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Tips for Buying a Home in Champaign/Urbana IL

by Rose Price

It's spring and you're ready to find the Champaign/Urbana IL Home for Sale.....for YOU!  So I've put together some tips to help make your Champaign/Urbana IL Home Search go smoothly:

1. Find the Right Real Estate Professional. This is such an important step and will truly make the difference in the home you buy, your stress level and the money you ultimately spend.

2. Make sure you are Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. You've heard it said before, but it's true, you need to know how much you can afford. Unless you are buying in cash you'll need a financing source and you'll need to know how much that source is willing to finance.

3. Create a 'Must Have" List. This is your list of non-negotiable's and allows your agent to select only listings that meet the qualifications of this list, so that you're not looking at every home on the market and wasting valuable time.

 4. Open yourself up to Suggestions. Share your "must have" list with your Real Estate Agent. They will be able to make suggestions that you may not have considered about the style or type of home/neighborhood you are looking at and could ultimately change your requirements or amenities list.

5. Make sure to check out the Neighborhood. Now that you've found your home, walk the neighborhood at different times of the day, and even at night. Talk to neighbors to find out about the people, what they like, dislike, recommendations etc. Make sure it will be a good fit for you and your family.

6. The Home Needs to be Inspected! You'll need to make sure that YOU walk through the Home and do a total checklist of your own. But you aren't a professional inspector so make sure you hire one to go through the Home, once that has been done make sure you follow through on all of their recommendations.

7. Submitting a Reasonable Offer. This is another reason why you need to work with a local Real Estate agent. Understanding the local housing market, the inventory of condos, home values and if a condo may get multiple bids is all information that goes into the offer YOU will make.                                                                                                                                                        

8. Understand the Process & the Paperwork. Your agent should have gone through all of this with you in the beginning of your search, but don't hesitate to ask questions along the way. This can be an overwhelming process at times. Once you have found a home you will be advised to seek an Attorney to handle the legal aspects of the sale of the home.

9. Stick to Your Pre-determined Price. It's always tough to have your heart set on a Home and lose it in a bidding war, but it is much worse to go above what you can afford! It is better to find a second Home that you like "almost as much" as the first so that you have something to lean back on if the situation arises.                                                                                  

10. Don't expect the Sellers to make too many Improvements.Things like worn carpeting and countertops are figured into the sales price of the home upfront, so trying to get the homeowner to make more adjustments at the end can be difficult. Rely on your agent to know what is permissible and what isn't. 

For more Champaign/Urbana IL Home Buying Tips check out my website at www.champaignrose.com. I've lived and worked in the Champaign IL  area for 20+ years and would be happy to give you a tour of the area and all the great homes for sale. Give me a call any time!

Champaign/Urbana IL Home Selling Tips

by Rose Price

Make Your Champaign/Urbana IL Home "MOVE IN READY"

by Rose Price

We've all heard the old adage....."walk a mile in someone else's shoes", but how can that apply to getting your Champaign/Urbana IL home ready to put up for Sale and show to potential buyers?  Easily....you need to start thinking as a "Home Buyer" when you're getting your home ready, and not a Home Seller.  Here are a few tips to get you started before welcoming Buyers to your Champaign/Urbana Home:

1. Have a Friend Pre-Listing Party. Yes, that's right, invite a few of your trusted friends over, crack open a bottle of wine and go room to room with a notepad.  Have them objectively look at each room and give suggestions as to what they would change,  or would be a red flag, if they were to look at your home as a potential buyer.                                                                             

2.  Next.... Consult a Great Real Estate Agent!  Take your list of "fixes" from your pre-listing party and run it by your agent. They will tell you what is worth the money to fix or not.  He or She will also go over your Homes Value and develop a personalized marketing plan with you.

3. De-Clutter!  I know,  I've said this over and over again.  But it bears repeating because it's so important.  Let's take a closet as an example:  Taking 1/2 of your clothing off of a closet rack and the shelves, then neatly reorganizing it will make your closet look much larger.  Extra furniture is also a problem area as it is usually shoved into corners.  Stop that!  Rent a storage unit and get rid of much of the furniture in each room so that every room can be staged to take advantage of the space, size and nuances to to highlight why it's special.

4. Think Neutral.  Now, I'm like everyone else, I love pops of color throughout the home and I think the home feels a lot warmer and cozier with color.  But if you're putting your home on the market, you need to go neutral. It is hard for a potential buyer to envision themselves in a home that has "you" written all over it.  Neutral colors paint the picture of a blank canvas which gives your potential buyer the feeling that they can create their painting or oasis of a home.

5. Clean out your garage.  We are all guilty of using the garage for storage, but trust me, your buyer wants to know that their vehicles are going to be able to fit in the garage.  Again, even if you need to rent a storage unit, take out all storage boxes and seasonal tools and equipment not in use.  And ....make room for your vehicles.

6. Make sure Hardwood Floors are gleaming!  People in general love hardwood floors, but nothing is worse than looking forward to a home with hardwood and getting to a home and seeing dull, lifeless and scratched floors!!  It can be a deal breaker because your buyer is thinking about how much time and expense it's going to be to refinish them!  Instead use a simple soapy wash followed by a rejuvenating floor polish  and voila'.....your floors will look like new....and it only cost you around $50!

7. Restore your natural stone, tile and grout. If your bathrooms and kitchen tiles have lost their luster you may want to look into getting them refreshed.  Professional restoration services are available in most cities and are relatively cheap compared to a complete renovation, and can make your kitchens and bathrooms look brand new. And since these are the two most highly rated rooms in a home....I'd say it's money well spent!

Local home improvement stores have trained personnel and many classes available to train you in the techniques to restore what you have in  your homes today versus having to do total renovations.  Utilize their expertise to help make preparation for your selling process go smoothly and quickly. For more Real Estate Selling Tips or Buying Tips check out my website at www.champaignrose.com

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Rose Price
Landmark Real Estate
One East Main Street, Suite 200
Champaign IL 61820
217-202-8843
217-352-1933
Fax: 217-378-1281