Initial Steps to Selling a House
Here are a few steps to take before purchasing your new home in the Chapel Hill, NC district. These are the initial steps to selling a house.
Check Your Credit Rating, and Correct any Problems
Even if you’re sure you have excellent credit, it’s wise to verify this before you apply for a mortgage. Straightening out any errors or disputed items now will avoid frustrating holdups down the road when you’re waiting for mortgage approval. Errors caused by a faulty social security number, a name similar to yours, or a court ordered judgment you paid off that hasn’t been cleared from the public records often create problems. If such items appear, write a letter to the appropriate credit bureau. Credit bureaus are required to help you straighten things out in a reasonable time (usually 30 days).
- Make sure that any outdated derogatory entries are deleted from your credit file. Adverse credit information is not supposed to be reported or included on your credit report after seven years (except bankruptcy information, which can be reported up to ten years).
- Officially cancel inactive credit cards. If you have an inactive credit card with a $5,000 limit, even though you owe nothing on it, some mortgage lenders will consider that a potential future debt. Too many inactive credit cards with significant credit limits could keep you from obtaining a mortgage loan. Don’t just cut up your extra cards; officially cancel them, and do it now so there will be time for the news to reach the credit bureaus.
- Hold off on making any major credit card or car purchases while you’re waiting to apply for a mortgage. Monthly payments you’re obligated to pay will be counted against you, and reduce the amount of the mortgage loan you’ll be offered. Even if you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, that approval is subject to last-minute evaluation of your financial situation, and a spending spree for appliances, furniture and other goodies intended for your new home may wreck your chances for buying it.
Get Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage
This process includes analyzing your income, assets and present debt to estimate what you may be able to afford on a house purchase. Mortgage brokers, or a lender’s own mortgage counselors can also calculate this informal estimate for you.
Obtaining mortgage “pre-approval” is another thing entirely. It means that you have in hand a lender’s written commitment to put together a loan for you (subject only to the particular house you want to buy passing the lender’s appraisal). Pre-approval makes you a strong buyer, welcomed by sellers. With most other purchasers, sellers must tie the house up on a contract while waiting to see if the would-be buyer can really obtain financing. The down side is that you must pay application fees to cover the lender’s paperwork in verifying your employment, income, assets, debts and credit rating. If you later decide not to use that particular lender, you’d have to start all over again elsewhere – with no rebate. Pre-approval will also speed up the entire mortgage procedure once you’ve found the house you want. The only remaining question will be whether the house will “appraise” for enough to warrant the loan.
Create a Wish List
Before you begin looking for your new home, you should make a “wish list” to decide which features are absolutely essential, which are bonuses if you find them, and which are completely undesirable. The more specific you can be about what you’re looking for from the outset, the more effective your home search will be.
Research Neighborhoods, Schools and Other Amenities
If you were changing cities, the standard advice used to be to subscribe to the local newspaper in the new town and start reading local news and classified ads to get a feeling for different neighborhoods. Although that’s still a good idea, you can simplify and streamline the house-hunting process by using the Internet to find a home, a neighborhood, and resources. For local moves, you have the advantage of driving around neighborhoods that interest you. All neighborhoods have their own special appeal, and you should decide what is important to you in a community. Do you want a neighborhood pool? Tennis courts? Bike paths? Privacy? Natural wooded areas? Close to shopping or downtown? These are all important in considering your new neighborhood. If you would like to know more about neighborhoods in South Chapel Hill, click Other Neighborhoods and Southern Village.
then finally… Choose Your Home! (Search our MLS Listings)