a friendly real estate transaction. You won't have to rely on your own knowledge or on your family member to let you know what needs work. Your inspection report will reveal everything you should know to strike the right bargain -- and let you know what you are getting into. Going into the transaction fully informed prevents unhappy, relationship-damaging discoveries later.
Work with an Agent for a Trouble Free Sale
Of all the ideas above, insulating yourself by working with an agent will help you the most. This ensures that any conflict can be absorbed by a third party and that questions can be answered objectively. Whether you both use the same agent or you each have your own, that objectivity can go a long way towards ensuring a successful transaction that delights both sides of the table. Get in touch today to discover how easy selling your home to someone you already know can be and for help navigating this sometimes tricky process.
Let's face it – purchasing your dream home may prove to be an uphill climb, particularly for a homebuyer who fails to prepare accordingly. Lucky for you, we're here to help you make your homeownership dream a reality and ensure you can discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to pursue your dream house.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
Finding your ideal house can be quick and easy if you establish homebuying criteria before you launch a home search. In fact, with homebuying criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search and speed up the homebuying journey.
To create homebuying criteria, you first should think about cities and towns where you want to live. Next, analyze houses in your preferred cities and towns and consider home must-haves and wants. Once you know exactly what you want to find in your dream house and where you want to reside, you can schedule home showings and move closer to finding your ideal house.
2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing
Homebuyers rarely have all the money they need to buy a home. Thankfully, banks and credit unions offer a wide range of mortgage options to make it simple for homebuyers to purchase residences. And if you meet with banks and credit unions, you can review your mortgage options and get pre-approved for home financing.
Obtaining a mortgage may help you streamline your house search because it enables you to establish a homebuying budget that you can use to hone your quest to find your dream home. Perhaps best of all, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may help you resist the temptation to spend beyond your means to purchase your ideal residence.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Navigating the housing market on your own can be challenging for first-time and experienced homebuyers alike. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you take the guesswork out of pursuing your dream house.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who understands what it takes to complete a successful home search. He or she will meet with you, analyze your homebuying goals and map out a homebuying strategy. Then, a real estate agent will work with you to help make your homeownership dream come true.
As you conduct your home search, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns. He or she also will set up house showings and offer insights into the local real estate market. Furthermore, if you find your dream house, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence. And if your homebuying proposal ultimately is accepted, a real estate agent will guide you through the final stages of the homebuying process.
Start your search for your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of a successful homebuying journey.
Becoming a home owner for the first time is an exciting milestone for Millennials! Going from renting an apartment to owning your own property represents a big transition from dependency to independence.
For many people, it even symbolizes making the leap from childhood to adulthood. Once you're a homeowner and a property taxpayer, there's often a newfound feeling of being more established and successful.
While home ownership may bestow upon you a boost in status, the added responsibility of paying for your own repairs, maintenance, and upkeep can take an unexpected toll on your budget. With a little extra planning, however, you can avoid many of the pitfalls of home ownership.
Looking at the Big Picture
Here's a misconception that sometimes creates a financial strain for first-time homeowners: "If we can afford to pay $1800 in rent, every month, then we should be able to afford monthly mortgage payments in that same amount!" While that premise may sound logical, there are a few crucial "missing pieces" from that equation -- pieces which could throw your household budget out of kilter!
In addition to the costs associated with purchasing real estate, such as a down payment and closing costs, there's also the matter of home repairs and property maintenance. Depending on where you decide to live, there could be other fees to absorb, too, including garbage collection, yard waste removal, and water usage. Other expenses that first-time homeowners may overlook include the cost of buying a lawnmower, a snow blower, yard maintenance supplies, tools, and furniture. That's why creating a detailed estimated budget, based on your income, debts, and anticipated expenses can help you determine whether you're truly ready to take the plunge into homeownership.
Enlisting Professional Help
A mortgage broker or bank loan officer can provide you with assistance in calculating your financial readiness for purchasing a home. A good real estate agent can also offer insights and guidance into the process of finding, buying, and owning a house you can comfortably afford. They should be able to provide you with vital information about school taxes, property taxes, average utility bills, homeowner association fees (if any), and any issues revealed in the seller's disclosure form.
One way to avoid -- or at least be prepared for -- costs that often accompany home ownership is to have a qualified property inspector take a close look at the condition of everything in the house from the basement and attic to major appliances and structural features. They can generally tell you whether there are any concerns about mechanical systems, water in the basement, foundation damage, issues with property drainage, the electrical system, potential plumbing problems, and dozens of other vital checkpoints
Whether you're a first-time house hunter or a seasoned homeowner, it pays to understand, anticipate, and budget for the many costs of being a property owner. While owning your own home can be a rewarding and satisfying experience, a guiding principle to keep in mind as you consider available homes on the market is "caveat emptor" (Let the buyer beware)!
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