Football fans, get ready for the big game on February 12th. But, for all you savvy real estate enthusiasts out there, it's time to start preparing for the real showdown of the season - the spring homebuying and selling season. Sure, spring might seem like it's months away, but in Rhode Island, buyers and sellers looking to capitalize on this time are getting ready now. But don't worry, we've got the winning playbook. With these simple tips, you'll be tackling the real estate season like a seasoned pro, leaving all your competition in the dust.
The clock is ticking
With mortgage rates finally beginning to drop and buyer demand picking back up, potential homebuyers are thinking 2023 might be their chance to score their dream home. If you’re a buyer in Rhode Island, that means you’ll want to be prepared by (1.) getting your paperwork together for a loan preapproval with a trusted lender, (2.) scheduling a call with one of our trusted real estate agents, and (3.) putting together a list of must-haves for your next home.
For home sellers, now’s the time to plan the necessary repairs and clean-up tasks you’ll need to ready your home for those listing photos. You should also use this time to draft your real estate “quarterback”—that’s the real estate agent who will be in your huddle to plan the big moves! Just like a football team’s MVP, your real estate agent can mean the difference between a big win (a quick sale above the listing price) and losing big time.
Read on for everything you need to know:
Buyers should get their finances in order and obtain a loan preapproval (good for 90 days)
Getting pre-approved for a home loan, even if you aren’t 100% sure you’re going to purchase a home in the next 90 days, should be the first thing you do if you think homeownership will be in your future. These typically can be renewed or extended.
A loan preapproval will tell you how much home you can realistically afford. At this time the lender will also tell you about any home buyer programs that can reduce your loan expenses or make a more expensive home more affordable. For instance, many first-time home buyers may be eligible for Rhode Island Housing's new down payment assistance grant that provides $17,500 for closing costs and your downpayment. Not a first-time buyer? We have a preferred lender of ours offering a purchase special with an attractive under-market 30-year fixed rate!
With a preapproval letter on hand, we will know exactly what your budget is, and you’ll be able to make an offer as soon as the perfect home hits the market.
What’s the process for getting preapproved for a home loan?
1. Gather Financial Information: Before you start the preapproval process, you should gather all of your financial information including bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, and any other documents that will help to demonstrate your ability to repay a loan. If you’re a remote worker and moving to a different city or state, you’ll need a letter from your employer stating that you will continue to remain employed even after your move.
2. Contact Lenders: Once you have gathered all of your documentation, begin contacting lenders who can provide preapprovals. Contact us for a list of our preferred lenders who can help you to get the best rate and terms available for your specific situation.
3. Submit an Application: When applying for pre-approval, most lenders will require you to submit an application along with supporting documentation such as income verification and credit reports from all three major bureaus (Experian, TransUnion & Equifax). This allows them to assess your current creditworthiness so they can determine how much they can loan you.
4. Receive Preapproval Letter: If you’re approved, your lender will issue a formal letter stating that you are approved up to a certain amount for financing on a property purchase or refinance transaction. This is known as a preapproval letter, and it’s valid for 90 days.
Though contemplating finances may not sound like the most exciting thing to do on Superbowl weekend, consider getting that loan preapproval the first week of February so you can scroll home listings with your friends during that Superbowl party before the game begins!
Sellers should start getting their properties ready
Home sellers looking to sell this spring should take a proactive approach to getting a home ready for the market. Since much of this preparation involves decluttering and beautifying, the week before your big Superbowl party is a great time to get started—that way all your friends and neighbors will get to enjoy your festivities while your home is looking its best! Check out our recent blog post which outlines the most valuable home renovation projects to get top dollar for your home.
Start with cleaning, repairs, and upgrades
Decluttering and depersonalizing your home can make the property feel larger and more inviting to potential buyers. Use this time to also address any minor repairs such as patching holes and fixing or replacing leaky faucets. Upgrading cabinet hardware is also an inexpensive way to create a more polished look, while putting fresh mulch in your yard is one of the most cost-effective ways to add appeal to your landscaping. A few new plants and shrubs will also add color without breaking the bank.
If it’s time for a repaint, look into trending but neutral colors. Consider staging your home with modern decor so that buyers are able to envision themselves living there. We work with the top home stagers in RI, and the data shows that "staging sells" across the board. Finally, deep cleaning is essential before listing so that prospective buyers are presented with an immaculate space from top-to-bottom. Taking these steps will help ensure that you get the most out of your listing and open house.
Our team can help with all of this. Check out our Seller Experience to learn more about our concierge listing package guaranteed to help you sell your home for top dollar.
Connect our team!
Engaging with a trusted real estate agent early on is the winning move for both home buyers and sellers. Our team of agents knows the RI real estate market inside and out, and we can let you know about hot homes before they’re listed. We can even connect you with the perfect homebuyer before your home even goes on the market. We like to think of our agents as a great coach, one who can help you work through all the strategies of buying and selling, so you don't get sacked by any unexpected surprises. Whether it's kicking off your search, or scoring the ideal price when selling, having us on your team can mean the difference between success and failure.
So don't fumble this opportunity—make sure to connect with us today!
Ready to score a real estate touchdown?
If you’re feeling like you need a game plan or want to talk about your individual goals, our team is here for you. As seasoned real estate agents, we can answer any queries and guide you through all 100 yards of your real estate experience.