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Engage Strategies for Success Before You Even Call a Real Estate Agent

Are you ready to purchase or sell a home? Before you contact an agent, there are steps you should take toward quick success. Consider these important strategies.

Finding a Lender

One of the first steps for buyers is getting pre-approved through a lender in order to better understand what they can afford and which programs their credit allows them to qualify for. You should always opt for getting pre-approved for a loan vs pre-qualified for a loan as pre-approval is more in-depth. You will need to provide lenders with pertinent information during the pre-approval process, such as proof of income and employment. However, it’s worth the effort since pre-approval gives any offer you make validity.

Once buyers understand that, then they can get in touch with a realtor to establish the criteria they would like in a home. Sellers should consider their daily schedules because that will help maximize the potential time that their property could be shown to prospective buyers. It comes down to scheduling and planning, but an agent needs to know a level of flexibility in order to make the listing work.

Evaluate Numbers When selling a property, know your payoff amount to help price the home. The Chicago Tribune notes you should verify the payoff totals your lender sends you, as sometimes payments are not attributed properly. You can also use an online tool for estimating your home’s value.

Knowing the seller’s loan amount will help a realtor know what strategy to take. If the amount owed is more than the market value, then the seller is considered underwater, which would be a short sale at that point instead of an equity sale. Agents want to know about any issues like liens or property disputes so they can deal with them before the house hits the markets.

It is very helpful as a listing agent to be provided with a list of upgrades or improvements that have been made to the home during the course of ownership. These improvements can range from major expenditures such as additions to smaller investments such as new carpet or flooring. But knowing about these updates can help a realtor price a home correctly and market it effectively to buyers. Realtors want to know about the improvements, but they don’t need to know the amount spent. A lot of times, the price of updates is not as important as the fact that they have been made.

Upon deciding to sell your home, it is important for sellers to hold off on making any new improvements until hiring an agent. This is especially important because what sellers think is going to net a return on investment may not be what’s trending in the market.

Prepare the Home

Sellers need to improve their home’s appearance for selling success, but keep it simple until talking with your realtor. Staging a home can be inexpensive by doing the work yourself. Focus on a few key rooms, brightening them up and refreshing paint in light, neutral colors. Clean thoroughly, and make repairs to broken or worn items. Enhance curb appeal by adding new house numbers, pressure washing your exterior, and adding a few flowers for a warm welcome.

Strategize Carefully

Buying or selling a home is an involved process. Take steps before hiring a real estate agent so you’ll be set up to achieve your goal. With good planning, you’ll be successful in the housing market!


Pre-approval Process

Proof of Income

The Chicago Tribune Consumer Tips

Online Calculation Tool

Home Staging



Curb Appeal

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