Bill Banzhaf
Mountain Place Realty, LLC

Map Out Success Before You Contact Your Realtor

Entering into the housing market can be a bit of an adventure. Like any big undertaking, you should proceed with care. Here is important advice to help you properly prepare for the home buying and selling journey.

Before you ever pick up your phone to call your real estate agent, there are certain preparations, which will help set you up for success. Both buyers and sellers are best off taking some important steps prior to officially entering the housing market. For instance, buyers can visit open houses, talk to lenders and narrow down what they desire in a home. Sellers can prepare their homes, gather financial information and get acquainted with the competition.

Explore possibilities. As a buyer, one of the best things you can do is get an idea of what you want in a home. Bill Banzhaf begins conversations with potential clients by asking their home priorities (ie: how many bedrooms, bath, other amenities, etc.) Given they’re located in a mountain area that brings a vast amount of tourists each year, he also asks if they want a view of mountains, lake, river, pasture, etc.

If you’re still not sure where to start, Forbes recommends contemplating how you live right now. Make some notes about what is important in your daily life and how your living arrangement supports those preferences. Also consider how your situation could be better. Do you want to be closer to work? Would you prefer more privacy? Can you handle a lengthy commute? Do you love jogging in nearby parks? Would a yard improve life for your four-legged family members? Visit open houses to see what neighborhoods are appealing and think about what you like and don’t like in them. Mull over what could enhance or detract from your current lifestyle and list your priorities.

Secure pre-approval. Before calling your realtor, you should get pre-approval for a mortgage. This is a pivotal point in the process and could be time consuming. If you have dings in your credit history, you should clean them up before applying for pre-approval. A low credit rating can mean paying more on a property up front, so it’s in your best interest to know your score and make improvements as needed. In addition to checking your credit history, Investopedia explains a lender will require proof of your income, two or three years of tax returns, statements showing history of your savings, checking and investment accounts, and two years of W-2s. You will also need to provide information on any assets and proof of employment.

Repairs and values. During this time, you can opt to get a seller’s inspection If problems are found it provides the opportunity to fix them before a potential buyer finds them. You can hold off on any other upgrades until you meet with your agent to ensure the upgrades pay off in your location and price point, according to Banzhaf.

If you’re selling your home there is one step you should make to prep your home: decluttering. As US News & World Report explains, decluttering is vital since potential buyers can’t see themselves in the home if they need to overlook your belongings. You should also clean thoroughly and neutralize your decor. Sellers also benefit by being familiar with what their home is worth by using an online tool.

Your journey to success. Before you ever contact your realtor, you should do some preparations. Buyers should know what they want and get pre-approved with a lender. Sellers should declutter and know the calculations relating to their sale, but stop short of making significant repairs. These tips from your professional realtor will help you map out success when buying or selling your home.

Article provided by Natalie Jones from