WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES APRIL 19, 2018 19
Insider tips and tactics for buying
a home in a seller's market
Whether you're a millennial
looking to buy your first
home or a boomer thinking
about downsizing your empty nest,
you're probably aware that it's a seller's
market out there.
Homes are selling at lightning speed,
bidding wars are commonplace, buyers
oft en have little to no room for negotiation
and the price of those homes
But don't worry! Just because it's a
seller's market doesn't mean you can't
get a good deal on the home of your
dreams. Here are some insider tips and
tactics from the pros at RE/MAX, LLC
to help you get your slice of the American
dream at a price you can aff ord.
Work with a full-time, experienced
agent. This is critical, vital and non-negotiable.
Things move so fast and off ers are
made within minutes of seeing a home. If
you don't have a real estate agent, you can
easily be overwhelmed by this thrill ride.
Your agent can help you with negotiation,
serve as your champion, and can guide
you through this process as a pro.
Get pre-approved with a lender.
When you're pre-approved, you've
done all the paperwork upfront. The
bank has decided what you can aff ord
to spend. This tells the seller you mean
business and are ready to roll.
Use technology. If you aren't using
technology, you are missing out. Hop on
remax.com and view homes within your
price range or in your desired school zone
or neighborhood. You can also get a sense of
what's selling at your budget, and even calculate
your estimated mortgage payment.
Don't wait to request a showing. If
you're checking out houses online,
ask your agent to request a showing
as soon as you see one you like. Don't
wait until the weekend. You know
what they say about he who hesitates ...
Don't wait to make an off er. If you like
it, jump on it. Make your off er clean (no
contingencies such as the sale of another
property), if possible, and consider
off ering favorable concessions to the
seller such as a fl exible closing date.
Think outside the box. You might
have come into your home search wanting
to live in a specifi c neighborhood.
What if you expanded your horizons a
bit? Cast your net wider into areas you
hadn't considered. A lovely gem might
be waiting out there for you.
Don't make a major purchase between
off er and closing. If you do, it
could upset your debt-to-income ratio.
Your lender could run the numbers
again, and you'd be sunk. Hold off
buying furniture or ordering new appliances
until aft er closing documents
have been signed and the place is yours.
Following the advice of your agent
is always critical, but it's even more
important in a seller's market. He or
she will guide you through the process,
and you'll be unpacking boxes in your
dream home in no time!
Protect your home from termites this spring
Spring is offi cially here, bringing
fl owers, greenery and increased
pest activity. Because
termite evidence is more noticeable
in warmer months, it is important
to check for any warning signs every
spring. Fortunately, there are a
few things you can do to reduce the
likelihood of a termite infestation
in the fi rst place.
KEEP SHRUBS TRIMMED
Well-maintained shrubbery looks
nice, but it also serves an important
purpose: Trimming shrubs reduces
the likelihood termites and pests will
enter your home. Stray branches that
touch a house's exterior provide
pests with direct access to potential
entry points. By properly maintaining
landscaping, you can make access
more diffi cult for these unwelcome
It's important to make smart
decisions when adding landscaping,
because termites are more attracted
to some materials than others. Instead
of traditional mulch, opt for
synthetic mulch or pea gravel. These
alternatives are less attractive to termites
than wood-based mulch.
Termites need water to survive.
Controlling excess moisture can help
reduce the risk of an infestation. Regularly
maintaining home exteriors,
such as wooden siding and windows,
can help you detect and repair leaks
Many homeowners forget to think
about moisture inside their homes,
particularly in basements and crawlspaces.
Properly ventilating these
areas helps minimize the amount
of moisture around fl oor joists and
subfl ooring. Reducing moisture in
interior spaces can help reduce the
likelihood that termites will take up
residence in your home.
If you suspect you may have a termite
problem, the best solution is to call
a pest professional such as Terminix.
Termite warning signs include blisters
in wood fl ooring, hollowed or damaged
wood, and evidence of swarms such as
discarded wings, mud tubes and droppings
that resemble sawdust or coff ee
grounds. Early detection can prevent a
small termite problem from becoming
a widespread infestation.