Real Estate Expert's 7 Step Guide to Selling Your Home and Buying a New Property

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Buying or selling a home can be stressful enough, but for most people these two life-changing experiences come at the same time. Thankfully there are some tried and tested steps which can help you sell your old home and move into something new without making any major financial and emotional mistakes.

Edmonton Realtor Shari Love

We're in a balanced market at the moment, which means it is a good time to buy or sell

The recession is well and truly over in Canada and the real estate market is steadily improving. In parts of Canada new housing is being built at three times the rate it was at this time last year, resale rates are heading upwards and a recent survey shows that Albertans are more likely than other Canadians to buy a new home in the next two years.

"We're in a balanced market at the moment, which means it is a good time to buy or sell," explained Edmonton REALTOR®, Shari Love.

"There are still good bargains out there, but it also means there are buyers ready to find a new home and a lot of Edmonton real estate is being snapped up within days of going on the market."

While this is a good time for both buyers and sellers, a lot of people underestimate the challenges involved with what could possibly be the most important purchase of their lives, so Shari and her team have come up with 7 crucial tips for those looking for a new home.

1. Before you start looking find out how much you can afford

Many people begin looking for new properties before they know how much their home is worth. When it comes to arranging finance for a new home this can lead to unforeseen costs or disappointment.

Most good REALTORS® will give you a free, accurate estimate of the market value of your home as well as an idea of what you will net after commissions, moving costs and lawyer's fees, giving you a realistic budget for your next home.

2. Get pre-approval from your mortgage broker

Quick, easy and free of charge, but this can make a huge difference for home hunters.

While it doesn't cost or obligate you to anything, pre-approval gives you peace of mind when you place an offer because you know exactly how much you can afford, and you have the green light from your lending institution.

Your offer will be viewed more favourably by the seller because you won't need as much time to remove conditions.

3. Maximize the sale of your home

Obvious to some, but neglected by many. Small measures like mowing the lawn and removing clutter can add thousands to your house in the eyes of potential buyers.

Consider spending a little on basic repairs, steam cleaning carpets, and spring cleaning. Make sure all home furnishings are positioned to add value to your home. For bigger repairs, ask your REALTOR® whether you will get a positive return on your investment.

4. Don't rely on the internet for your new home search

The best homes go quickly, and by the time a property gets on the public MLS (Multiple Listing Service) database it could have been viewed several times.

The easiest way to get around this is to have a REALTOR® connect you to the MLXchange system. Updated within hours of a new property coming on the market it will give you a head start on the competition.

5. Timing is everything - Sell before you buy

The best option for most people is to sell before buying. Keep up to date with properties out there, and when you have an offer on your house start to seriously look for a new place.

Not only does this mean you will avoid the financial burden of owning two homes at once, but it will put you in the best negotiating position when making an offer for your new home by eliminating any questions about financing.

6. Have a back-up plan

While it is recommended that you sell before you buy, this may mean moving to temporary accommodation, so finding a suitable rental home before you start can help alleviate a lot of stress.

On the other hand, if you find your dream home you may decide to buy before selling your existing home. If the market is slow, or your home is not selling for what you anticipated, one option is to rent your home and put it on the market later.

7. Work closely with a REALTOR®

With two major transactions to coordinate, and the involvement of a host of other specialists such as mortgage experts, appraisers, lawyers and home inspectors, mix ups and miscommunication can be a problem.

To help you around this logistical nightmare you need the help of a REALTOR®. Not only can they give you invaluable information about neighbourhoods, locations and renovations, but they can coordinate the whole process and help you match both closings so you don't have to resort to a back-up plan.

For help and advice buying or selling Edmonton homes call Shari Love or Jay Love on 780 450 6300 or visit http://www.edmontonproperties.net.

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