Blanco County News
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Make your real estate transaction smoother
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 • Posted September 22, 2009 10:00 PM

For many consumers, getting involved in any sort of real estate transaction is a lot like riding a roller coaster. You get on, and then it's one wild ride toward closing day: securing financing, locking in the best rate, finding the home that works for your needs, making an offer and the flurry of activity on closing day – the process can leave all parties exhilarated and exhausted.

Buying or selling real estate can indeed be a crazy journey – and one that can try even the calmest homebuyer's or seller's patience – but there's a lot you can do to ensure a smooth ride from start to finish that won't derail the whole transaction. To begin with, I recommend you work with a Texas Realtor to keep you on track.

Be flexible

One of the biggest mistakes buyers and sellers make is not being flexible when it comes to real estate transactions. A rigid countenance might be great for playing poker, but it's usually not helpful when buying or selling real estate.

If you can't find a house in the neighborhood you want, be willing to expand the parameters of your search. For example, if you absolutely must have a home with four bedrooms, you may have more luck if you also consider homes with three bedrooms and a study.

Disclose material facts

If you're selling, don't omit material facts about your house. Material facts refer to anything that could affect the sale price or influence a buyer's decision to buy it – like a leaky roof, flooding problems or other defects that aren't readily apparent in a simple home tour. The major causes of post-sale disputes and lawsuits center on defects and disclosure. Getting an inspection and providing the report to potential buyers will save you many headaches – physical and financial – down the road.

Stay on top of important deadlines

There are many deadlines that simply can't be missed in a real estate transaction. Locking in your mortgage rate is one example. Miss a deadline or delay a signature and it could mak a huge difference in your monthly mortgage payment. When a mortgage company tells you they have locked your rate, get a written statement detailing the interest rate, length of the rate lock and program details – and don't delay getting paperwork back to them.

Also, be willing to cooperate when it comes to seeing houses and following up on questions or paperwork. If your dream house is in a particular area of town where homes tend to sell quickly, do what you can to see those houses when your agent calls. After all, your Texas Realtor is working to find a house that fits your needs.

Be honest with your Texas Realtor and lender

Honesty is the best policy with your agent and your mortgage broker when it comes to what you can afford and the type of house you want. It's a waste of time for everyone when your Texas Realtor shows you homes out of your price range, so be honest about what's in your financial ballpark. Also, this is not the best time to make any major purchases. Doing so could jeopardize your mortgage approval.

Plan ahead

If you're buying, one of the best steps you can take is to get pre-approved for financing before you even look at a house. As a potential buyer competing for a property, you'll have a better chance of getting your offer accepted by being as prepared as possible – and sellers tend to look more favorably on potential buyers who already have financing secured.

If you're selling, plan for the possibility that you might not be moving for a while, especially if you're selling an expensive house. Higher-end homes have fewer potential buyers, and consequently, may spend considerably more time on the market ... it might be wise to expect delays from the outset.

Communicate clearly – and be realistic

Above all, be sure you're clear in what you want – to yourself, to your family, to your Realtor and to your mortgage broker or banker. By identifying a few things that you won't compromise on (schools, for example) from the beginning, you'll be better able to bend where needed (number of bathrooms, for example). And be realistic. Buying or selling real estate is a process – and finding what you want takes time. Be realistic in your expectations, and you'll be a much happier homebuyer or seller come closing day.

For your real estate needs, please contact RE/MAX Genesis at 830-833-2000.

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