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Preparing yourself for a real estate transaction

The steps you can take to ensure success, from REALTOR® Vanessa Rosati

Goal setting is important in life—and in real estate.

It’s here that REALTOR® Vanessa Rosati starts with her clients, whether they are buyers or sellers.

“Everyone will have different goals depending on which side of the transaction you’re on, of course,” she says, “but first and foremost we have to determine what those goals are: if it’s selling for the highest price or maybe with the fastest closing date, as a buyer, maybe it’s to find a home with a backyard for your kids or somewhere closer to work!”

Often people just throw their house up on the market and start looking for their new home without a specific goal in mind. Selling your home is not something that’s done overnight; when done properly, it should take planning and careful consideration.

Vanessa is a firm believer in planning your way to your goal. Think about what you need and want out of a home, prioritize what’s important to you and factor that into your decision-making process.

You also need to build in some extra time. Once you have your goal in place, it’s a good idea to start at least three months in advance, whether you’re buying or selling. For buyers, even if you’re not looking to buy right away, Vanessa recommends taking time to watch the market and its fluctuations—months in advance of your purchase.

It’s never too soon to start monitoring the market environment, especially as it has been changing drastically over the last couple of years. “It’s good to see the different values in different neighbourhoods. That way, when you are ready to buy, you’re well informed and can be confident in your decisions. Real estate is not a guessing game; preparation is required,” she says.

The same goes for the sale. The more you know about what’s going on in your neighbourhood, the more you understand buyers’ purchasing behaviours. Sellers also usually have more to do; a seller might have four months of renovations to complete before they list, for example, so there’s even more planning and preparation required on their part. 

The first step in the planning process as a buyer is to speak to a mortgage broker—that is and always will be step one and is non-negotiable, says Rosati. Only then will a buyer know how much they can afford and are qualified to borrow. The figure may be quite different from what they expect. “Sometimes it’s less, sometimes it’s more though,” she says. “Give yourself the opportunity to understand your purchasing power, which is especially important in this market!”

Rosati is happy to guide buyers through the buying and selling process. “Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s what I’m here for, to guide you through the process and align your expectations so that you feel prepared,” she says.

With the current state of the market—very low inventory and many other buyers to compete against—it all comes back to being prepared, Rosati insists. When all your finances are in order, you know what you’re qualified for and you know what your down payment is, the better prepared you are and the more confident you will feel when you have to pull the trigger. “Sometimes you might have to go to max budget, and you need to be okay with that, sometimes you can compromise on a property that may need some renovations, either way you really should know what your numbers look like,” she says.

That said, when you’re in a very competitive buying market, there are different tools and strategies that a good agent can use to help your offer stand out from your competitors. Each situation is unique, and Rosati takes her role very seriously in determining her client’s competitive edge, which may just be what helps secure a prospective property.

From a seller’s perspective, you really want to impress buyers and allow them to envision themselves in your home. Every property will offer its own subjective value to different people. “Some buyers will appreciate a fresh-cut lawn and nice curb appeal, while others might focus on the open concept living room or how the basement rec room can be used,” she says.

It’s always good to keep your house in “show ready” condition and as generic as possible to appeal to a mass audience. This means staying away from personal items, decluttering as much as possible and keeping it clean, clean, clean! Listing a property on the market should have a wow factor; you want people to come in, fall in love and be willing to pay top dollar.

Says Rosati, “The most important thing I want people to remember is that this is a huge accomplishment. Yes, it’s a huge transaction, it’s a lot of money, it can be overwhelming, and it can be stressful, but it is also a huge milestone and it should be fun. Don’t forget to have fun along the way.”

For more information, visit Vanessa Rosati Real Estate or call 647-868-3712.