O2 Real Estate Experts Share Advice on Buying and Selling

Boise’s real estate market is fast-paced and exciting. It can also be intimidating and overwhelming if you are considering a move. For example, in East Boise over the past year, home prices have increased by 18 percent, and the average listing time is 27 days. With inventory low, buyers must be prepared and competitive to get the property that is right for them. 

These market trends also make it tricky to correctly price a listing. There are several things you can do to make your next real estate transaction a win. The most important thing, whether buying or selling, is to find an experienced agent who has extensive knowledge about the area you are interested in. The experts at O2 Real Estate have great advice to help both buyers and sellers walk away from the closing smiling. 

For Buyers:

1. Be prepared financially. These days a pre-approval letter is not always enough to seal the deal. Many lenders can get you fully through the final underwriting process before you make your offer. This will make you attractive to sellers who will likely get multiple offers and help you stay competitive with cash offers. 

2. Be prepared emotionally. If you find a property that is right for you, be ready to act fast and make an offer. Too often, waiting even a day will result in your dream home being snatched up by someone who was ready to move quickly. 

3. Make your offer stand out. Write a personal letter to the seller explaining why you love the house and why it would be a perfect fit for your family. Including a photo can personalize your offer. When considering similar offers, sellers are more likely to choose someone who stands out from the crowd. Plus, most people want their neighbors to love the new owners.

4. Be prepared in the event of a low appraisal. Because the market is moving so quickly, and prices are increasing rapidly, often appraisals can not keep up with the closings. Be prepared to make up the difference between the sales price and the appraised price. Talk with your agent about what cash you have available to bridge the gap.

For Sellers:

1. Properly prepare your home. Thanks to HGTV and programs like House Hunters, buyers know what a home should look like. To get the highest offers and the maximum possible appraisal, your home must look well-maintained and attractive. An experienced agent can help you decide what updates are cost-effective to help you get top dollar. 

2. Consult with a professional stager. Some homes need minimal staging such as clearing out personal items, replacing bedding and linens, and updating small decor items. Others may need a full staging including furniture. A professional stager can give you an assessment and help you decide what level of staging will be most beneficial for you. 

3. Less is more. If you are living in your home while selling, place personal items in containers that can be stored in a cabinet or closet when not in use. This will make it easy to be ready for showings and gives buyers the sense that there is plenty of storage space. Consider renting a POD to store as much as possible while your house is on the market. This will also make moving day a snap. 

4. Hire a professional photographer. The first time prospective buyers see your home will likely be online. Fantastic photos are key to getting showings. Out-of-town buyers relocating to Boise often must buy a property sight unseen. Great photos help this type of buyer feel comfortable making an offer.