Kim Cook's Blog
A home seller may encounter many challenges after he or she decides to list a residence. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to increase the likelihood of enjoying a seamless house selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you master the home selling journey.
1. Conduct an In-Depth Home Evaluation
Your home has served you well for an extended period of time. However, your residence may be in dire need of upgrades. And if you fail to identify problem areas before you list your residence, you may struggle to stir up interest in your house.
Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection before you list your residence. Although a house inspection generally is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts his or her offer to purchase a home, an inspection can help you understand your residence's strengths and weaknesses. Then, you can take the necessary steps to transform myriad home weaknesses into strengths – something that could help you reap the benefits of a successful home selling experience.
2. Upgrade Your Home's Interior and Exterior
If your house is full of clutter and in need of a deep cleaning, there may be no time like the present for a home interior makeover. You can allocate time and resources to enhance your home's interior on your own. Or, you can always hire an interior decorator, home cleaners or other home improvement professionals to upgrade your house's interior.
Don't forget to bolster your residence's curb appeal too. By mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges and performing other home exterior upgrades, you can make it simple for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a must-have for those who want to streamline the home selling journey. He or she will help you identify and overcome any potential property selling roadblocks. Plus, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead for the home selling journey so you can achieve your desired results as quickly as possible.
For example, if you want to maximize your earnings from the sale of your city home, a real estate agent will offer recommendations and suggestions to help you do just that. On the other hand, if your goal is to sell your current residence as soon as you can, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to ensure you can sell your house without delay.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive guidance that a real estate agent can provide, either. If you ever have concerns or questions about pricing your home, how to promote your residence to potential buyers or other home selling topics, a real estate agent will respond to them right away.
Want to become a home selling expert? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble mastering the house selling journey.
If you are thinking of buying a home in the near future, there’s one three-digit number that could be oh so important to you. That number is your credit score. Read on to find out how a credit score can affect you and the steps you can take to be sure that your credit is in good standing when you head to apply for a mortgage.
What Is A Credit Score?
Your credit score is checked by lenders of all kinds. Every time you apply for a loan or a credit card, there’s a good chance that your credit score is being pulled to see if you qualify for the loan. Your credit score is calculated based on the information on your credit report. This information includes:
Length of credit history
New credit accounts opened
The areas with the most impact on your score is your payment history and your debt-to-credit ratio. This means that on-time payments are super important. You also don’t want to get anywhere close to maxing out your credit cards or loan amounts to keep your score up.
What’s A Good Score?
If you’re aiming for the perfect credit score, it’s 850. Most consumers won’t reach that state of perfection. That’s, OK because you don’t have to be perfect to buy a house. If your score is 740 and above, know that you’re in great shape to get a mortgage. Even if your score is below 740 but around 700 or above, you’ll be able to get a good interest rate on your mortgage. Most lenders typically look for a score of 620 and above. Keep in mind that the higher your credit score the better your interest rate will be.
What If You Lack Credit History?
Most people should get a credit card around age 20 in order to begin building credit. You can still qualify for a mortgage without a credit history, but it will be considerably harder. Lenders may look at things like your rent payments or car payments. Lenders want to know that you’re a responsible person to lend to.
What If Your Score Needs Help?
It doesn’t mean you’re a hopeless case if you lack good credit. Everything from errors on your credit report to missed payments can be fixed. The most important thing that you can do if you’re buying a home in the near future is to be mindful of your credit. Keep an eye on your credit report and continue to make timely payments. With a bit of focus, you’ll be well on your way to securing a mortgage for the home of your dreams.
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In the military, sometimes a Permanent Change of Station or PCS move happens quickly and orders to move to a new location can leave you scrambling.
When you have to make a fast move, the whirlwind of activity can leave you feeling a little dazed and wondering if you’re forgetting anything. So, here are some tips for a short-notice PCS move.
Prioritize Your To-Do List
From contacting schools to changing addresses with the Post Office or collecting medical records, there is a lot to do when moving. Find out if there are specific dates or requirements for turning in gear or check out procedures with the unit. Create a prioritized list of most urgent and time-sensitive to things that could wait until after the move. Changing a driver’s license isn’t urgent because most states give at least 30 days post-move. But, changing your address with the Post Office and anywhere you get deliveries from (like an Amazon or a magazine subscription) is important to do before moving.
You don’t have time to sort through small boxes of trinkets, so be really careful not to get caught in the little things. Start by immediately throwing out any trash. Move on to large items you can donate or get rid of (furniture, small appliances or large toys). As you declutter, you can also box up the items you know you are keeping. When sorting through books or movies, for example, make quick decisions and have a box to donate and a box to pack so you are getting both jobs done at the same time.
Work in Bursts
It is important to take mental breaks so you don’t burn out. Work for a few hours and then take a complete break to get lunch or do something different for an hour. When you have days or weeks of a fast-paced move, you want to stay focused. Your brain can only focus for so long before it gets tired. By taking those breaks, your work time is more efficient.
Expect a PPM Move
When you do it yourself, moving is called a PPM (personally procured move) by the military. With a short notice of days or just a few weeks, you likely won’t have a chance to get moving support for companies working with the military. You can certainly check the options, but be prepared for a DIY (do it yourself) move. But this can be a great money saver, because the military will pay you 95% of what they would typically pay a moving company. You can get an estimate for your PPM here. You also get a lot more control when you are packing your own items.
Mark Your Boxes
One of the most overwhelming parts of a move is unpacking what you need when you need it. Grab a sharpie and label your boxes either: IMMEDIATE, SECONDARY or STORAGE. Add the room the box will go in when you arrive to make it easy to take everything to the right rooms and prioritize what gets unpacked first.
Whatever you do, don’t get lost in the details, keep your labeling fast and easy to understand. All important documents, like the marriage certificate, passports or birth certificates, should be kept in one box and personally carried by you (not packed in the truck).
Plan for Time with the Truck
Of course, you need to plan for time to rent and pack the truck, but don’t forget about weighing the truck in order to get reimbursement for a DIY move. If you are moving on your own (PPM), you will have to go to a local weighing station before and after the truck is loaded to record how much you are moving.
Pay Attention to Final Details
If you are selling a home you own off-base, your realtor will be able to tell you what cleaning and staging will increase the likelihood of a sale. If you live on-base, you will want to patch up and repaint spots, like nail holes, to avoid any final charges. Cleaning and sweeping the floors will likely be one of the last things you do to make sure the space looks as good as possible for inspection (on-base) or showings (off-base).