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Home Seller Checklist

Selling your home requires many steps. Some of the most important ones are staging and decluttering your home.

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Aside from pricing, the best things to focus on for a successful home sale are staging and decluttering.

We don’t live in our homes in the same way that we showcase them. There is a huge difference between the two. There are probably a lot of things in your home that you’ll need to get rid or put in storage to properly prepare your home.

Curb appeal is the number one attractant of buyers.

When you remove those personal items, knick-knacks, and general clutter, you can maximize the space in your home. That is crucial for opening up the imagination of buyers who come and see the home. When they can imagine their own furniture and personal items in your home, they are only forming a stronger bond with the house.

Curb appeal is the number one attractant of buyers outside. Even if it’s just a quick landscaping fix or some peeling paint, get it shored up to attract more buyers. It can actually make the difference between somebody stopping and setting up a showing and just simply driving by. If your house doesn’t look pristine, the buyer might not come back.

If you have any questions for us or need help getting your home ready for a quick and profitable sale, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you soon.

Down Payments Don’t Have to Be an Obstacle for Homeownership

There are a lot of loan options out there with low down payment options. There are even some that don’t require a down payment at all. Here are some options you have for an affordable down payment as a homebuyer.

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What's the biggest obstacle to homeownership?

According to a recent survey, "saving enough for a down payment" comes at the top of the list. A whopping 55% of prospective homebuyers cited this as their main stumbling block.

And with the continuing growth of home prices, things aren't getting any easier. In fact, homeownership rates reached a 20-year low last November.

It wasn't always like this.

A decade ago, many lenders were offering easy, no-money-down mortgages.

However, after the financial crisis, mortgage standards have become more restrictive.

Here's the good news.

If you have decent credit and a steady income, you might be qualified for a number of specialized programs that require no or very little down payment. Here are a few of the top options.

First, there's the USDA loan, which is valid for homes in certain regions, such as rural and suburban areas.

With zero money down and lenient credit requirements, the USDA loan can be a great choice for many homeowners.

Second, there’s the VA loan, which you can apply for if you or your spouse served in a branch of the military.

It's possibly the most generous zero-money-down mortgage because of low interest rates and low closing costs.

Third, there's the FHA loan. It does require a 3.5% down payment.

Finally, there are a number credit unions and first-time homebuyer programs that might apply to your particular situation.

There’s one important thing you should know.  

If you get one of these no-money-down mortgages, chances are good you will be required to pay private mortgage insurance, which can drive up your monthly payments.

Fortunately, private mortgage insurance will disappear after your mortgage balance is under 80%. Also, the money you do pay will be tax deductible in most cases.

In short, there are lots of options to make owning a home a reality for you, even if you haven't saved up tens of thousands of dollars.

If you're considering buying a home, check out some of the great homes that have come on the market around Lincoln recently:

And if you need more advice on getting a no-money-down loan, give me a call at (402) 475-5555. I can put you in touch with some experienced Lincoln, Nebraska area lenders who can answer your questions and help get you started.

The Latest in Lincoln Real Estate News

The Lincoln market is pretty crazy right now. There is a big opportunity out there currently, for sellers.

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We’re already into the second quarter of 2017, but today we’re taking a look back at the first quarter to give you a better idea of what’s going on in the Lincoln real estate market.

It seems like everyone out there is talking about how crazy the market is. They’re right though, and the statistics back it up.

The average price is going up and it’s a great time to sell.

The number of closed sales in the first quarter was 740, while only 623 homes are currently listed for sale. That number is way too low. We need more inventory. If you have been thinking about selling and taking advantage of this historic market, there isn’t going to be a better time than today.

The average sale price is going up, and now sits at $195,000 for the Lincoln area. It’s an incredible time to be in the market, whether you’re looking to buy or sell. If you are looking to do either, we would love to take care of you. We’ve been in this industry for 40 years and you can always expect success with Lincoln’s leaders in real estate, The Searcy Team. We look forward to hearing from you soon.