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7 Buyer Etiquette Rules

7 Unwritten Etiquette Rules Every Home Buyer Should Know

You like being under a microscope? Whatever your answer to that question may be, you’d better get used to being scrutinized when you’re trying to buy a home. Your behavior can sway sellers to bestow their precious home on you—or pass you up for someone nicer or way less annoying.

Naturally, realtor.com® is here to help! Just be sure to follow these heretofore unwritten rules of house-buying etiquette to stay in the good graces of all involved.

Get pre-approved for a home loan
Getting pre-approved and knowing exactly how much house you can afford before shopping for a home is key to winning over sellers, real estate agents agree.

“It is simply misleading to look at a home you don’t know you qualify for,” says Cara Ameer, a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker. Yes, this is an etiquette issue. “Remember that the seller and agent(s) took time to prepare for the showing. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if someone was looking at your home and they had no idea if they qualified for a mortgage, let alone the price range of your home?”

If you haven’t yet been pre-approved, let the agent and seller know upfront.

Be punctual
You’re mom used to tell you this one, right? If you have an appointment with your Realtor, respect his or her time. If you’re running late, call, but don’t make a habit of last-minute schedule changes. Agents have plenty of other clients they could be working with. Also, if they’ve asked a seller to leave the house for your showing, your tardiness makes both you and your agent look bad. Enough said.

Remove your shoes
Whatever “shoe rules” you have in your home are null and void elsewhere—so when in doubt, ask if you should remove your shoes upon entering anyone’s home.

“You may be asked to remove your shoes or even wear surgical booties,” says Brenda Hayward, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker. Don’t be self-conscious! “Just give it up; no one looks good in surgical booties.”

Don’t bring an entourage
“This may be OK in Hollywood, but try to minimize the group field trip effect,” says Ameer. “You may want to save that for once you’ve narrowed down your choices to your top two to three properties. Sometimes, too many opinions can be confusing and overwhelming, and add unnecessary time to the property tour.”

Ditto when it comes to little ones. “Ideally, you don’t bring your children with you when going to view a house,” says Nicholas Kensington of Scottsdale Real Estate. “If that isn’t possible, though, don’t let them wander anywhere they want. There are always potential safety issues. And it’s just rude.”

Ask permission before taking photos
Want to take a few pictures or shoot some video to help you remember all those small details? Ask first, Kensington advises. “There might be concerns about privacy that you’re not aware of.”

Don’t linger too long
Just how long is long enough to truly take in a home? While there’s no formal rule, Ameer says anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes is typical for a first showing.

“Taking a bit longer may be OK, but remember: You can always go back for a second showing and will likely need to.” But beyond two visits, when exactly are you at risk of being considered a stalker? See our next point…

Avoid excessive multiple visits
“One, two, or even three visits is typically acceptable prior to making an offer,” Ameer says. “If you must return more than that, make sure this is a home you are seriously considering.”

All those visits are not only an inconvenience, but they could also make a seller extremely anxious, especially if a buyer comes to the house five times and is never heard from again. Remember, you will have inspections and access to the home again, so don’t waste a seller’s time with too many visits.

Before you come away thinking you’re the only person in the home-buying process who should adhere to a code of conduct, tune in next week to learn all the unwritten etiquette rules home sellers should follow, too!

Article published in Realtor.com

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Sell Your Home in 2019

5 Big Reasons to Sell Your Home This Year (Because It Could Get Tougher)
Rachel Stults | Feb 20, 2019 | Realtor.com

It’s no secret that life’s been pretty good to sellers for the past several years. Even if you had no need—or desire—to move, the housing landscape might have seriously tempted you to put your house on the market anyway. After all, it’s hard not to see visions of dollar signs when your neighbors are unloading their homes for tens of thousands over asking price.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end. And you’ve probably heard that the white-hot housing market of years past is finally beginning to cool.

So if you haven’t listed your home before now, did you miss the boat? Absolutely not. But with each passing month, the experts say, you can expect the housing climate to shift a bit more in buyers’ favor.

“It’s definitely still a seller’s market in most of the country. But it’s not the same seller’s market that you saw in the last couple of years,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com®. “You might have to think about how your home compares to the competition that buyers are going to see when they’re shopping. And you might have to price a little bit more competitively, or think about other enticements to attract buyers.”

There’s still a chance to cash in for top dollar, though, if you move quickly. Here are the biggest reasons to sell ASAP in 2019.

  1. You won’t be the only listing for long

The top reason sellers have been in the catbird seat for the past several years? Inventory. There simply weren’t enough homes on the market to keep up with buyer demand. And when a “For Sale” sign did go up, you can bet a bidding war would soon follow.

“You might have been the only listing in your neighborhood, and you could put your home up at a certain list price and you would likely see multiple offers at or above that list price,” Hale explains.

That tide is turning this year, Hale says. That’s because the number of homes for sale is finally increasing, albeit slowly. For now, buyers still outnumber inventory. But if you’re thinking about selling and don’t want to compete with your neighbors, it’ll pay off (literally) to list earlier rather than later.

“It’s going to depend on what neighborhood you’re in, but we expect it to be more common this year that you won’t be the only listing,” Hale says.

  1. You still stand to make a ‘handsome profit’

Home prices have been on a meteoric rise for the past seven years. In January 2012, the U.S. median home price was $154,700. Today, that figure has nearly doubled—to $289,300—and sellers have rejoiced.

Now comes a twist: 15% of all home listings saw price cuts in January, according to realtor.com data.

That might sound like bad news if you’re thinking of selling. But hear us out: Those moderating prices, combined with today’s mortgage rates (more on that below), mean increased buyer demand for your house.

Plus, it’s not that home prices aren’t still increasing—they’re just not increasing at the frenzied pace of previous years, which often featured multiple offers at or above asking price, Hale says. So even though you might have some more competition as a seller, things are still looking pretty sweet for you when it comes to cold, hard cash.

“Even if you don’t get an offer above your asking price, you’re probably still going to come away with a handsome profit from being a seller in 2019,” Hale says.

But again, it’ll pay to put your home on the market as soon as you can—before conditions change.

“Sellers who list their homes earlier in the year tend to get a higher sales price, often above list, and shorter days on market,” says Ali Wolf, director of economic research at Meyers Research.

  1. There’s high demand for homes under $300K

There’s more good news if you own a home below the national median price of $289,300. Not only is that inventory increasing at a slower rate than its luxury counterparts, but there are more buyers shopping at those price points.

“If you’re a below-median-price seller, you will see a seller’s market that is as good as what you saw in previous years—maybe even better,” Hale says. “You might still see multiple offers coming in quickly, maybe even above asking price.”

  1. Mortgage rates are at a new low

Something strange has been happening over the past few months. Experts predicted mortgage rates would rise—and at the end of 2018, they were indeed ticking upward as expected.

But since the start of the year, rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage (the most popular home loan) have been falling, sliding last week to a new 12-month low of 4.37%. And of course, those historically low mortgage rates mean you could have more buyers knocking on your door.

Plus, this temporary dip in rates creates an opportunity for trade-up buyers as well. After all, if you’re selling your home, there’s a good chance you’ll need to buy another one.

Bottom line: Now’s the time to hustle and get both transactions done.

“Sellers need to take advantage of low rates as much as buyers do,” Wolf says. “Sellers don’t want to get stuck in their homes when rates go up and the math no longer makes sense to move.”

  1. Millennials are flooding the market

Historically speaking, people tend to buy their first home around age 30. And guess what? We’ve got a whole bunch of people turning 30 in the next two years—nearly 5 million, in fact, according to realtor.com data. So you can count on those millennials to be a driving force in the housing market.

“Millennials want to own a home as much as prior generations,” Wolf says. “We saw millennial shoppers scooping up homes in 2018—and 2019 will be no different.”

What’s more, Hale adds, is that you won’t just be seeing demand from first-time buyers. Older millennials in their middle to late 30s have already owned a home for a few years, and could be looking at now as a prime time to trade up. “From a seller’s perspective, you’re going to have possibly more interested buyers,” Hale says. “So that’s motivation to put your house on the market.”

Courtesy Realtor.com https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/2019-reasons-to-sell-your-home

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