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Playing it Smart in 2013’s Real Estate Market

The buzz in the industry right now is that this spring 2013 will be the biggest year real estate has seen since 2007.  So far, inventory has not quite caught up to demand, which has helped things swing back to a seller's market. With the anticipated increase in sale prices, many homebuyers are eager to buy now. Because of these two factors, many homeowners will be considering selling their homes once again.  If you are looking to buy or sell real estate over the next year, you will have to be on top of your game and play it smart.  Here are our top three tips for making wise real estate decisions in 2013.

Tip #1: They call them real estate professionals for a reason, so use them. Buyers and sellers will both benefit from the services and expertise that real estate agents can provide. The average person will have a tough time handling the day to day activities that are required in finding a house; like scheduling showings, providing reliable comps, and staying on top of listings the minute they hit the market.  This obviously does not even include the complicated contracts involved and writing of offers. With that being said, don’t feel obligated to use your cousin who is a Realtor, instead really take the time to find the best person to represent you.  Many agents specialize in particular kinds of transactions.  So, if you are buying a house for the first time or one in a senior community, try to look for an agent with that kind of knowledge.  If you feel badly about insulting your cousin, maybe consider asking her to refer someone, that way she will still be able to collect a referral fee.

Tip #2: Timing is everything.  As we mentioned before, low inventory and raising prices are propelling people to buy, buy, buy.  Because of this, you will want to make sure you fine tune your plan and try to time things just right.  The best way to do this is to be in the best place financially and to be diligent in your home search or sale. In addition, you also have to anticipate the possibility that your timing might not work out and devise a backup plan.  Say for instance, you just list your home and you get a great offer, but the buyer needs to close asap.  Do you scramble to find a new home quickly and maybe take on something you will later regret, or do you line up temporary living arrangements while you continue your search?  Likewise, what happens if you find the home of your dreams, but you haven’t had any offers on your current home yet?  Discuss your options.   

Tip #3: Negotiate wisely.  Yes, everyone wants to get a deal, but in our current market there is a fine line between saving yourself a few bucks and losing the home to a fairer offer.  Here’s where your agent, and those years of experience, come in handy.  Take the advice of your realtor when it comes to making an offer and pricing your for sale home.  

 
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