Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

May 22, 2017 10 tips to save money, cut stress when buying or selling a home
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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(BPT) - As the weather heats up, so too does the real estate market. Spring and summer are typically busy seasons for buying and selling a home, and they can also be stressful due to high home prices and increased competition.

“Buying or selling a home is one of the largest transactions of many people’s lives, and it can be an emotional process as well,” said Steve Udelson, president of the business. “Whether a consumer is buying or selling a home, with some smart planning, they can avoid some of the stress in the process and get the best possible results from their home search or sale.”

According to the 2017 Home Buyer Study, 72 percent of potential home buyers expect stress in the home buying process. Udelson offers these tips that can help to get the most value out of your next real estate transaction with less stress.

Top home seller tips

Price your home wisely. Mispricing their home is one of the most common mistakes that people make. Sellers should research comps for current listings, recent sales and appraisal value to help guide how to set their list price. Sellers should also consider their timeline for the home sale and look into local market conditions to understand how quickly homes are selling at their target price. To help with this research, some online brokerages offer valuation tools and information on recent comps.

Pay attention to curb appeal. Potential buyers may make a decision on your home before they even walk in the door, but there’s a lot you can do yourself to make a good first impression. Trim bushes, plant flowers and keep the grass cut. Create a tidy, welcoming feeling at the entryway by sweeping the steps, painting the door and cleaning the windows. You want to be sure a buyer’s first impression compels him or her to look inside.

DIY home staging. You don’t have to hire an expensive staging company to make your home interior shine. Start by cleaning relentlessly, especially the kitchen, bathrooms and carpets. Take the time to make small updates like applying a fresh coat of paint or making minor repairs to ensure the home is move-in ready. Remove clutter and put away overly personal items like family photos and knickknacks that can potentially distract buyers.

Leverage technology. According to the Home Buyer Study, 72 percent of potential home buyers spend on average one to three hours per day looking at homes online. To showcase your home to a higher number of potential buyers, you can use a listing site that will get your home on the MLS. Create an eye-catching listing of your home by taking photos and video when it’s at its best and consider highlighting recent updates. You can also use your social media accounts to help spread the word about your listing.

Save on commissions. Rather than paying a full commission to a traditional real estate agent, consider your alternatives. provides sellers the support of professional agents and flexible listing packages that can save you time and money.

Top home buyer tips

Get your finances in order. A home is a big investment. Start by knowing your credit score, and if necessary, taking steps to increase it. Analyze your savings to determine how much you can put down. Furthermore, know what you can afford, not just what you’re approved for by the bank. Make sure you only take out what you’re comfortable paying back in monthly installments.

Think about the future. Before researching properties, you may make a list of features you want, but don’t overlook your future needs. For example, if you’re newlyweds planning to start a family in this house, you’ll likely need more than one bedroom. If you’re empty-nesters planning to stay in the home for many years, a single-level home might be easier to navigate when you’re older.

Make a savvy offer. Deciding what to offer when buying a home can be stressful. Use comps from recent sales to help guide your asking price. You can also set terms (like the closing date) and request extras (like appliances) to be included.

Keep an open mind. In a competitive real estate market, it pays to keep an open mind about the kind of house you’re looking for. The Home Buyer Study found that consumers are willing to consider a fixer-upper (51 percent) or a smaller home than desired (36 percent) to stay on budget. In fact, a Nerdwallet study found smaller homes often appreciate in value at a faster rate.

Save at the closing table. Closing on a home can cost thousands more than just the price of the home. provides professional real estate agent support, and buyers in select markets can receive up to 1.5 percent back on the purchase price at closing — savings that can help with mortgage payments or updates once you’ve moved into your beautiful new home.

Note to editors: This material was provided and sponsored by, part of the Altisource family of companies. The material is provided for general and educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice.

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