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Happy-New-Year-2016.png

For many, the New Year brings with it a sense of renewed hope. Often we plan to take control of the things we did not do well, or at all, and make them better. If buying or selling a home was one of those things, here are some ideas for your real estate resolution list.

If your dream of moving to a new home or buying your first property did not happen in 2015, there is good news. 2016 Is just around the corner, and it is a leap year. That means you have an extra day to find that extra special home.

To get you rolling in the right direction, I have compiled a list of things you might want to do so we are not having this same conversation next year. Let’s start with home sellers.

Pre-inspect That Home. In my 23 years of practicing real estate, I have never been witness to the high level of scrutiny currently being placed on a home’s condition. I’m not talking cosmetics here (we will get to that later). I am talking about the components of the home like electrical, heating, etc.

Over the past several years, new home sales have steadily declined in the Berks County area. People who would have purchased a new home are settling for an existing home. It stands to reason that things in a new home are, well, new. Obviously, this is not the case with an existing home, but that does not stop the discerning buyer from desiring a like-new home.

Audit Your Home. Today’s home buyer is not just looking to buy your home; they want to know how much it costs to live there. Take a good look at all your home ownership expenses such as heating, electric, maintenance, etc.

Fix up and Clean Up and Improve. This is one everyone knows, right? Before you go after this one, consult with a real estate agent. We are the people who hear and see what is going on out there. If you are on a budget, who isn’t, a Realtor® can tell you what to fix and where to improve.

The home buying side is a shorter list but no less important.

Buyer’s, get prequalified for a mortgage if you need one to purchase a home. You are buying money to acquire the home. Hook up with a good lender before you find the home you want. Getting qualified is not something you want to do in the middle of negotiating you home purchase.

Learn the best way to shop for a home both in the field and online. The better your home shopping skills, the more likely you will not miss out on that, Just Right, home. Your real estate agent will be a big asset here.

Find a Realtor® First. Many buyers find the home first and then the agent. Realtors® are optioneers.  Real estate agents cannot tell you what to do, but we can give you options you may have never considered. You may be surprised what a good agent can do for you. Interview several and see who and what works best.

The parade of real estate market predictions for the new year is already in full swing. Will rates go up? Which way will home prices go? What I am comfortable predicting is that the prepared home buyer and seller do well in any market.

Happy New year!

Knowledge is Power!

Jeffrey C. Hogue