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Listing your Home Soon? Here are some Tips from a Lending Perspective

Shawn Von Talge


Home for saleThe first official day of Spring — Friday, March 20th — is quickly approaching. In addition to the pleasant weather brought about by Spring, this also signifies the time of year that the real estate market will start to become flooded by home sellers hoping for a quick and efficient sale. If you are one such home seller who’s about to enter the fray, it is likely that your Real Estate Agent has or will be providing you with a “to-do” list to complete in order to maximize your home’s value, aesthetic appeal and set it apart from the competition.

From a lending perspective, there are also some things that can be done to ensure that your home meets the guidelines of the loan program your potential buyers could be looking to use for the purchase. The specific guidelines to be met by your home will vary somewhat depending on the loan program (such as a conventional loan or one of the government loan programs like USDA, FHA or VA) being sought by the buyer.

For example, let’s say you have a buyer who intends to utilize one of the aforementioned government loan programs (i.e., USDA, FHA, or VA). In this case, any of the following issues with your home could be problematic:

▸ Peeling paint where raw wood is exposed

▸ Missing hand rails on steps exceeding two feet

▸ Broken and/or cracked glass in windows

▸ Wet, damp or standing water around the house, crawlspace or basement

▸ Missing GFCIs (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters) where appropriate

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, particularly if your buyer intends to use the USDA loan program (provided your home is located within an area that is eligible for this form of financing). On the other hand, the issues mentioned above may or may not be of concern if the buyer plans to use a conventional loan.

Overall, the most important takeaway here is that, when it comes time to sell your home, tidying things up in an effort to increase its market value shouldn’t be your sole priority. It is equally as important to realize that almost any potential buyer of your home will be using some sort of loan program to complete the purchase. With that loan program will come guidelines that your home must meet in order for the buyer to purchase it. As such, it is important to make sure your home is in the best possible shape to deal with any buyer whom is attaining any one of the above mentioned programs. Doing so opens your home up to a plethora of qualified buyers and the loan programs that they may be pursuing. Consulting a qualified mortgage professional and working with a licensed real estate professional are two steps you can take to ensure that you are fully prepared to put your home on the market.

Thanks as always for reading!

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