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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

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Do’s and Don’ts for Homebuyers in 2018

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I’ve been getting a lot of questions around this time of year. Many of them go like this: “I’m thinking of buying a home in 2018—what are some of the things I should do to get ready for that?” I found a complete list that I’d like to share with you today.

1. Don’t open up any new trade lines.
This would be something like a new credit card or a new car. Pretty much anything that can be reported as debt on your credit report will affect your debt-to-income ratio, which affects your affordability. Until you get in that new house, just hold off.

2. Suggest a different kind of “gift.” The holidays are coming up. If you’re like me, you get a bunch of stuff that you’re very grateful for but you know is going to end up sitting in the closet or the garage. Suggest financial gifts instead. Tell them about your plan to buy a new house and ask for a gift you can use as part of a down payment.

It’s the perfect time to get pre-approved.

3. Get pre-approved now. Even if you aren't looking to buy for a few months, it's the perfect time to get pre-approved. This way you know what you can afford in advance and start looking at those homes right away. You'll know if you need to work on anything in your credit as well.

You can get the full list of tips right here on Trulia.

If you have any questions for me, don't hesitate to ask. If you have any questions about the process or need any help getting started, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Should You List Your Home During the Holidays?

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Here are 10 reasons why listing your home during the holidays might be a good idea:

10. By selling now, you’ll have the opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer in the spring, when there are more houses on the market available for less money. This will allow you to sell high and buy low.

9. You can still restrict showings during the holidays.

8. January is traditionally the month for employees to start new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until spring to buy, you need to be on the market in fall and winter in order to capture those buyers.

7. Some people are looking to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons. This is one people tend to not think about, but there are buyers out there who need to spend that money for tax purposes.

6. Buyers have more time to look for a home near the holidays than they do during the average workweek. During the holidays, most of us get a lot of time off work. Buyers are taking this time to find the right home for them, and your home should be available for sale to take advantage of that.

Less competition means more money for you.

5. Buyers are more emotional during the holidays so they are more likely to pay your price.

4. Houses show better when they are decorated for the holidays.

3. Supply will dramatically increase in January, which means less demand for your home. Less demand means less money.

2. Serious buyers have fewer options to choose from during the fall and winter, and less competition means more money for you.

1. People who look for homes during the fall, winter, and holidays are much more serious buyers. If people are doing their home search during snow, ice, and other inclement weather, they’re not just looking—they want to buy.

If you want to take advantage of these conditions and put your home on the market now, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be glad to help you.

How Do Commission Payments Work in Minnesota?

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How do commission payments work in Minnesota? Who pays them—the buyer or the seller?

In the state of Minnesota, the seller always pays the commission. This includes the total commission for both the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.

There’s a lot of value and service being provided for the money sellers spend on commission.

When you purchase a home, it doesn’t cost you any money in terms of paying a commission to the agent you’re working with. When you sell a home, you’ll pay for the selling process and the buyer’s agent’s commission.

A commission gets split among four different people, and this split occurs before any taxes or home selling expenses are paid:

         1. The seller’s representative
         2. The selling agent’s broker
         3. The buyer’s agent’s broker
         4. The buyer’s agent

As a seller, that can seem like a lot of money being shelled out to so many people, but there is a lot of value and service being provided for the money you’re spending.

I know this subject can get a little confusing, so if you have any questions about commissions or you’re interested in selling your home, don’t hesitate to give me a shout. I’d love to help you!