Why the Holidays Are a Great Time to Sell Your House

In the world of real estate, you usually hear how it is best to sell your house in the spring months. Most people lay low or are too busy with the holidays during the winter months to consider buying a new home, and most likely prefer to home shop in the spring to ensure that they are settled in their homes before the start of a new school year.

But, life happens. What if you find yourself in a position where you can't wait for the weather to warm up before putting your house on the market? Is it a good idea to sell your home during the holidays? Surprisingly, there are many benefits to selling your home during the winter months. Here are reasons why it may be a good time to sell your house.

Buyers are Strongly Motivated

Anyone looking for a new home between Thanksgiving and New Year's is likely to be a serious buyer because no one is going to waste their precious family time looking at houses during the holidays. 

Putting your home on the market in the winter season and attracting a serious buyer can often result in a faster sale.

Less Inventory & Competition

Unlike in the spring and summer, there is usually less competition during the holidays. Many sellers do not want to list their homes just before or during the holidays, because of the obvious reason for simply wanting to spend time with their families and friends.

Again, you may hear that you can get the most from your home in spring and summer, but even if inventory is limited, there are plenty of homes listed around the holidays that may command a higher price. You may sell your home faster than those listed in spring if you play your cards right.

The Cozy & Festive Feeling

Holiday decorations can bring out the best in a home and attract buyers! Your home will look and smell wonderful if staged in a clever fashion. Turn the heat on, and bake a batch of cookies for an irresistible smell to pass through the home. Buyers can picture themselves better in a home that feels comfortable and cozy. 

Furthermore, the holidays can provide an emotional connection to a home, making a buyer feel more compelled to write and make an offer (and possibly pay more).

Year-End Job Changes

The end of the year is typically when people are informed that they will be moving due to a job transfer, or when an offer from another company comes in that is simply too good to pass up.

Those people will need a home sooner rather than later, so they will be looking for a new home during the holidays. These buyers can't wait for spring, which is why listing during the holidays can result in a quick sale.

In Closing

Despite what you’ve heard, selling your home during the holiday season has many benefits. You can face less competition, have more serious buyers, and possibly even a quicker sale process. You also have the opportunity to create a warm and cozy atmosphere that you can’t really create in the warmer months.

If you find yourself ready to sell your home this season, don’t shy away because you think it may be a failure! Speak with one of our Realtors today and let’s get your home ready to sell! 

4 Steps to Take if You Want to Buy a Home Soon

Is home ownership in your future? If your goal is to buy a home within the next six months or sooner, it would be best to start arranging your finances now! So, instead of jumping straight to the house hunt, let’s review some essential items to prepare you for buying a home.

Check Your Credit Report

Preparing your credit score and financial history are critical components of mortgage qualification. With AnnualCreditReport.com, consumers can receive three free credit scores per year, one from each of the main credit reporting bureaus. Once you have received your report, review it for any inaccuracies or errors, and if necessary, take steps to improve it.

Take these steps right away to get your credit in better shape:

  1. Always pay bills on time.
  2. Avoid applying for new credit cards.
  3. Dispute any inaccuracies on your credit report.
  4. Pay off any debts possible.

Build Your Savings

You may have already started saving if you have set the goal of buying a home. In competitive housing markets, some buyers may benefit from a larger down payment. But don't assume you have to put down 20%. Certain programs, such as those available to veterans and first-time home buyers, allow some people to make smaller down payments.

Home buyers usually have a downpayment at the forefront of their minds, but don’t forget it is wise to have funds set aside for unexpected emergencies and repairs that may arise with the new home as well. 

Get Pre-Approved Before Searching

Never begin home shopping without a pre-approval in hand! A pre-approval helps you define your housing goals and shows potential sellers that you are serious about purchasing their home.

Once you've decided on a lender, you should request a preapproval letter, which details how much you might be able to borrow. Unlike a prequalification letter, a preapproval letter informs the seller that lenders have reviewed your finances and confirmed that you qualify for a loan, giving you an advantage over buyers who can't prove that they will get financing. The lender may verify your income, check your bank statements, and pull your credit in order to obtain this letter.

Interview Real Estate Agents

Hiring a real estate agent who looks out for your best interests will make the home-buying process much easier. Investing the time to interview a few agents can make a significant difference in your transaction, so select someone who will support your goals, work within your budget, and provide expert guidance.

Inquire about potential real estate agents' backgrounds, knowledge of your desired area or neighborhood, and fees.

Bottom Line

Don’t put off preparing for your first (or next) home purchase, it is in your best interest to start taking these steps now! When you get to the point of seeking guidance from a Realtor, you won’t be disappointed in our team at 316 Realty Group. Our Realtors have a vast knowledge of the greater Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, & Waco markets and care for our clients like family. 

Are you ready to have a conversation about your next home purchase? Reach out today!

Renting vs Buying: How to Decide

It goes without saying that purchasing a home is a significant life decision, but is it right for you? Of course, there is no single correct answer because both renting and buying have advantages and disadvantages. Your personal finances, however, will play a major role in your final decision. Especially for younger people, renting seems to be a more cost-effective option.

That is not always the case, however. There are several lifestyle factors that can influence your decision, including how flexible you are, your career goals, and whether you want to own your own home.

If you're debating whether to rent or buy, keep reading to find out what factors you should consider before making a decision.

Are Your Finances in Order?

If you decide to buy a home, make sure you have enough funds saved for your down payment, closing costs, and any unexpected expenses, such as home maintenance and repairs. 

When you own a home, there is no landlord to call when something needs fixing; it is entirely up to you! You'll need to plan for the unexpected, whether it's plumbing problems, replacing appliances, repairing your roof, and the list goes on. In order to cover the maintenance costs that come with homeownership, you should save 1-3% of the purchase price of your home each year. 

Buying a home is usually cheaper in the long run as well, and it offers you an opportunity to build equity. Your home will most likely have increased in value when you sell it, too.

Do You Plan on Staying Put?

What are your needs in terms of flexibility or establishing roots? If you intend to stay in one place for an extended period of time and are financially capable of doing so, purchasing a home makes the most sense. In return, the fact that you have the ability to make a home uniquely yours would make homeownership a better financial and emotional fit.

However, renting may be a better option if you prefer to be more flexible. If you are considering a job in another state, you wouldn't want to deal with the stress of selling your home while relocating. Or if you are a newlywed and plan on having children in the near future, you may not want to buy a home just yet that wouldn’t accommodate a growing family.

Both of these situations could possibly be better served by renting so you can figure out what you need in a home, what your budget allows, and what kind of house fits your future lifestyle.

Are You Ready?

There isn't always a simple answer to whether to rent or buy. Depending on your personal and financial circumstances, the answer may change over time. Rent-to-own properties are another option, where you begin renting and eventually become a homeowner.

Your financial status and lifestyle should guide whatever decision you make. Our Realtors are here to help. Reach out if you have more questions and if you are ready to make a move!

Is “For Sale by Owner” a Good Idea?

The process of selling a home can be stressful. Many things have to go right to get the perfect buyer, especially if you're trying to sell quickly. On the surface, it can also seem like an expensive task. Many homeowners prefer to sell independently to avoid certain fees and costs. What homeowners don’t realize right away is that going the For Sale by Owner or “FSBO” route ends up being a waste of time and money, and could even come with some unwanted legal consequences. 

On the other hand, most people do hire a real estate professional to sell their home, because they know the process can be complicated, and having a professional's expertise and knowledge is well worth it in the long run. In today’s blog, we will go over what FSBO means and why it’s not as appealing as it may sound!

What Does For Sale by Owner Mean?

While For Sale by Owner is mostly self-explanatory, there are some aspects that any seller should be aware of before pursuing it. When you sell your home on your own, you avoid commission fees while also taking on all of the work and liabilities that you would pay a real estate agent to handle.

Besides researching comparable homes in your area and determining a price for your property, you will also be responsible for your own marketing, paperwork, and legal compliance. Slipping up and making a mistake in any of these areas can lead to financial and legal consequences that could otherwise be avoided with the assistance of a real estate professional. 

Does FBSO Work?

To keep it simple, taking the path of For Sale by Owner will not work out for most homeowners. The task of listing your home on your own can actually cost you more in the long run than if you hired a real estate professional. 

Take this example: you paid a 6% commission to your real estate agent, which you were excited to save, but your home is likely to sell for less than 94% of its asking price if you do not work with a real estate agent in the first place. You can see that a real estate agent’s knowledge and skill set is something that can not be replaced in the transaction!

Why You Need a Realtor

If you aren’t aware already, the help of an experienced Realtor is indispensable in selling your home. Here are some key reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate professional:

Pricing & Negotiation Skills

Pricing your home isn’t as simple as it may seem. The last thing you want to do is leave money on the table that could be yours! An experienced real estate professional will perform a comparative market analysis (CMA) to accurately and competitively price your home, taking into consideration comparable homes in your area. 

Some people may feel confident that they could facilitate a good negotiation, but make no mistake, negotiation is a skill that takes practice, and in the world of real estate, there are way more variables involved that the average person may not be aware of!

Marketing & Showings

If you attempt to market your home on your own, you may realize many buyers stay away from FBSO listings. You will be on your own when it comes to tackling a marketing strategy, (which is a huge factor), holding showings yourself, interacting with potential buyers, and answering their questions and concerns. 

Legal Paperwork 

When it comes to completing closing and transfer documents, you will wish you had a real estate professional on your team. You definitely want to avoid mistakes in this area, because it could lead to many repercussions. 

The Takeaway?

Most of the many common problems associated with FSBO can be avoided entirely by hiring a knowledgeable and trustworthy real estate professional. The value they bring to the table cannot be replaced and is well worth the commission costs. 

Before you consider going the FSBO route, be sure to consider these factors we mentioned above so you know the challenge you could be taking on! 

Our team at 316 Realty Group strives for each and every one of our clients as if they were our own family, and we would love to assist you in a stress-free sale of your home. Contact us today and let’s work together!