Selling your home this spring? Here's what you should know

Ginger Dean

April 9, 2014

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: Finance and Legal

Spring is officially here and that means it's home-buying season for those looking to upgrade to a bigger and better place. In the past, this has been a costly decision that usually came with additional expenses, such as increased mortgage payments. However, with current mortgage rates at an all-time low, more and more people are trading up at no additional cost.

Of course, there are still extra costs: the price of renting a truck or hiring movers as well as miscellaneous expenses such as notary fees and real estate agent commissions. However, if you look at just the mortgage numbers, getting a bigger place right now could be a great financial investment.

What do mortgage rates have to do with it?

With current mortgage rates being as low as 3.625%, homeowners can increase their mortgage amount and lower their interest rates without greatly impacting their monthly payments.

For instance, if you have a $200,000 mortgage with a 30 year interest rate of 6.5%, your monthly mortgage payment would be $1264.14. If you were to purchase a $250,000 mortgage with a current 30 year interest rate of 4.5% your monthly mortgage payment would be $1266.71.

That is exactly what homeowners are doing; they're taking advantage of current low interest rates and upgrading their homes at little or no additional monthly cost.

The sale of your home starts with the right realtor

Before you list your current home and before you start looking for your new home, find a real estate agent. Some people don't see the added value in committing to an exclusivity contract or paying a realtor commission, but with the right real estate agent you may find the cost well worth it.

Real estate agents know more than we do about buying and selling homes, knows what questions to ask, and knows to look for features in a home that we may not know to look for (plus which features will make yours sell).

Home improvement tips to get your house sold

If you're looking to sell your house, there are several home improvement projects that can add value to your home. First, think about your curb appeal. You want people to drive up to your house and be wowed by how beautiful it is, so make it look good from the outside. A clean, colorful landscape and a fresh coat of paint on the exterior can go a long way. Once potential buyers get into your home, they will focus on the bathroom and kitchen. Upgrades to these two rooms can be some of the best money you spend.

If you want to take advantage of current low interest rates to sell your home and upgrade, here's what you should consider as you start out: talking to your bank and negotiating your interest rate, finding a real estate agent that you trust, and making your home worthy of a buyer's contract with home improvements. Good luck with your sale!

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