Selling Your Home in the Winter

sellingDean Graziosi shares that it is traditional for spring to be the primary home buying season, while this may be true, you can also successfully sell your home during the winter season as well.  Although it may be a bit more stressful than selling during the prime buying season, it can be done.  While your yard may not be a large selling point when it is covered with snow, it can still stimulate the imagination of potential buyers who can imagine their own landscaping in the yard.

Just as you would take care of any exterior cosmetic issues during the warmer selling months, you should also do the same when selling your home in the winter.  Small upgrades can make all the difference when selling your home in the winter.  Cleaning up any debris that may have fallen in your yard and ensuring that all the walkways and driveways are free of ice can greatly increase the visual appeal of your home.  If it is possible, you should clear out any dead plants or shrubbery that may be located in the flower beds or along any walkways surrounding your home.

On the interior of your home you should remove any clutter that may be found on your countertops or tables.  You should also make sure that your carpet is clean and doesn’t show any significant signs of wear.  You should try to make the interior of your home feels as welcoming and charming as possible.  Open your window coverings to allow natural light to enter the rooms and provide a level of warmth to your home.  When showing your home during the evening, you should take the time to create a warm and inviting feel using your table lamps or any floor lamps you may have.  This will provide your home with a comforting and warm glow.

As a seller, you should also ensure that any special features in your home are properly showcased.  This will help ensure that buyers notice these features and they receive the attention they deserve.  To help prospective buyers imagine what the exterior of your home looks like during warmer months, you may want to include a photo portfolio that includes photos of your yard and landscaping when everything is lush and green.  This is a great way to show buyers the potential and the beauty of your yard that is currently covered in snow.

When selling your home, you shouldn’t wait until warmer weather arrives.  You can have just as much success selling your home during the winter as you would during the warmer months.  In fact, you may have a better chance because there tends to be less inventory during the winter than any other time of year.

How to Make Your Home Sell More Quickly

homeSelling a home can take time. You hope it will be bought quickly, but it doesn’t always happen this way. The good news is there are steps you can take to improve its ability to sell. Check out Dean Graziosi’s blog for more information on how to make your home more attractive to prospective buyers.


Go for a neutral look. If you have customized your home with lots of bright colors and themes, you may want to consider making a few changes. Potential home buyers will want to imagine their own looks and themes, and colors may cloud their visions of how it should look. Neutral colors and themes will also  mean less work for the buyer who wants to make changes after the house has sold.


Remove items that simply aren’t necessary. While you don’t want to eliminate all your furniture, moving some of it to a storage spot or a different location can help sell your home. Less furniture makes the home appear more spacious and creates more walkways for prospective home buyers when they come to view the property. This way, interested buyers will be able to imagine how they will arrange each room.


Replace old fixtures and hardware. If it’s been a while since your cabinet knobs and drawer pulls have been switched out for new ones, consider doing this before placing your home on the market. It’s often surprising how much of a difference even the smallest of changes can make.


Replace kitchen and bathroom cabinets. If they are relatively new, but may require a bit of work, clean and paint them.


Avoid the presence of lingering odors. No one wants to smell something unpleasant when walking into a home that may wind up being theirs. Be sure to take out the trash and remove anything that has a strong smell pleasant or otherwise. Consider lighting scented candles or using scented plug-ins prior to a prospective buyer’s visit.


Don’t undertake major renovations just before selling. These take time and are typically quite costly. Remember, you may not make that money back when your house sells. Instead, make the small changes as described above.


Make sure the front of your home is presentable. Keep in mind this is the first part of the property prospective buyers see, so how it looks is extremely important. De-clutter the garage or carport, and make sure the yard and all walkways are clean. Rake and bag all dead leaves to give the yard a more pristine look. Mow the lawn and pick up all stray limbs and branches.


There are many things you can do to make your home more appealing to buyers. Start by using the information above. You can learn more about this and other real estate topics by visiting Dean Graziosi’s website.

Buying a Home With No Credit

credit scoreIt’s difficult to buy a home these days, but when you have no credit, it gets even harder to be approved for a loan. As Dean Graziosi points out in a post on a similar topic, while some people have been building a credit score for years, others haven’t been able to do this. If you fall into the second category, you’ll be happy to know it will still be possible for you to buy a home.


A high credit score enables you to purchase larger items such as homes and cars at lower monthly payments. This serves as a disadvantage to those who have either chosen not to have a credit card or who haven’t been able to sufficiently build up enough credit to be privy to these perks. The end result is paying more each month and not getting the best possible loan. Even so, one of the best ways to build up your credit is to purchase a big item such as a house. The key is to prepare yourself for the larger payments and higher interest rates by saving money. The more you are able to place on a down payment, the better off you’ll be in the long run. This also shows the mortgage companies you will be good for the loan because you’ve taken the time to save up enough to get started.


Saving money will give you something to use on payments each month so you can stay ahead. You’ll also have something to fall back on in hard times.


Typically, a minimum credit score of between 620 and 640 is required before you can even be eligible for a loan. There are, however, some other methods you can use if you don’t have a score that falls into this range. As Dean Graziosi explains, this is how lenders will determine your current credit standing.


Rental history does count for something. If you pay on time, lenders who are looking into your credit will be able to use this information to determine you are in good standing with your landlord. If you’ve never been late in paying rent, this will serve you very well. The same will apply to all your other bills.


Some lenders will require a co-signer on a loan before approving someone without credit. Many people are very hesitant to co-sign for good reasons, but finding someone who trusts you enough to do this could actually help you obtain the loan you are seeking.


If you have bad credit, straighten it out by paying off all debt and re-establishing credit before even attempting to request a home loan. If you have filed bankruptcy, you will be given a certain amount of time before it will be possible for you to begin re-establishing credit.


Purchasing a home will be harder without a credit score, but by following a few general suggestions, it can become possible. According to an article posted on MSN Real Estate “it’s exceedingly difficult to obtain a mortgage without a credit score.” Nevertheless, it can be well worth it in the end. You can learn more about this and other topics by visiting Dean Graziosi’s website.

Why You Need a Realtor on Your Side

Buying a home is not a simple matter. While it is possible to buy a home without help, the risk is very great. You are much better off hiring a realtor.

The first time you will be thankful for a realtor is during your search for a home. A realtor has access to listings that you do not. They can take down information about what you need and want in a home, and match that with homes available in the MLS database. Even though you can sometimes gain access to MLS databases, you will not have access to all of the same information that realtors have access to. It is much easier for them to do the searching.

The second time you will be glad you hired a realtor is when you are ready to put an offer on a home. This involves more than just giving the seller a price you are willing to pay. Terms must be included in the offer, as well as other important information. It must be given in writing, in the proper format. More than likely, you don’t know what that format is. In addition, you may not be aware of what terms are typical for offers, or how to word them in a legal sense. A realtor has the expertise and knowledge to handle all of this for you.

If you find yourself in negotiations with a seller, you will be very glad you have the realtor on your side. He or she will be your go between. They will talk to the seller or the seller’s agent for you. They will advise you on what price you may be able to pay for the house. They will also be able to advise you on what terms you should make sure are included, and which ones can be negotiated. You never have to feel the pressure of negotiations, because it is all handled by the realtor.

You will also be glad that you have a realtor when you are ready to close on a sale. A realtor works only for you. They have to take your best interests to heart and act on them. They can read through the sales contract carefully to ensure that it is fair and is to your benefit. If there is anything that is not fair or is uncalled for, they can point this out and advise you on how to proceed.

Finally, you will be glad to have an experienced professional on your side when you close on the house. Closing a home sale is a complicated and lengthy process. If you are not sure about how this process is carried out, you should definitely have someone there to guide you through it.

When and Why to Get an ARM Loan

Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) have gotten a bad name in past years. Too many people were financed with little consideration about what would happen when the initial rate was upped. It was a case of creative financing that got a lot of people into big trouble and was the cause of many foreclosures. Yet, there may be some times when an ARM is a good idea for certain people.

What Is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage?

In an adjustable rate mortgage, an initial rate is set for the first few years. At regular intervals after that time, the mortgage holder is allowed to change the rate based on one or more indices. Examples of indices used are the US Treasury index and the Federal Home Loan Bank’s 11th District cost of funds index.

Why ARMs Got a Bad Name

The attractive thing about ARMs is that they tend to start out with a low introductory rate that is a lower rate than you would usually get on a fixed rate mortgage. The trouble in the past was that people were being financed who could just barely make the introductory rate with no room in their budgets to stand up to any later increases.

What Makes ARMs Better Now?

ARMs are less common now, especially since so many homeowners got burned. The difference now is that there are more stringent rules about the financial capabilities of loan applicants. Home buyers are more cautious, too. Now, people are more likely to think hard before they jump into an ARM.

Moving Soon?

If you plan to stay in your home for the rest of your life, it makes sense to cash in on a low fixed prime interest rate. Over the course of your life, the rate is bound to go up and you would be locked in with a low rate.

However, if you are thinking of moving within the next few years, it might pay to look into an ARM. The reason is that the initial rate is usually lower than fixed rate mortgages. If you will be moving soon, you might as well take advantage of that lower rate before you go.

Jumbo Loans

The term “Jumbo Loans” sounds like it refers to multimillion dollar mansions. The truth is that jumbo loans now start at less than $700,000, which is not unreachable for many families. You might ask, what does this have to do with ARMs?

The thing to understand about jumbo loans is that many people plan to pay them off quickly. This is especially true of the larger loans taken out by the wealthy. It is also the case when families have some large income coming in soon, such as an inheritance or settlement.

Again, if you are going to be paying off the house soon, the ARM offers a distinct benefit for those first few years. In larger loans such as jumbo loans, the homeowner can save hundreds of dollars every month on their payments.

The main thing to beware of is getting into a loan that you cannot manage to pay if you are not out of the home when the rate goes up. An ARM might make sense for some people, but it never makes sense to overextend yourself. Be smart, but be careful too.