Every stage in life brings it’s own unique set of financial situations (more likely, problems). And if you’re at the stage where you’re ready to buy your first home or sell your current home, it’s important that you have the right professional by your side.
However, regardless of your financial plans for the future, choosing the right company, firm or organization can be a difficult decision. There are undoubtedly several options available to you, and choosing the wrong company can complicate any situation and create an unpleasant experience.
Fortunately, there are several ways to align yourself with the best. Whether you’re buying, selling or considering a reverse mortgage, here are tips to help you find the best professional.
1. Buying a house
Once you’ve made the decision to purchase a house, you need to find a real estate agent to help you through the sale process, plus a mortgage lender to provide financing.
When searching for a realtor, there are several things to take into consideration. Some people mistakenly pick any random realtor. However, it’s important to find someone with ample experience. You might get recommendations from family or friends who’ve purchased a home, or contact different realtor companies in your area and interview two or three agents.
In addition, you should compare mortgage lenders before choosing a bank to work with. As part of the mortgage process, you can request no-obligation quotes from different lenders to compare interest rates and terms. This move ensures the best interest rate on the mortgage loan, which ultimately results in an affordable mortgage payment.
2. Selling a home
Just like buying a home, you need to find a competent realtor when you’re selling your property. Ideally, you want a realtor with a good track record. This is someone who will properly market your home and attract buyer interest, which can result in a faster sale.
It’s perfectly okay to ask a realtor for references. This way, you can assess whether previous clients were happy with his work. Also, you can ask realtors about the number of clients they’re representing. Although there’s no magic number, if a realtor has several clients, he may not give your house the attention it deserves.
Ask how the realtor will market your property, as well as the amount of his or her commission. In addition, ask about the realtor’s experience. How many years has he been in the business? What is his list price to selling price ratio? This can provide insight into his success.
3. Second mortgages
A second mortgage, also called a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit, lets you tap into your home’s equity and receive cash for any purpose. You can use this money to pay off credit card debt, make home improvements, pay medical bills and handle other personal expenses.
To find the best lender for your second mortgage, you need to shop around. Since interest rates and fees can vary by bank, shopping around is one of the best ways to save money and ensure that you get the best financing package.
4. Reverse mortgage
A reverse mortgage is a financial tool which “allows seniors to access the equity in their home and convert it into tax-free cash,” says the American Advisors Group.
Although reverse mortgages offered by different companies are essentially the same product, it is important that you work with a company you can trust, and one that charges reasonable fees. Similar to a home equity loan, you can use a reverse mortgage for a variety of expenses, such as credit card debt, medical bills and home improvements. And because there are “no credit score or income requirements,” according to AAG Reverse Mortgage, it’s easier to get these loans when compared to other types of loans.
5. Renovations and home additions
Once you have funds to complete a home improvement or addition, you need to find a professional contractor to handle the project. This is your home, therefore, you should not trust any construction company or handyman. You need to compare different companies, and if possible, get recommendations from friends or family members.
There are many ways to ensure that you hire the best. For example, you can ask companies to provide references or testimonials from their past clients. Call these individuals and inquire as to whether they were happy with the level of service on their project. Also, you can contact the Better Business Bureau or conduct an online search to see if a company has any complaints against them. It’s a tedious job, but necessary to ensure that your project is completed to satisfaction.
Owning a home has its perks, and with homeownership comes the option of tapping your home’s equity or making changes to improve your property’s value. However, whether you’re looking for a loan or selling your house, it’s important that you select the right company to handle the transaction.