How to Buy or Sell Your Home

Tips for Buyers

Lindsey Marcus with Keller Williams tells potential buyers what they need to know before purchasing a new home.

Getting a mortgage is a little tougher today. Banks are only giving loans to people that meet their strict guidelines.

It used to be that buyers could purchase a home with 100 percent financing but they are now required to put 5 to 10 percent down on the home.

Buyers in a salaried position will have a lot easier time getting a mortgage then someone in a commission-based job. Banks are requiring people in jobs with commission-based pay to bring two years of income history to the table.

With home prices down, buyers are able to find good deals but in a buyer's market you have a high inventory of homes but buyers are reluctant to buy them because demand is down.

Interest rates are great. Buyers should consider locking in their mortgage rate now. The interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 5.5 percent.

The best time to buy has a lot to do with your personal situation. But Lindsey Marcus recommends not waiting till the market is right to purchase your home. She says it is too difficult to time the market.

There are programs that cities and counties are offering for buyers. Some cities are offering a $7,500 credit for first-time home buyers. Sometimes builders offer reduced prices for new construction properties for first-time buyers.

Tips for Sellers

Month after month, the news seems all bad about home foreclosure rates, dropping values of homes and how hard it is to sell. But, the news may not be all bad.

@ Properties surveyed the greater Chicago area and found real estate sales are better than other parts of the country.

Joan Edelberg with @ Properties has some tips for sellers.

First off, you should have your home priced correctly. With the drop in home prices, a lot of sellers need to relook at the value of their home.

If you have to price your home lower than what you had hoped for, the good news if you can make up for it when you purchase a new home.

Single family homes in the Chicago area are staying on the market for an average of 30 days.

You can offer buyers incentives, such as helping with down payments, offering free parking or paying for a couple of months of the assessments.

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