Real estate tip: Get ready to buy or sell in 2015

lauren-and-scottsponsored post by Lauren Hruby and Scott DeVouton

Yes, break open the bubbly, pass around the funny hats, and hang the party lights.  Listing or buying a home in 2015 begins now.  If you’re looking to have a smooth transaction, keep a few things in mind.

Sellers, we’ve written before about taking care of your home, making necessary repairs and prioritizing improvements. While you probably won’t think if it as a vacation, the holidays sometimes give us random half-days and vacation days that need to be used up. Warm the cider, chill the eggnog, and hit that to-do list for an afternoon. Starting now for a spring listing will make it easier for everyone as you reach your listing date.

Buyers, while you’re online shopping, start making a house or condo wish list. You can quickly sign up for an online home search with your realtor, or buzz around the retail home search sites.  Take this time to find out exactly what you want, what you need, and what you can afford. Talk to a lender right away, so you have a price range before any intense searching.

Our new year is also a great time to look at the numbers. Sellers, this means knowing your loan balance and your home’s fair market value. Market value is driven mainly by comparable sales in your area, so do your homework. A competitive market analysis will give you a clear picture of what price range you’re dealing with. You do not want to be surprised this spring to know this.

Buyers, if you don’t have a lender, now is the time to look for one. If you have a lender, let them know where you are in the process.  See what documents you need, and round them up over the holidays. You will need a pre-approval letter to begin your official home-buying process.  Anything you can do to move that along now will help get that letter more quickly later on.  All this will help you make a quick offer as soon as the spring inventory hits the market.

Sellers and buyers will both benefit from timely planning. We’ll see what the statistics say, but 2014 has been fairly decent and 2015 looks to be the same.  Interest rates are expected to rise, but the experts say that shouldn’t stop the growth trend we’ve seen the last few years. The competition will be out there.  But don’t worry!  You celebrated the new year early, you read this post and you will be prepared.  Happy New Year to everyone, and have a wonderful holiday season!

Lauren and Scott are with Lauren Hruby Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty Key Partners, LLC.  They work with people looking to sell or buy a home in the Kansas City area.  For more information, visit or call 816-529-6174.

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