Buying or Selling a Home

Getting Ready to Buying/Selling a Home

If you’re considering making a home purchase, there are important steps you can take to “get ready” and enhance your buying (and selling) position:

Down Payment Strategies

To maximize the cash you can put toward your home purchase, make saving a priority. If you set realistic goals and adhere to a few key principles, you may be able to pull together the cash you need.

  • Pay yourself first. Figure out how much you need to put away each month in order to reach your savings goal, and set that aside before attending to other expenses.
  • Avoid large purchases. Before buying big-ticket items, ask yourself how it will affect your home purchase. If a non-essential item puts your goals at risk, you may want to put off buying it until after you’ve bought your home.
  • Invest wisely. Financial investment always carries some degree of risk, and it’s important to weigh that risk carefully against your goals.


Proceeds from the sale of your current home can also contribute to your down payment. How much you profit from your home sale depends mainly on how much you have built up your equity, which is the difference between the value of your home and how much you owe on it.

If you’re concerned that you don’t have enough cash or equity to make a down payment—or even if you do have the money, but want to keep it in higher-yielding investments—there are low down payment programs that can help.

Maintaining Good Credit

As you know from your previous home financing experience, credit plays an important role in the mortgage approval process. Responsible credit use is an important part of the mortgage equation, no matter what your homeownership goals. A strong credit profile works to your advantage in trying to secure more favorable loan terms. Even if you have a history of paying your current mortgage on time, there are some additional steps you can take to make sure you are on solid footing:

  • Check for errors on your credit report. You may obtain a free credit report, once every 12 months, online at Inspect it for incorrect or outdated entries, and report any mistakes to the credit agency.
  • Buy with cash or checks instead of credit. If you don’t have the money on hand for a large purchase, consider delaying it until you do.
  • Contact creditors immediately if you have a problem. Many creditors are willing to work with clients to help relieve difficult financial situations. Even if you have a less-than-perfect credit history, it may not mean you have to put your homeownership plans on hold.


Selling Your Current Home

Selling a home can take just as much planning and effort as buying one. Familiarize yourself with the home-selling process ahead of time, so you can focus on getting into your next home instead of getting rid of your last.

  • Find a real estate agent. Interview a few listing agents and find one with whom you’re comfortable. A good agent can be the difference between a smooth sale and a stressful one.
  • Develop a home-selling plan. It’s important to set clear goals and decide at the outset how involved you want to be in the selling process. Ask about your agent’s marketing plans for your home, discuss your expectations about their role and your role in selling the home, and work together to make the sale.
  • Make necessary repairs. Walk through your home as a prospective buyer would. Check flooring, plumbing and lighting fixtures, heating and ventilation systems, roofing, and any other major features.
  • Make minor improvements. Add small cosmetic touches that might help you sell the home. You could spruce up the entryway to make it more inviting, plant flowers in the front yard, and send belongings that clutter up rooms to storage.
  • Price your home. Settle on a realistic price — you want your home to sell in a timely fashion, and not make buyers speculate on why it is just sitting on the market. Check sales prices of comparable homes and consider getting an appraisal to assess the market value of your home.
  • Market your home. Work with your listing agent to attract as many potential buyers as possible. Advertise with “for sale” signs along with print and online listings, and host open houses to show off your home.
  • Close the sale. After working through any remaining considerations, you simply need to get through all the paperwork. Your listing agent should help you compile all the necessary documents, and arrange to meet with the buyers to complete the transaction.


To learn more, call the NEA Home Financing Program at 1-800-632-4968 and speak with a Home Mortgage Consultant.

Remember, the benefits of the NEA Home Financing Program are extended to parents and adult children of NEA members.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ©2009 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Equal Housing Lender.

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