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Buy a Home


Careful Considerations

You have many decisions ahead before you buy your next home. Many of them have to do with where you’re living right now. Here are some factors to consider as you build a financing strategy that will best meet your goals.

Decide Who Will Sell Your Current Home

Unless you choose to sell your house on your own – known as “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO – you should work with a licensed real estate agent to help bring your house to market. Agents usually collect a commission of approximately 6% of the sales price for marketing your property, arranging showings, fielding offers, representing you at the closing and handling all the paperwork.

If you decide to work with an agent, ask friends and family members for referrals. Interview several agents to find one with whom you feel comfortable, and ask their advice about what they would change or highlight about your home. Also be sure to inquire about their experience, particularly in your neighborhood.

Get Your Home Market-Ready

Consider getting a pre-inspection to prepare your house for sale. Although your home will be inspected before closing, a pre-inspection can alert you to repairs or issues you need to address before your home goes on the market. You can then shop around for contractors to make the repairs and present a better product, which is especially important in a crowded housing market.

Even if you don’t opt for a pre-inspection, you can increase the appeal of your home with a few simple and relatively inexpensive touches, such as:

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Applying fresh coats of paint, inside and out
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Pressure washing entryways
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Adding new mulch and landscaping updates

Know Your Home's Value

If you use a real estate agent, he or she can provide you with a list of comparable homes (or “comps”) recently sold in the area. Comps help you determine the right price at which to list your home. There are other factors to consider, including the condition of your home, the cost of any outstanding repairs and your timeline for wanting to get your home on – and off – the market.

If you’re selling your home yourself, you can use Internet resources and local newspapers to build your own comps.

A common temptation is to overprice your home in the hope of negotiating with potential buyers. But setting your price too high may discourage buyers from looking at your home at all.

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Ready to Buy or Refinance?

Get Started