Real estate transactions often involve large sums of money and emotional decisions, so it’s no wonder people get stressed. Consider these strategies to help you move through the process with ease. Clarify Your Goals What is your main motivation for buying or selling? Clarity helps you avoid anxieties brought on by distractions. For example, if your top reason to move is more space for your family, you won’t face a difficult decision when you tour a house with beautiful features but no more space than your current home. Get Time On Your Side When possible, build in enough time to avoid spur-of-the-moment decisions or unrealistic deadlines. Yes, external factors like a job relocation or a hot market can necessitate quick responses, but there’s a difference between being prepared to act and setting arbitrarily short time frames. Remember, a successful transaction requires coordination with the other party and providers such as title companies, inspectors, surveyors, and others. Just because you can move quickly doesn’t mean everyone else can meet that timeline. Focus On Positives You may experience a few bumps on the path toward your home purchase or sale. Simply being aware that surprises may pop up can relieve some pressure when they do. When challenges do arise, balance out those concerns by remembering the positives of moving, such as fresh opportunities, a beneficial transaction, and new friends. The best way to avoid stress when buying or selling a home is to work with a REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® is the professional who can guide you through the steps to achieve your real estate dreams.
Whether you’re selling your home or making an offer to buy one, setting a price is an important decision. How do you choose a number to attract the highest offers or get your offer accepted without overpaying? Consider the following: Where Is It? You know location matters, but keep in mind that even small differences can increase or decrease the desirability and price of a home. One side of a street may have a better view, the next block over can be zoned for a different school district, or a tranquil setting can be only a short distance away from noise and traffic. Be Careful With Comparisons Just because two homes are similar in size doesn’t mean their prices will be similar, too. Variations in age, quality of materials, condition, features, layout, lot size, and other factors can have a significant effect on what a home is worth. The Market Can Change Quickly The market may shift as the number of people selling and buying homes changes. Mortgage rates and local economic conditions also affect home prices. Just because a home sold for a certain amount a little while ago doesn’t mean that home is worth the same today. Motivation Might Matter If you need to move quickly, you may want to factor that into your pricing decision. It’s possible that being more flexible on your price can save you the costs and hassles that come with moving twice or paying two mortgages at once. Your REALTOR® can discuss current market data and your real estate goals to help you come up with a winning pricing strategy.
Real estate scams are on the rise. One con to be aware of is seller impersonation fraud, in which criminals sell owners’ property without their knowledge. Here are a few things you can do to find out if you’ve become a victim of fraud: Confirm Forwarding Address Many scammers target unoccupied properties such as vacant lots, second homes, or short-term rental properties. If you do not live at the property, double-check that the appraisal district has the correct forwarding address. Set Up Google Alerts To create an alert for your property, sign into your Google account, go to google.com/alerts, and add your name and address. You’ll get an email when there is a matching search result. Check For Activity Make a habit of searching for your property on the market. Some appraisal districts and third-party sites, such as Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com, offer automatic alerts or email notifications for property activity. If you suspect you are a victim, reach out to the title company and the brokerage “selling” the property, and contact the police.
Whether you’re relocating across the country or across town, you’ll need help moving your possessions. Moving companies can be a great resource, but stay alert for scams that could ruin your move. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers tips for a successful move—including red flags that might indicate you’re being scammed: The mover or broker doesn’t perform an on-site inspection of your household items and gives an estimate over the telephone or online. The mover or broker doesn’t provide a written estimate or says they will determine the cost after loading. The moving company demands cash or a large deposit before the move. The mover asks you to sign blank documents. The mover or broker doesn’t provide you with a copy of the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet and a copy of FMCSA’s Ready to Move brochure, which movers are required by federal regulations to supply to their customers. The company’s website has no local address and no information about their registration or insurance. The mover claims all goods are covered by their insurance. On moving day, a rental truck arrives rather than a company-owned or marked fleet truck. The mover claims that you have more belongings than estimated. Get more resources to ensure a successful move.
If you’re like most people, you accumulate a lot of things over time. It happens gradually, just one chair, painting, bike, TV, board game, or mixing stand at a time. All those possessions add up, though, which is never more evident than when it comes time to move. A little thought and planning Make Your Decisions Now Why lug an old couch—or pay someone to do it for you—if you’re going to replace it shortly after you get to your new home? Not only can getting rid of things before the move save time and money, it will help you start fresh at your new residence without a lot of clutter Offer Good Items to the Next Person If you own your current home, you can consider adding certain items that convey with the sale, such as freestanding appliances, artwork, landscaping machines, and more. (Keep in mind that most permanently installed and built-in items are considered part of the sale unless specified in the contract as an exclusion.) Sell It Estate and garage sales are options to get rid of large amounts of possessions at once. Individual items can be sold online through Facebook, eBay, and other online platforms. You can also check with friends and neighbors who may have an interest in purchasing items you no longer want. Give It Away Some charities may pick up large items if they are on their wish list; others have drop-off locations. You can also post items to Buy Nothing groups and ask acquaintances if they know anyone looking for the things you no longer want. Pay Someone to Haul Off the Big Stuff For large items in disrepair, you may have to hire a company to take it away. The good news is that you won’t have to do the dirty work yourself before moving day will make your experience much more pleasant. Your REALTOR® can help you understand what items are included in the sale of a home you are moving from or to, and can assist if there are particular items you’d like to ensure stay with the property.
Congratulations! You have received an offer—or maybe more than one—to purchase your home. Before you say yes, review the terms. Remember: while price is certainly important, an offer is more than just a number. Consider these factors when working with your REALTOR® to decide what to do. Does the Timing Work for You? You need to move to your next address. You might be buying another home yourself. An offer that works with your timetable will be more appealing than one with a quick turnaround or that is otherwise inconvenient. Buyers may even be willing to temporarily rent your home back to you after the transaction closes. Has a Buyer Offered To Pick Up Some of Your Costs? Buyers may sweeten the deal by offering to pay for some of the sellers’ closing costs. Though that amount is not part of the purchase offer, it increases your bottom line. How Much Will They Put in Earnest Money and the Termination Option Fee? Some buyers will show their interest with a large earnest money payment. They may also include a large option fee, which you can keep if the buyer chooses to terminate the contract. Are There Other Factors at Play? There are many aspects of an offer that can make a deal more or less appealing to you, such as factors related to appraisals, surveys, financing, termination options, and more. Your REALTOR® can help you sort through the criteria that matter most to you and can help you find the best offer for your home. When you hire a REALTOR®, you have an advocate for closing the best deal possible
Sure, you could try to sell your own home. You could gather as much market data as possible and try to determine the best asking price. You could decide what else you might do—paint or landscape or remodel?—to maximize the property’s appeal and value. You could get the word out to as many people as possible that your home is for sale. You could field all calls from buyers and their agents, schedule showings, and answer people’s questions. You could assess offers and make counteroffers. You could figure out how to respond to the buyer’s requests and questions, and keep on top of deadlines. You could research how to avoid missteps that would lose you money, put the transaction at risk, or lead to a lawsuit. Yes, you could do all that and eventually close the deal … or you could hire someone to make your life easier. By hiring a REALTOR®, you get a trustworthy, qualified professional helping you with your home sale. Your REALTOR® knows the ins and outs of your local market and can guide you to a successful closing. With exclusive access to the most accurate market data and more than 150 real estate forms, your REALTOR® will ensure you have the information and tools you need to accomplish your goal. Your REALTOR® also has professional contacts in the industry who can help you with every aspect of the transaction. You won’t have to wonder what is happening or what comes next. Explaining what’s going on is all part of the job. Selling your home is not only the largest financial transaction you’ll ever do—it can be one of the most stressful and complex ones as well. Why go it alone when you can have an advocate on your team? Your REALTOR® is here to help and bring you peace of mind.
It’s easy to assume that because you’ve sold property in the past that you know what you are doing. Maybe you had a tricky transaction or think you secured a great price for your house. Before you go it alone again, here are a few question to consider. Do You Have the Time? Especially if you are selling your property while buying a new one, you’ll need to make sure you’ve allowed yourself the appropriate timeline to accomplish your goals. For instance, if you need to renovate before selling, ensure you know how long it will take to make repairs. And don’t forget juggling showings to potential buyers while working and doing everything else you need to accomplish in your life. Will You Get Your Price? When markets are hot, it might seem easy to make a big profit by selling your property. Do research to find out if that’s perception or actually the truth. Remember to factor all the costs associated with selling and moving. You may need to invest in repairs before you can put your place on the market. If you’re looking for a bigger place, consider the new furniture and higher utility costs. Will the Past Repeat Itself? Every transaction is different—different potential buyers, different property, different market conditions. You may learn from your previous sale, but that experience is not likely to repeat itself. A REALTOR® can help you understand the current market and keep you informed on the newest forms, contracts, and laws that affect the sale of your property.
With such large amounts of money involved, real estate transactions are prime targets for scammers. One fraud involves criminals who trick homebuyers into wiring their down payment money to the criminals’ bank account. Once the money is deposited into the wrong account, it’s quickly lost in a labyrinth of bank transfers. The buyers’ funds are difficult to recover. Professionals Looking Out For Your Interests REALTORS®—those real estate agents who join the national, state, and local associations of REALTORS®—work together to make real estate transactions as safe as they can be. Your REALTOR® may talk with you about steps you can take to avoid scams. Texas REALTORS® even provides a flier its members can share with clients to help you learn how to prevent real estate wire fraud. A Century of Protecting Real Estate Buyers and Sellers REALTORS® in Texas have been setting the highest standards for professionalism for more than 100 years. In fact, one reason the association was formed in 1920 was in response to unscrupulous businesspeople. These “curbstoners,” as they were called, were cheating honest Texans in real estate scams, so ethical real estate brokers came together to do something about it. These professionals formed an association that worked tirelessly to require real estate licenses in Texas. REALTORS® also were the driving force to create the Texas Real Estate Commission, the state entity that regulates real estate license holders and safeguards consumers in matters of real property transactions. You can count on Texas REALTORS® to continue to fight on behalf of high standards and consumer protection in the future. Working With a REALTOR® Gives You Peace of Mind A real estate transaction can be a complex and big financial decision. It’s nice to know that someone is on your side, looking out for your best interests. Your REALTOR® puts your interests first, and REALTORS® in Texas work collectively to make real estate transactions and ownership better for everyone.
Your relationship with your REALTOR® doesn’t have to end at the closing. By hiring a REALTOR®, you’ve connected with a trusted resource for all things real estate. There are several ways to keep in touch with your REALTOR® after the sale. Followers Welcome You can follow your REALTOR®’s professional social media channels. REALTORS® will often post new listings, market information, and fun content to their platforms. Be sure to leave a review telling others about the great service you received. Just a Message Away Your REALTOR® may also reach out to you to see how you are doing in your new home. Some REALTORS® enjoy checking in periodically to share information and recognize milestones. Other REALTORS® send out email newsletters or postal mail about recent home sales and market conditions. Looking For Answers You may have questions about real estate from time to time that your REALTOR® can answer. Reach out and see if your REALTOR® can point you in the right direction. Recommend a Friend You can also refer your friends and family to your REALTOR®. Introduce them to your expert in the field. They’ll appreciate connecting with a professional you know and trust, and your REALTOR® will love the referral. Teaming Up Again Who knows what the future holds? If you decide to move from your current address, reach out to your REALTOR®. Many REALTORS® rely on repeat business from happy clients like you. Hiring a REALTOR® doesn’t have to be a one-time transaction. The sale could be the first of many future interactions with your dedicated real estate professional.