Why Pre-Approval Is an Important Step for Today’s Homebuyers

Why Pre-Approval Is an Important Step for Today’s Homebuyers

Being intentional and competitive are musts when buying a home this season. That’s why pre-approval is so important today. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to know your true price range and how much money you can borrow for your loan. Peter Warden, Editor of The Mortgage Reportsexplains:

“The lender will check out your personal finances and issue you a letter confirming the amount you’re eligible to borrow. This not only gives you a firm budget for house hunting, but also lets sellers know you’re qualified to make an offer.”

Why does that matter so much today? There are many more buyers looking for homes today than there are homes available for sale, and that’s creating some serious competition. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average home is getting 4.8 offers per sale. As a result, bidding wars are still common.

Your pre-approval gives you a leg up in these situations. That’s because you know exactly what you’re approved to borrow before you write your offer, and it lets the seller know you’re qualified to buy their home. This helps both you and the seller feel confident in what you’re bringing to the table. And that puts you in a better position to potentially win a bidding war.

As Warden puts it:

“There’s another important reason to get preapproved, too. And that’s because there are way more buyers than homes in today’s market — which means you need to be ultra-prepared if you want to win a bidding war. Most sellers are getting multiple offers right now. And most won’t even entertain an offer without a preapproval letter included.”

Every advantage you can gain as a buyer is crucial in a market that’s constantly changing. Mortgage rates are rising, home prices are going up, and lending institutions are regularly updating their standards. You’re going to need guidance to navigate these waters, so it’s important to have a team of professionals, such as a loan officer and a trusted real estate advisor, on your side. They’ll help make sure you’re ready to put your best foot forward.

Bottom Line

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps you better understand what you can afford and signals to sellers you’re serious about purchasing their home. Let’s connect so you have the tools you need to succeed as a homebuyer in today’s market. Goodwin Realty & Associates has been assisting Central Florida home sellers and home buyers for over 48 years. We are steeped with knowledge of the communities we are working in, and want every real estate transaction we are involved in to be a positive one for both the seller and the buyer – with no stress! Call us at (407) 846-2787 today!

Retirement May Be Changing What You Need in a Home

Retirement May Be Changing What You Need in a Home

The past year and a half brought about significant life changes for many of us. For some, it meant entering retirement earlier than expected. Recent data shows more people retired this year than anticipated. According to the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, 2021 saw a retirement boom:

“At least 1.7 million more older workers than expected retired due to the pandemic recession.”

If you’ve recently retired, your home may not fit your new lifestyle. The good news is, you’ve likely built-up significant equity that can fuel your next move. According to the latest Homeowner Equity Insights report from CoreLogic, homeowners gained more than $50,000 in equity over the past 12 months alone. That, plus today’s sellers’ market, presents a great opportunity to sell your house and address your evolving needs.

You Can Move Closer to the Ones You Love

The 2021 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) provides a look at the reasons people buy homes. For those reaching retirement age, the number one reason to buy is the opportunity to be closer to loved ones, friends, or relatives.

If you find yourself farther from your loved ones than you’d like to be, retirement and the equity you’ve built in your home may enable you to move closer to the people in your life who matter most.

You Can Find the Right Home for Your Needs

Not only can your equity power a move to a new location, but it can also help you purchase the right size home. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, says many homebuyers 55 and older choose to downsize – or buy a smaller home – when they make a purchase:

“Clearly from the age patterns, young people want to upsize, and the older generation is looking to downsize. . . .”

Whatever your home goals are, a trusted real estate advisor can help you to find the best option for your situation. They’ll help you sell your current home and guide you as you buy your next one while you move into this new phase of life.

Bottom Line

If you’ve recently retired and your needs are changing, you’re not alone. Let’s connect so you can get a better sense of how to find a home that will match your situation. Just call us at (407) 846-2787. We’ve been serving Central Florida for over 48 years, and would love to help you.

First Time Home Sellers Need To Know!

First Time Home Sellers Need To Know!

There is a glut of helpful resources and content available for first time home buyers.  The same cannot be said about learning resources and tips for first time home sellers. Just like buying a home for the first time, selling a home for the first time often comes with lots of confusion and questions.  Many first time home sellers have no idea where to start and what they should focus on during the sale of their first home.

A first time home seller who doesn’t know what tips and advice to follow can sometimes end up costing themselves a lot of money.  We’ve included some of the most important tips for first time home sellers should be aware of!

Preparation Is The Deal!
One of the biggest errors that first time home sellers make is not knowing how to prepare their home and themselves for the market.  Not properly preparing a home for sale is a guaranteed way to make the home selling experience a challenge from the start.

Spring is coming in Osceola County, and it’s typically a very busy time in the real estate market. If you’re going to be selling your home, it’s time to get prepared now.

Here are five important suggestions to consider before the selling surge begins again:
• Deep clean carpets and floors
• Paint any rooms that need it
• Consider having the HVAC systems cleaned prior to listing
• Declutter, declutter, declutter
• Clean windows

Hiring An Experienced Real Estate Agent Is Imperative!

Whether selling a home for the first time or you’ve done this all before, hiring an experienced and established real estate agent is important. Many first time home sellers find hiring the right real estate agent to be their very first big challenge to overcome.  First time home sellers need to know  how to properly interview prospective real estate agents.  That’s sounds easy, but there are a lot of agents out there, and they are NOT all the same. As an example, Goodwin Realty is very versed on the central Osceola County real estate market. We know Kissimmee. We know St. Cloud. We know the Harmony Florida community. It’s what we do everyday, so selling a home in Central Florida for us is much different than for someone who just started selling homes in 2015.

To properly interview prospective real estate agents, a first time home seller needs to know what the  most important interview questions for Osceola County real estate agents are.  Some of the most important questions include;

Are you a full-time or part-time agent?

  • What percentage of homes yearly do you represent the seller?
  • How do you plan on marketing my home?
  • Are you prepared to show me what social media tools  you use right now?
  • Do you use video in your marketing?
  • What methods do you utilize to determine a homes value?

There are literally dozens of questions that first time home sellers should consider asking prospective real estate agents.  The above questions are just some of the most important!

Pricing It Right Is Vital!

The important of pricing in real estate cannot be stressed enough.  First time home sellers need to understand that it’s vital to price a home right from the beginning, otherwise, it will not sell.

The main takeaway for first time home sellers when discussing the importance of pricing a home right is to understand that todays home buyers are well educated.  Since buyers are able to shop online for homes, they are savvy and often have a strong understanding whether a home is overpriced or not. There are lots of buyers who will choose not to look at a home they believe is overpriced!

Know What Is Next!

Another mistake that first time home sellers make is they do not know think about what their next move is enough.  Selling a home takes lots of preparation and sometimes can be stressful.  The last thing a first time home seller needs is to increase their stress levels because they don’t know what their next move is.

Are they relocating to a new area?
Are they going to be renting?

Are they going to be buying and selling a home at the same time?
Are they able to buy a home without selling their current home?

These are just a handful of the most important questions a first time home seller needs to ask themselves before listing their home.  Having a well thought out game plan before listing a home for sale can decrease the stress level for a first time home seller significantly.

Understand What Closing Expenses!
One of the biggest misunderstandings that first time home sellers frequently have it regarding the closing expenses.  A first time home seller needs to have a strong understanding of the closing expenses they will be responsible for, again, prior to selling their home.

It can be quite a shock for a seller who doesn’t know that generally in most cases, they are responsible for paying any brokerage fees.  Some of the most common closing expenses that are incurred by a seller include;

  • Instrument survey
  • State transfer taxes
  • Abstract re-date
  • Seller concessions, if applicable
  • Owner warranty, if applicable

An experienced real estate agent will make sure they educate their sellers on the potential closing expenses they will be responsible for, before listing their home.

Final Thoughts

Selling a home can be stressful and a bit tricky without the correct guidance of an experienced realtor at your side… even for a home seller who has sold a number of homes.  First time home sellers who understand what tips and advice to follow when selling their first home greatly increase the odds they have an enjoyable experience… and sell their home at a higher price.

At Goodwin Realty we believe experience, integrity and work ethic plays a large role in the success of the seller. Our strength is in communication, professionalism, experience and willingness. We hope you’ll consider contacting us at one of our two locations. Call our Kissimmee Real Estate office at (407)846-2787  or call our St. Cloud Real Estate office at 407-556-3909 . We’d love to make your Osceola County home selling experience a positive one.