Friday, October 17, 2014

How to Sell Your House Without a Real Estate Agent

Most people rely on a real estate agent when they want to sell their house, but it is possible to get a buyer on your own. It may take a little more effort but you will end up saving the commission you would have paid to the agent. Here are a few tips to help you make the sale:

Do your research

The first step towards a successful house sale is to know about real estate operations. Master the language used during the transactions by reading through your home’s contracts and other documentation. You need to have all the paperwork required to make a sale including legal documents, disclosures, and insurance documents. 

You also need to identify professionals who will help you with the sale process such as appraisers and estate attorneys. A title company may also be necessary in some situations. 

It is also important to determine how you will structure the sale. Do you intend to offer any incentives to attract buyers such as lease-to-own or owner financing. Learn how each incentive option works to determine how it will apply in your situation. 

 Organize your house

Once you have completed your research, you need to organize your house and make sure it is ready for a sale. Fix any functional problems in your house. Paint the entire house in bright colors, refinish floors, and replace your carpeting. Identify any items that need to be repaired or replaced such as heating, roof, appliances, and air conditioning.
It is also essential to get rid of clutter and stage the house. Your objective should be to make the house appear spacious and dazzling. There are certain things you may be unable to change such as the location and neighbors and this have to be factored in the price. 

Set your price

Most homeowners set a very high price, putting off potential buyers. Check home prices in the neighborhood and come up with something reasonable. You can also use an appraiser to help you set an appropriate price. 

Advertise, advertise

Advertise the house on several online listings. It is advisable to use sites that feature sales by owners. The sites you select should get a lot of traffic. You can also rely on social networking sites and print media to advertise. 

Negotiate the offers

Get ready for offers and counteroffers. A real estate attorney can help you negotiate if you find it difficult. 

Make the sale

Organize all the closing paperwork and have it ready for a sale including documents required by federal and state laws. There may be some delays in the sale process even when you get a good offer. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Paying off a Mortgage before Retirement

As we get older and closer to a retirement age, it is important to have a comprehensive retirement plan in place. This includes a steady flow of income of which you will survive on after retiring. To achieve this, it often requires you to reduce outstanding dues, debts, loans, or mortgages as much as possible.

Mortgage payments that are high will eat into your retirement plan, and this may lead to a financial future that is not as secure as you intended. This is why most people prefer to pay off their mortgages before retiring, or reduce the outstanding balance to manageable levels.

There are various ways in which one can successfully pay off their mortgage before retirement is apparent. You will still need to pay associated fees like home owners associations and property insurance taxes. However, eliminating the principle and interest from you list of bills before retiring will significantly improve your income. Paying off a mortgage depends on a lot of factors including:

• Current budget and income
• How deep into payment you have reached
• Loan terms and balances

It is important to clearly map out your budget and income to see places you can adjust to provide increased payments towards the mortgage. This usually results in increasing monthly payments so that the duration is shortened.

Refinancing is a possible option for reducing the period of repayment. Refinancing for a shorter term may reduce your paying period by five or more years depending on the amount you are capable of comfortably paying. Refinancing does have additional closing costs and transaction fees.

Some people will be better off paying extra costs in their current payment scheme rather than refinancing and then incurring closing costs. One of the most effective ways of paying off mortgages before retirement is through extra payments. Add extra payments during the course of payments or better yet, pay lumps of money after receiving reliefs like tax-deductions or refunds. This will have a big difference in your overall interest. Your outstanding balance will also be significantly reduced. Adding extra payments will definitely give you the liberty of being mortgage free a few years before the original plan. It also goes a long way in reducing the total amount of interest you end up paying.

It is important to contextualize your mortgage payoff decision. This does not only set defined targets and commitments but also clearly exposes impractical solutions. Eliminate other side-debts that are not tax-deductible before you begin paying off a mortgage. You may want to see an experienced financial planner and lender to discuss your status and options.

Paying off mortgage interests and principle before retiring is very important. The steady income used in payments during working years is no longer available, and paying mortgage from your pension plans may be strenuous on your budget. It is also important to ensure you make all the necessary payments in time to avoid rising interests and penalty fees that may extend your owing period.