Home-buying checklist

Zeroing in on a new home can be fun and exciting. But it can also be tiring and confusing. So before you start looking at houses, write down what you want in your new home. Start with the size of the house, number of rooms, most convenient layout, and desirable features. Prioritize the list, noting beside each item whether it is “nice to have” or “a must.”

Plan for the foreseeable future
As you make the list, consider how long you will likely be in the house and how your family and lifestyle may change over time.
Keep your goals in mind
Bring the completed list with you when we plan the first house-shopping tour.
Be a comparison shopper
As you preview each house, jot down how it compares with your list. Fill in the blanks as you see fit–yes/no, good/fair/poor, etc. Keep your notes on each house to compare homes until you find the right house. Also note the features you would like to change in each house.
Housing Needs Checklist
Requirements

HOUSE AND LOT

Square footage __________________

Number of bedrooms __________________

Number of baths __________________

Closets/storage __________________

Basement __________________

Interior condition __________________

Yard space __________________

Fence _________________

Patio or deck __________________

Garage __________________

Energy efficiency __________________

Exterior condition _________________

THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Parking __________________

Overall appearance __________________

Traffic and noise __________________

Snow/trash removal __________________

Fire and police __________________

Schools: Bus or walk __________________

Distance to school __________________

School district __________________

Quality measured by SAT scores or other criteria__________________

Amenities __________________

Distance to job __________________

Childcare __________________

Public transportation __________________

Major highways __________________

Stores/supermarkets __________________

Medical facilities __________________

Recreation _________________

Community services __________________

Restaurants __________________

Churches/synagogues __________________

Airports/trains __________________

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Place Your Home on the Fast-Track to a Sale!

1. Price To Sell
Don’t over-price.
A nationwide survey of the National Association of Realtors found homes that sell within four weeks of the initial listing sold for close to the original asking price. Homes on the market for up to six months sold for about 7% less than the asking price. Listings that languished for more than six months sold for 15% less than the asking price. Experience shows: a too-high price results in a slow-to-sell home.
2. Expertise pays off.
This is an area where our neighborhood expertise pays off. By performing a competitive market analysis, we can help you determine the best possible price–one that puts the most money in your pocket and gets it sold fast. We’ll study listing and selling prices for similar homes in your neighborhood and compare your home’s special features, improvements and condition. Interest rates, local economic trends and the availability of homes for sale in your area will also affect your home’s value. The feedback we glean regularly from home seekers helps us keep our sellers informed of what today’s buyers want and are willing to pay.
3. Be realistic.
The more realistic the asking price, the sooner your home will sell. Unrealistic prices, on the other hand, are the major cause of “shopworn” listings, causing potential buyers to wonder if something is wrong with the home beyond price.
4. Results Marketing
Create a marketing plan.
Once you’ve established a selling price, the next step in your fast-track strategy is a maximum-exposure marketing plan. An effective marketing plan can include:
Tours to familiarize other agents with your home.
Showing your home to qualified buyers.
Advertising your home where it counts.
Offer buyer incentives.
For example, sellers can help with closing costs, provide a home warranty, give allowances for carpet or draperies, or pay utilities or lawn service for a limited time. Lowering cash barriers to the purchase will significantly enlarge the circle of potential buyers. We can discuss many other ways to market your home so it stands out from the competition.
5. Showplace Condition
Move-in condition.
To tempt a buyer, your home has to be inviting. Today’s buyers generally don’t have the time to do their own fixing up, so for maximum appeal your home must be in move-in condition.
Focus on curb appeal.
First impressions really do count. Inside your home, recognize that living condition is different from showing condition. Prospective buyers want to see your home in near-perfect condition, even if that’s not the way they’ll keep it once they move in. Make your home a “showplace” and you’ll soon be taking a victory lap after a fast sale.
Give us a call for more tips on getting your home ready to sell, developing an effective marketing plan, or setting the right price for your home. With our experience and track record, together we can make sure you finish a winner.