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    If You’re Buying or Selling a Home in 2023, Follow These Five Smart New Year’s Resolutions

    The real estate market has been wildly unpredictable of late. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in 2023, make these smart New Year’s resolutions part of your plan.

    Interest rates have skyrocketed and the economy remains fragile. Where does that leave homeowners looking to sell their properties? And what can prospective buyers expect in the year ahead?

    As we enter 2023, here are some important market considerations and savvy New Year’s resolutions for buying or selling your home.

    Watch these three key market trends:

    1. After big gains in the past three years, home prices are expected to stay flat.

      The National Association of Realtors (NAR) predicts median existing home prices will rise just 0.3% in 2023, a stark contrast from the 9.6% year-over-year increase in 2022 and eye-popping 18.2% jump in 2021. NAR projects prices for new homes to creep up 1.3% in 2023 after double-digit gains in the past two years.

    1. Choices are becoming more plentiful.

      Although the home supply is still relatively tight, sellers can’t call all the shots the way they did a year ago. It’s still a neutral market in some areas but it’s shifting toward the buyer’s benefit. Even in markets that favor the seller, buyers are standing firmer and taking time to investigate their purchase options.

    1. Mortgage rates are stabilizing.

      In 2022, mortgage rates more than doubled, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rising from about 3% at the beginning of the year to more than 6% in December. The Federal Reserve, which increased the federal funds rate by 4.25 percentage points in 2022 to quell inflation, isn’t done raising rates. However, it has reduced the rate of acceleration. The most recent increase in December was 0.50%, down from previous 0.75% hikes, a sign that things are stabilizing.

    Here are five things you can and should do now if you’re considering buying or selling a home this year:

    Resolution 1: Set clear homeownership goals.

    Having a very specific goal is the first step to reaching it, so write down exactly what you want to achieve. For example, “Buy a three-bedroom home close to downtown by December 31st.”  Including a timeframe for reaching your goal adds a sense of urgency and will help you stay motivated.  If you’re selling your current home, set specific goals around decluttering the space and making any necessary improvements.

    Resolution 2: Establish a budget.

    Good saving habits are very important if you are planning to buy a house this year. Set a monthly savings goal and take a detailed look at where your money is going. Determine how much you spend on essentials like rent, utilities, food, and transportation, and then allocate money for any debts you’re paying off and incidentals. Once you have a clear view of your expenses, you can determine where you can cut back and how much you can allocate to savings. The larger your down payment, the more appealing you will be to lenders. And if you are selling, a budget can help you save for expenses like cleaning, repairs, pre-inspections, staging, real estate agent commissions, and moving.

    Resolution 3: Get pre-approved.

    It’s important to know how much you can spend on your new home. Without a pre-approval, you could miss out on the perfect property simply because your finances aren’t in place. Pre-approval is essentially an approved loan amount for a specified period of time. It enables you to set a threshold for your real estate spending and confidently make offers on potential properties.

    Resolution 4. Learn about the real estate process and research your specific market.

    Spend time researching your preferred location so you have a sense for the number and type of properties available, the price points, and how quickly properties are selling. By understanding the market, you will be able to quickly identify the right property and determine if it’s a good Learn all you can about the real estate process, too, including the financials, approval procedures, and market forecasts. Savvy buyers and sellers are always in the best position for successful transactions.

    Resolution 5: Search for the right real estate team.

    Start contacting potential real estate agents and lenders now because it could take a while to find the right professionals. Strive to have a loan pre-approval letter and an agent in place by spring. Most homes hit the market in April and May, so make every effort to be ready to go by then. Realtors can help buyers and sellers by providing valuable guidance and advice, making for a smooth transaction and positive results. Vet prospective real estate agents carefully, inquiring about their experience and knowledge of the areas in which you are most interested. Experts also recommend thinking about the other professionals you’ll need to work with during your home selling or buying process. A great Realtor®, mortgage lender, and real estate attorney can make all the difference when negotiating an offer in a hot market.

    Put the wheels in motion to achieve your real estate dreams. Set your goals, organize your finances, and do your research now. That will allow you to hit the ground running and make your dream of buying or selling a home in 2023 a reality.

    This is the year to make your homeownership dreams a reality! The helpful professionals at Certified Title are here with valuable tools and information to help you get there. To learn more, please contact our experienced team today.

    About Certified Title Corporation: Since 1994, attorney-owned Certified Title Corporation has been furnishing residential and commercial real estate stakeholders across the nation with robust title insurance, settlement, and escrow services. Renowned for industry-leading reliability and an exemplary level of service and quality, the Maryland-based company helps clients from all walks of life achieve their asset goals. To learn more, call (888)486-5511 or visit https://www.certifiedtitlecorp.com/.



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