2020 is almost over – to everyone’s relief perhaps as this has been such a strange year – and 2021 is getting ready to take over, hopefully bringing great things with it. If a new home is in your future in 2021 the downtime the end of the year offers many of us a great time to start planning that venture. To help you, here’s a look at some of our top tips for 2021 home buying and home selling in the Waterloo Region.
Tips For Home Sellers
- Declutter and Organize
“After the holidays is a great time to clear out all the things you no longer need. Decide what you want to keep and then pack and store anything you don’t immediately need at your new place. Be sure to organize your closets and pantries so they are tidy. This will help showcase your storage space
2. Paint Inside and Out
First impressions are everything. Make sure interior rooms are freshly painted with a neutral color. The exterior should be power-washed and painted if needed; often the front door can use a fresh coat of paint or stain, too
3. Make Little Updates to Increase Your Home’s Perceived Value
You should talk to your agent about small changes you can make that might have a big impact on buyers. Updates like a kitchen backsplash or new cabinet hardware throughout the house can leave a lasting impression.
The more value a buyer sees in a property, the greater the chances that one or more buyers will make an offer at your list price, if not more.
4. Talk to Your Neighbours
“If you have nearby neighbours, buyers will likely be curious about how well your neighbors keep up their homes. If you share a hallway or lawn, let your neighbors know of your plans to sell and kindly ask them to tidy up. A speedy and profitable sale for you only means great things for your neighbours when they decide to sell
5. Figure Out the Right Time to Sell
Sellers tend to think they need to wait until spring in order to sell quickly, but in many markets that’s not the case.
Homes sell well year round in the Kitchener Waterloo area and ultimately, sellers should sell at the time that makes the most sense for them. The beginning of 2021 is a great time to list, as buyers left over from 2020 have exhausted the limited inventory, and new buyers will begin looking as well
6. Price Your Home to Sell
Look at key market indicators such as recent sales, pricing trends and inventory to guide you to the best listing price. Be cautious of overpricing and underpricing. Overpricing could scare off potential buyers who may think a seller isn’t being realistic, while underpricing means that you as a seller could leave money on the table.
Tips for Home Buyers
- Limit Credit Card Spending and New Purchases
Commit to refining your purchasing habits. Reducing credit card use, not opening new credit cards, and avoiding large purchases can all help improve your credit score. Sometimes a difference of a few points can increase your purchase price approval or get you a better rate. What better time to implement new habits than a new year.
- Maximize Savings
Review your finances and set a monthly budget to start saving up for a down payment, if you haven’t already. If you already have a savings account, think about other ways you can add to it. Can you cut monthly expenses somewhere else to offset more savings? Usually the answer is yes if you look hard.
- Get Pre-approved
Many sellers won’t even entertain an offer without a pre-approval letter, says Redfin agent Danielle Parent in Cleveland. So it’s best to find a reputable lender who has a reputation for closing on time and get pre-approved before you submit an offer.
- Set Up a Saved Search
Once you have a general idea of your borrowing ability, jump online and start setting up saved searches. To help our prospective buyers Team Pinto offers ongoing, personalised listing alerts that can be delivered to your inbox as soon as we become aware of them, so you can hear about them fast too.
- Start Exploring in Person and Online
It’s good to check out different neighborhoods to get an idea of what you’re looking for Then, look up the neighborhoods you like and review sold homes to get a sense of sale prices in that area. Once you’re ready, you can start looking at homes.
“We saw a very busy, hot market starting in 2020, so buyers should plan to hit the ground running. Do your research before February and go see some homes to get the process started. Well-prepared and experienced buyers will have the best chance at success.”
- Be Patient
Usually it will take time to find your perfect home but don’t get discouraged. If you lose out on a home or two, it wasn’t meant to be. In most cases, buyers end up with a better home than the ones they lost bids on. Be patient. It will happen! And have a great new year in the meantime!