Helpful Tips for Homeowners

Filed in Lakeside Living by on June 1, 2015

by Wanda Perkins


For Sellers:

  • When preparing your home for sale, clean, organize and de-clutter. Clean windows, shampoo carpets, polish woodwork. Tidy up and organize each room. Remove the clutter. Take care of unpleasant odors. Potential buyers appreciate a home that sparkles.
  • Depersonalize your home. Remove personal family photos and belongings. Buyers need to visualize their own possessions and furnishings in the home. Detach yourself from the “my home” philosophy.
  • Fix, replace, paint and refresh. Repair anything in your home that is broken, and if necessary, replace what is unfixable. That limegreen accent wall with Jack and the Beanstalk detailing may be your child’s favorite, but it’s a big turnoff for buyers. Freshen walls with neutral shades that suits any decorating style


On Financing:

  • Carefully consider your financing options when purchasing a second home. “Is it a year-round home or seasonal property?” inquires Chris Marvel, vice president and business banker at American Federal Bank in Fergus Falls, MN. “Seasonal homes have less financing options and may require a larger down payment. They typically do not qualify for a long-term fixed rate, so an adjustable rate mortgage is your only option. One advantage is, they are usually less expensive. If you’re buying a seasonal property, you should make sure the lot is suitable to build a year-round home in the future.”
  • Having necessary paperwork ready will expedite the financing process.

 Last two year’s complete tax return

 Last two year’s W-2’s

 Last 30 days of paystubs for each borrower

 Last two months of bank statements

 Retirement and investment account statements

 Name and address of homeowner’s insurance agent

 Copy of each borrower’s driver’s license


“It’s important to include the complete tax return and all pages of bank and retirement statements,” Marvel adds. “This will prevent delays in processing.”


For Buyers and Sellers:


  • Expect a home inspection if you are selling. Request one if you are buying. Inspectors examine heating/cooling systems, septic tanks/wells, appliances, roofs, diseased trees/bushes, foundations, water issues, insect infestation, windows, siding/decking, fireplaces, etc. “We always recommend a home inspection,” notes Gena Syvertson, realtor, REMAX Legacy Realty in Fargo. “Home inspectors are trained professionals that save you from making a bad home buying decision. The inspection also gives you an opportunity to negotiate repairs with the seller.” “The city of Detroit Lakes has adopted the MN State Building Code which requires all structures being built or remodeled within city limits to be inspected as they’re built,” states Dave Neisen, owner and broker, The Real Estate Company of Detroit Lakes. “Outside the city, contractors are required to build to the code, but actual structures are not inspected. Instead, setbacks, impervious surfaces, well, septic and electrical aspects are examined.”
  • Whether selling or buying, be available. Your home should be ready for showings at all times. Keep it tidy! When buying, keep in mind new listings arrive daily. Be prepared to schedule a showing and write up an offer when you find a home.
  • Choose an expert to help with buying, selling and financing your home. They have the knowledge, experience and expertise to ensure your success. “You don’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does,” concludes Syvertson. “Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. They help guide clients to make the right choices for themselves, and they disclose market conditions which govern the process. Additionally, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction, making them excellent negotiators and experts as well at complex contractual issues, where one mistake or omission could land you in court and cost you thousands! Real estate agents network with other professionals, to help provide services that you need to buy or sell.”

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