Real Estate Tips
Buying & Selling in Laurel, MS
Carter Real Estate gives each one of our clients the personal attention they need to successfully buy or sell their home or property. We help residents of Laurel, Mississippi and surrounding areas find the perfect home they will enjoy for a lifetime. Our agents make every effort to stay current with today’s market and use proven real estate practices. We also take the time to help our clients understand what they can afford and how to best approach the buying or selling process to ensure a smooth transaction.
For more information about our agents or real estate services, contact Carter Real Estate today. We’ll help you find the home of your dreams or get you the best return on your investment!
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. Let Carter Real Estate help you find the perfect home for you and your family, and ensure your long-term financial commitment is worth it. Before you dive into your search for a new home or property, there are a few tasks we recommend you do.
Get Pre-Qualified – Work with a mortgage loan specialist to determine the loan amount you qualify for. If you know a monthly payment you’re comfortable with paying, your specialist can calculate a price range for your home search. Getting pre-qualified also increases the likelihood of your offer being accepted by the seller.
Establish Your Criteria – What features or amenities are most important to you in a home? Establishing your criteria will keep you from looking at homes that don’t meet your needs. It’s also important to consider what neighborhoods you prefer.
Choose an Agent – Select a REALTOR® who you not only will work well with, but who is also committed to meeting your needs. Once you’ve chosen an agent, we recommend you enter into a Buyer’s Agency Agreement to ensure the agent will represent you, the buyer, and not the interests of the seller.
So you’re pre-qualified, have a clear understanding of what you want in a home and selected an agent. Now it’s time to begin actively searching for homes that interest you. Every home is unique. Compare the properties you visit and make note of the criteria met by each one, as well as the characteristics you like or don’t like.
Making an Offer – Your agent will compare prices to similar homes that have recently sold in the area in order to help you determine the most appropriate price to offer. With your offer, you should also include in the terms any concessions you’d like the seller to make, financing contingencies, home inspections, items to be included with the home and a closing date.
Your offer has been accepted and it’s time to iron out the final details of purchasing your new home. There are several tasks to accomplish during this stage of the sale.
Home Inspection – While a home inspection is not required, it’s in your best interest to have one done to prevent any surprises when you move in. Professional home inspectors examine your electrical and plumbing system, and look for any structural problems. Home inspections are included in your closing costs.
Apply for Loan – Once your offer is accepted, contact your mortgage loan specialist to officially apply for a loan.
The Final Walkthrough – Before closing, you will be able to perform a final walkthrough of the home to ensure everything meets your standards and approval. You’ll want to make sure the seller repaired all of the items mentioned in the purchase agreement, the house is vacant and clean, and that everything has been moved out.
Closing – Closing procedures will be conducted by an attorney of your choosing, who will notify you of the total dollar amount you will need to bring to the closing. On the day of closing, remember to have a certified check for the total amount of your closing costs, a valid picture ID and evidence of mortgage insurance. Details of the sales contract will be thoroughly explained and then you will sign to finalize the deal!
To ensure the buying or selling process goes as smooth as possible, you’ll need to find a licensed REALTOR® who will best represent you and your housing needs. A buyer’s agent works on behalf of the buyer, a seller’s agent solely represents the seller, and a dual agency agreement occurs when two agents work for the same broker and represent a buyer or a seller in the sales transaction. It’s important to trust and feel comfortable with your agent, and to know they will go above and beyond to meet your real estate goals. Your agent should also be very familiar with the area and current housing market.
Once you’ve decided to sell your home and determined a fair market price, it’s time to begin thinking of ways to increase the exposure of your home to the buyer market. If you are working with a real estate agent, they will coordinate the majority of your home’s marketing and networking needs. Below are a few ideas for gaining market exposure.
- Publicize your home’s most special and unique features, or any recent improvements you’ve made.
- Place a classified ad in your local newspaper
- Advertise your listing online and in real estate publications
- Place a notable, easy-to-read FOR SALE sign on your front lawn and make sure the sign includes contact information. You can also have an information box along with your sign so passersby can learn more details about your home.
- Design flyers you can distribute throughout the community
- Spread the word by telling friends, family, co-workers and neighbors that your home is on the market
- Host open houses
- Create a virtual tour of your home you can share online
Most buyers take out a mortgage, or secure a loan, when buying a home. When applying for a home loan, the first step is to contact a mortgage specialist to get pre-qualified or pre-approved. Pre-qualification is an informal way of seeing how much you can borrow while pre-approval is a mortgage lender’s commitment to loan you money. Your mortgage specialist will need several financial records to process your loan application. They will also help you decide the best type of loan for your financial situation.
Packing your home can be a daunting and tiresome process. You’ll want to start early to give yourself time to sort through all of the belongings you’ve accumulated throughout the years. The less you have to transport, the easier your move will be.
Some general packing tips to consider
- Pack items used least first
- Clearly mark fragile items for your movers
- Pack one room at a time, labeling each box as you go
- Use smaller boxers for heavier items and make sure they’re well taped
- Keep your most valuable items in your possession during the move
Movers will not transport dangerous or hazardous items, so you’ll need to arrange other plans to move them or dispose of them properly.
Selling your home can be an emotional and exhausting process. There are a number of things that need to be done to ensure you home is ready to be placed on the market. Following a few simple guidelines can make selling your home a more efficient process.
Plan Ahead – If you’re planning on buying a new home in the near future, put your current home on the market as soon as possible to avoid having to pay two mortgages down the line. Prepare your home to be placed on the market as you begin your search for a new place to live.
Choose an Agent – Working with a licensed REALTOR® will help you establish a fair asking price, handle all advertising and marketing of your home, schedule showings and open houses, have representation during negotiations with the potential buyer, and navigate the closing process.
Set a Reasonable Price – Avoid overpricing your property, as this may cause it to remain on the market for an extended period of time. Price your home so you get a fair return on your investment in an reasonable time period. Your agent can complete a Comparative Market Analysis for you on your home. This compares your home with similar properties that have recently sold.
Prepare Your Home to Sell – Enhancing your home’s marketability will lead to a great first impression for potential buyers. Take the time to clean your entire home, remove any clutter, make minor repairs or replacements and highlight its most attractive features. Overall, you want your home to exude an inviting, pleasant atmosphere.