Your Dream Home Awaits
Cindy Barrett

Buying & Selling Tips


The process of buying a home or investment generally starts with determining your buying power; that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity.  If you give a real estate agent some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you.  Most lenders — banks and mortgage companies — offer limited choices.

Once you know how much you can and want to invest, the next steps are to (1) choose a property (2) negotiate (3) due diligence (4) obtain financing and (5) closing or settlement.

Here is another useful tool as you take the next steps…Mortgage Calculator

9 House Hunting Tips:

1. Location counts – You’ve probably heard the old real estate joke about “location, location, location,” but the point still bears repeating.  Location is crucial.  How far are you really willing to commute to your place of employment?  How good are the local schools, shopping centers, public transportation, seniors services and other public amenities?  Will your new home be next to a vacant lot or a commercial property?  Even a picture-perfect dream home can be a mistake if it’s in an undesirable location, and a poor-location home can be a particularly bad choice if you anticipate reselling the home withina few years.

2. Make a list – Do you (and your spouse, if you’re married) really know what you need and want in your home?  You’ll save yourself many hours of shopping (and potentially arguing) if you make a list ahead of time.  Zero in on the features you must have, would like to have, definitely don’t want and would prefer not to have.  Your goal is to find the right home for your family without falling in love with one that doesn’t suit your needs.  Tip:  Start compiling your wish list by thinking about what you like and dislike about your current home.

3. Do your homework – Not long ago, consumers had very little access to information about recent home sales prices, market trends, homes on the market, neighborhood statistics and the home-buying process.  Today, all this information and more is available on the Web.  Go surfing.  Get educated.  Become empowered.

4. Get preapproved for a mortgage – Your top-dollar home price is a function of your household income, your creditworthiness, interest rates, the type of loan you select and how much ready cash you have for the down payment and closing costs, among other factors.  Rather than guessing or estimating how much you can afford to spend, ask a lender or mortgage broker to give you a full assessment and a letter stating how much you’re qualified to borrow.  The true amount may be much more or much less than you think.

5. Use a checklist – Touring multiple homes is a confusing experience for most people.  Rather than relying on memory, make notes about the homes you visit.  Turn your priorities into a personalized home-shopping checklist and use it track the features of each home.

6. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes – House-hunting can be tiring, especially if you’re relocating to a distant community and want to see a dozen homes in one day.  There’s no sense in torturing your feet unnecessarily.

7. Be prepared to make an offer – House-hunting can also be frustrating, especially if you know in your heart you’re not really emotionally or financially ready to buy a home.  If you’re not ready, don’t put yourself through the exercise.  If you are ready, go through a blank purchase contract ahead of time so you’ll know what decisions you’ll face when you make an offer.

8. Relax – Granted, buying a home is a major life-altering event.  But it’s not worth making yourself insanely crazy or super-duper stressed.  Save time at the end of your house-hunting expedition to unwind, calm your thoughts and emotions and keep the whole experience in perspective.

9. Use a Professional Realtor!

Plan and Prepare to Sell Your House

  • Are you ready?  The home-selling process typically starts several months before a property is made available for sale.  It’s necessary to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out.  Ask yourself:  If you were buying this home what would you want to see?  The goal is to show a home which looks good, maximizes space and attracts as many buyers — and as much demand — as possible.  While part of the “getting ready” phase relates to repairs, painting and other home improvements, this is also a good time to ask why you really want to sell.  Selling a home is an important matter and there should be a good reason to sell — perhaps a job change to a new community or the need for more space.  Your reason for selling can impact the negotiating process so it’s important to discuss your needs and wants in private with a REALTOR who lists your home.
  • When should you sell?  The marketplace tends to be more active in the summer because parents want to enroll children in classes at the beginning of the school year (usually August).  The summer is also typically when most homes are likely to be available.  Gneerally speaking, markets tend to have some balance between buyers and sellers year-round.  In a given community, for example, there may be fewer buyers in late December, but there are also likely to be fewer homes available for purchase.  So, home prices tend to rise or fall because of general demand patterns rather than the itme of the year.  Owners are encouraged to sell when the property is ready for sale, there is a need or desire to sell, and the services of a local REALTOR have been retained.
  • How do you improve your home’s value?  The general rule in real estate is that buyers seek the least expensive home int he best neighborhood they can afford.  In terms of improvements, this means you want a home that fits in the neighborhood but is not over-improved.  For example, if most homes in your neighborhood have three bedrooms, two baths and 2,500 sq. ft. of finished space, a property with five bedrooms, more baths and far more space would likely be priced much higher and likely be more difficult to sell.Improvements should be made so that the property shows well, is consistent with the neighborhood and does not involve capital investments, the cost of which cannot be recovered from the sale.  Furthermore, improvements should reflect community preferences.  Cosmetic improvements – paint, wallpaper and landscaping – help a home “show” better and often are good investments.  Mechanical repairs – to ensure that all systems and appliances are in good working condition – are required to get a top price.  Ideally, you want to be sure that your property is competitive with other homes available in the community.  REALTORS, who see numerous homes, can provide suggestions that are consistent with your marketplace.

About Cindy Barrett

Picture of Cindy Barrett

Cindy Barrett

Professional Real Estate Agent

86423740578642374057 office

864-237-4057864-237-4057 mobile

Keller Williams Realty

1707 John B. White Sr Blvd suite E Spartanburg, SC 29301

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I have always been skeptical of real estate agents, but working with Cindy was a pleasant surprise. She guided my wife and I through the process from start to finish and made the experience of selling my first house a positive one. Her knowledge and... (more)


Cindy was friendly, professional and knowledgable. Throughout the time our home was on the market she kept in close contact with me. Our home sold within 3 months. I have recommended her to others and would consult her again with our real estate needs.


I had several agents before I found Cindy. She worked extremely hard to sell my home. She kelp me updated with all the appointments scheduled with my home. She gave me both positive and negative feedback.
I had several very good realtors trying to sell my... (more)

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