January 1st is the beginning of the Spring housing market. Most buyers begin their search in the winter so they can close by June, get to know their neighbors over the summer, and be settled for the new school year. You can usually get a higher price for your property if you list in early January since you have a larger pool of buyers.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO BUY A HOME?
The housing inventory is most abundant in the first quarter of the year, but there is a lot of competition with other buyers. The housing market usually slows down in the summer months, and again in the late fourth quarter, so you can usually get a better deal because there are less buyers competing against you.
HOW DO I STAGE MY HOUSE FOR SALE?
Here are some basic tips:
Declutter and depersonalize the interior by removing coffee/end tables and ottomans to increase flow, remove family photos, conceal personal information (and valuables), reduce items displayed on shelves and bookcases. Minimize window treatments, maximize natural lighting, add artificial lighting where needed. Enhance the exterior--paint your front door and shutters, clean your windows, add accents such as kick plates, potted plants, and house number to entrances.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF A HOME IS BEING SOLD 'AS IS'?
Foreclosed properties, short sales, and estate sales are usually sold 'as is' which means the seller will not make any repairs or offer credits for repairs to buyers. However, buyers still have a right to have a complete, thorough home inspection to identify potential problems. If a buyer is concerned about the home inspection results, the buyer does not have to proceed with the purchase.
WHAT IS A MORTGAGE PREAPPROVAL?
A mortgage preapproval is very important for buyers and sellers. For buyers, consulting with a licensed mortgage representative at the beginning of the home search process will help buyers determine what home price range and property tax amount they can actually afford. This will help buyers focus on what type of homes and what towns they can afford. For sellers, the buyer's mortgage preapproval will provide some assurance that the contract will proceed to closing so the sellers don't risk taking their home off the market for a buyer unless they know the buyer can really afford to purchase the property.