selling a home

Guide To Getting Your Home Ready For A Profitable Open House

selling a homeAre you planning to put your home for sale? Did you know that in some areas, conducting an open house is one way of generating a lot of potential customers within a short amount of time? There is also a higher chance that one of these people will offer you a deal you can not turn down. This is why it is important to plan and prepare for an open house when selling a home.

Five Easy Guide To Make Your Open House A Success

Develop a total list

A real estate agent equates marketing your home to a business endeavor where you should take inventory of all your assets. List down all your residence’s current upgrades and also all its advantages. Aside from the good things, you need to also be aware of the things which might interest your buyers such as a three-car garage or a cellar which might be quickly renovated right into extra space.

Include visual charm

A tiny financial investment will surely result in huge profit. Ensure your entrance light and residence numbers remain in outstanding form, so customers could locate your residence easily. Fix any kind of split or missing out on pathway pavers. Enhance your landscape design and also plant flowers around the entry or in pots on the front veranda.

Organize your home

You know the drill– give away, reuse, throw, repeat. This moment, however, goes a number of actions even more. Hide important antiques or fashion jewelry in a safe. After that, remove other items or furniture if they make your residence really feel jammed. The substantial coffee table or your children’s comprehensive rock collection could be hidden in the garage until the open house is done.

Clean up

Your Myrtle Real estate agent will ask you to make sure that your home is tidy, your windows are clean, and it smells fresh and wonderful. Do a deep cleaning prior to arranging your first open residence. Afterwards, routine fast touch-ups will certainly maintain it in fantastic form throughout the revealing and marketing procedure. Particularly crucial: gleaming tidy home windows, as well as mirrors, will certainly make the most of the light in each area.

Make your home really feel comfortable 

Before the open house, readjust your cooling or heating to a comfortable temperature level. Open up the drapes or allow the sunlight shine in. Set the table with appealing tableware, paper napkins, and also flatware. Present a lovely arrangement of flowers as a centerpiece.

Determine from your home buyers agent exactly how the open home went. What type of responses did she or he get? Exactly what did audiences like or do not like? Just what should you boost in order to market your house? This way, you learn from the feedback and improve your next open house.

If you need help in setting up an open house in Myrtle Beach and its surrounding areas, you can call Full Potential Real Estate, LLC.

Full Potential Real Estate, LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

selling a home

5 New Year’s Resolution For Home Sellers

selling a homeAre you among those homeowners who are planning to put their houses up for sale? Keep in mind that you only have one chance to make a good impression regardless of the market conditions or the season. You have to make it memorable. So, before selling a home, there are a few things you need to do. Listed below are five New Year’s resolutions that will help you sell your home fast and for the highest price possible.

Set Your Listing Date

Schedule your listing date ahead of time so you know what to expect, plan, and prepare for the selling your home. The process involved when it comes to moving to a new home and having your old home sold to the right person is a coordinated effort between you and an expert real estate agent Myrtle Beach. You also have to work with other professional like a lawyer, lender, home inspector, movers, to name a few. This is also applicable to those who are buying a home. Contact a selling agent in advance and discuss what your options are and ask for advice before you begin anything.

Repair and Replace

If you are planning to sell your home, you have to check its current condition and do the necessary repairs well before listing. Stained carpets, cracked drywall, defective light bulbs, and other minor problems are simple to fix and will not break the bank. However, if you ignore these things, it could significantly affect the offers you receive when you sell your house. It can be quite difficult to evaluate your home. It is better to ask a friend to check your home and provide you with a constructive criticism afterward. You can also hire a home inspector to check your house and a handyman to do the repairs and replacements as required.

Get Comparables

At least three to six months before your house is listed, ask your agent to scan comparable listings to obtain a ballpark price estimate. Always remember that different factors will affect the selling price of your house such as the size of the lot, interior finishes, landscaping, proximity to the road, parks, schools, and public transit. Your real estate agent will check your home before it gets listed to make sure that it will have the right price to attract serious home buyers.

Get Rid Of The Clutter

A cluttered home will make your house look small. Depending on how long you have stayed in your house and your lifestyle, declutter can be a big undertaking. Take it one step at a time. Start in one room and when you are done, move to another. Know what you want, need, and love. What are the things you can do without? What do you get after doing all these? You don’t have to bring with you the things that you do not need as well as those items that will only make your new home look cluttered.


When the time has come for you to sell your home, you have to stage it to showcase your property at its best condition and appearance. You need to keep all your photos and other personal belongings away so that prospective home buyers can picture themselves living in their new home. All other non-essential items should also be put in storage and you should also consider renting home furnishings that will improve the aesthetics of your home’s interior. Your real estate agent may offer staging as part of their services so don’t forget to ask about it.

Call Full Potential Real Estate if you are planning to sell your home.

Full Potential Real Estate, LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

selling a home

What You Need To Know About Selling A Home In Winter

selling a homeFor many real estate agents, selling a home in winter is not an option. This is especially true in the dead of winter, particularly in the first couple of weeks of January. Although it is not highly recommended to sell a house in winter, some still do because they need to be able to get rid of the house as soon as possible.

Fortunately, these sellers were not only able to successfully sell a house but they were also able to sell quickly and at a high price. If you are also considering selling a home in winter, here are some things you should keep in mind.

1. There is lighter competition during the winter season. One of the primary reasons why it is easier and faster to sell a home in winter is because there is lighter competition during this season. This is because home sellers and other real estate investors would opt to list houses in spring when the weather would make houses look more inviting.

Indeed, spring is the season when lawn grasses are greener and plants and trees are flowering. Thus, sellers listing a house for sale during this season will not have to spend a lot of time staging the house and making it look more appealing to potential buyers. The disadvantage to this, however, is that because a lot of sellers are going to be listing in spring, there will be tougher competition during this season.

2. Buyers also look for homes for sale in winter. One thing you should keep in mind when selling a home is that today’s buyers are continuously looking for listings and homes for sale. Unlike before when buyers wait for spring to begin house hunting, current technological advancements have made it possible for buyers to begin looking for a house to buy any time of the year. More particularly, the internet and mobile apps have allowed buyers to be notified in a timely manner when there is a new listing.

Considering this, sellers can now opt to list their homes any time of the year. However, many real estate professional believe that listing at the start of the year will provide sellers with a more eager audience. The reason for this is because buyers are found to be more active at the start of a new year with regards to looking for homes to buy.

3. Winter is usually when buyers are thinking about taxes, their finances and making investments. This season is when people receive their holiday bonuses or yearend earnings. And considering the unstable state of the economy, many are wisely thinking to either invest these bonuses or put it in the bank for safekeeping. One of the many investments people are primarily considering is real estate, especially if they have been renting an apartment or a house for a long time now. This makes one good reason why selling a home in Myrtle Beach at this time of year is beneficial.

Opting to list your house at this time will put it in the forefront of all other houses being listed. And when your house is in the front, it will be the first to get noticed by potential buyers. As a result, you will have more potential buyers. Because these individuals are keen on making an investment and not wasting their hard earned money, they are more likely to close a deal and buy a home.

Need professional assistance in listing and selling a home in the winter season? Call Full Potential Real Estate, LLC now and inquire about their services.

Full Potential Real Estate, LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

selling a home

10 Secrets To Selling Your Home Fast

Here are 10 best kept secrets to help you get the best price when selling a home.

Pricing It Right

Know how much your home is worth and take between 15 and 20% off the price. You will be bombarded with a lot of potential buyers with some offering multiple bids while others may even bid up the price over what your home is actually worth. It takes courage to do this and many home sellers are afraid to risk it. However, it is the single best approach when it comes to selling a home in Myrtle Beach these days.

Half Empty Closets

Home buyers are very particular when it comes to storage. When you are selling your home, keep half empty closets and make sure that all that’s left in there are neatly organized.

Lights Matter

Don’t forget to light up your home. One thing that most home buyers are looking for in a home apart from the location is good light. Clean your windows, take down the drapes, increase the wattage of your bulbs, change the lampshades, and trim the bushes outside to let sunshine inside your home. Do everything that needs to be done to make your house cheery and bright.

Play The Agent Field

Hiring the wrong broker can kill your home sale. You have to be sure that you work with a broker who is well informed, constantly monitors MLS or Multiple Listing Service, know the comps within your neighborhood, and what properties are up for sale. You should hire a broker who makes full use of technology and if possible a tech savvy one to make sure that he or she has all the tools needed to sell your home the soonest and at the best price possible.

Hide The Critters

Some home sellers think that having a dog or cat at home would draw in more potential buyers. Always remember that not everybody is a cat or dog lover. Some of them do not want to go to an open house only to see a bowl of dog food or wind up having tufts of pet hair on their clothes. It might give them an impression that your home is not clean. It is best to send your furry friends to a pet hotel if you are planning an open house.

Never Over-Upgrade

Fixing minor issues before selling always pays off. However, expensive and huge renovations do not. You won’t be able to get your money back if you do mammoth makeovers before you sell your home. What you should do instead is opt for upgrades that will pay off and help you get top dollar for your house. These include giving your walls a new fresh coat of paint, cleaning the curtains, replacing door handles, fixing leaky faucets, and cleaning the grout.

Depersonalize The House

Don’t forget that one of the keys to selling a home successfully is to depersonalize it. Potential homebuyers will less likely be able to imagine themselves living in your house if your personal stuff are still there. Store one third of your once you have an open house. These include personal keepsakes, photos, and memorabilia photos. You should also hire a home stager who can help you maximize your home’s full potential. He or she will help you arrange your furniture in a way that will best showcase your home’s floor plan and to also maximize the space.

Prioritize Your Kitchen

You are actually selling your kitchen and not your house – that is how important the kitchen is. The advantages of renovating your kitchen are limitless and what’s good about it is that you will most likely get 85% of your money back. It may cost you a bit to replace the countertops but that won’t matter if a buyer offers you thousands more on the asking price because he or she loves your kitchen. Some of the most affordable and fastest kitchen upgrades are installing new cabinet hardware and repainting the cabinets.

Make Your House Show Ready

You need to make sure that your home is always show ready. You will never know when your potential home buyer will walk through the door. You need to always be ready and available by the time they wish to see the place and of course, your house needs to be in tip top shape. Keep the dishwasher cleaned, the dust bunnies stored away, and the bathroom sparkling. It might be a lot of work but it will help get your house sold.

Only The First Impression Matters

It does not matter how great your home’s interior looks, potential home buyers have judged your house even before they walked through the door. You will never have another chance to make a good first impression. It is important to make them feel welcome, warm, and safe whenever the approach your house. Make sure your home exterior look dainty with brightly colored flowers and inexpensive shrubs. You may get a 100% return on the money you spend to improve your home’s curb appeal. Entry ways are very important as well. This space is used for your keys and coat. However, when you are selling, you have to make it more welcoming by adding a vase filled with fresh cut flowers or perhaps some cookies and a small bench on the side.

Call Full Potential Real Estate, LLC if you need the help of a professional and reliable real estate agent in selling your home.

Full Potential Real Estate, LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

buying a home

How To Buy Your Dream Home During The Holidays

buying a homeMoving to a new home during the holidays can be a headache considering all your seasonal obligations and activities you have to attend to, not to mention the unpleasant weather conditions in several locations. However, there are several positives when it comes to buying a home during the holiday season making the hassle of moving well worth it.

Less Competition

The exact concerns that make holiday moving inconvenient tend to prevent people from searching for homes during that period. Although there may be fewer houses available at this time, there are also lesser number of home buyers and that means decreased competition for any house that meets your needs.

Motivated Sellers

Home sellers do not enjoy moving during the holidays any more than home buyers do. It is most likely that those who are selling their houses during the festive season have high motivations to do so. Maybe they have to relocate for a new job or perhaps their house has been on the market for way too long and they need to have the money from the sale before the year ends. Combine decreased competition with motivated sellers and you have an excellent leverage to obtain a better deal.

Lower Prices

Prices of houses have been increasing rapidly and this can be partly attributed to a general shortage in the number of homes in the market today. But, December has always been a month of lower house prices. Although it is not sure that this year will follow the same trend, you should still check out the home prices within your local market if you are looking to buy a home.

Faster Closings

All those involved in a real estate transaction during the holidays want to close the deal before the year is out. Buyers would like to settle in their houses and sellers, if they are moving, want to get it all done before the holidays. Lenders also want to include the loan on the books for the current year. Real estate agents, as well as brokers, would like to include their common on their income for the current year as well. Motivated parties need to make the closing process go as seamlessly as possible. However, you need to make sure that you do your part in terms of having all the necessary paperwork in order.

Better Interest Rates

Interest rates are near the all-time low. Although the average rate on a thirty year fixed mortgage has been increasing throughout the year, it is still well below 5%. As of date, interest rates are gradually decreasing as we near the holiday season, after reaching its peak at 4.8% in October. You can use online calculators to check how much you can save over the period of your mortgage with even a slight reduction in interest rates. You might be surprised at the amount you get to save. Keep in mind that your credit score will affect your mortgage rate and even prevent you from qualifying for a mortgage. You need to check your score and credit report.

Motivated Agents

Decreased activity in the real estate market implies that Myrtle Beach real estate agents are working with fewer clients. They have a lot more time to help you and with decreased sales commission available, they might be a bit more motivated to help you complete your purchase.

Related Seasonal Sales

Do you need a new furniture or perhaps other things for your new house? There are several seasonal clearance sales during this time of the year and you will surely find one that will help you give your new home a personal touch. Just be sure to avoid overspending.

These tips are not always applicable in every market and every year. However, the holidays commonly offer these advantages to potential homebuyers. Know the conditions in your local market and determine if you can find your dream home and get a chance to obtain a great deal during the process.

Call Full Potential Real Estate if you are considering to buy a home during the holidays.

Full Potential Real Estate, LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Rules When Working With A Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent

Myrtle Beach real estate agentTo ensure a successful real estate transaction, you will need to be able to collaborate with the real estate agent. A strong and trustworthy working relationship with the realty professional will help ensure a successful real estate venture.

To help you with this, below are some tips you should consider:

Always show respect

Even though they are technically working for you, it helps if you treat your Myrtle Beach real estate agent as your partner. Keep in mind that you may not be the only homebuyer the agent are working with. Thus, you should always show respect and common courtesy whenever dealing and meeting with the agent.

If there are any changes with your schedule, always inform the agent ahead of time, especially if you are going to be late in or have to cancel one of your meetings. Always inform the agent so they can adjust their schedule for you or you can reschedule at a more convenient time for the both of you.

Implement proper open house protocol

When working with a real estate agent, there is a specific protocol that you should follow when attending open houses. Bear in mind that there are open houses where your real estate agent should go with you. There are other open houses that you can go to even without your real estate agent.

When going to an open house without your real estate agent, make sure the agent hosting the open house knows that you are already working with an agent. You can easily do this by handing over your agent’s business card.

It is always best to have your agent ask questions about the seller of the house. You can inquire anything about the house such as its condition and history. But you should leave all other questions, particularly ones pertaining to the cost of the house as well as the seller’s motivation, to your real estate agent.

Clearly communicate with the Myrtle Beach real estate agent what you expect from your partnership

It is important for you to let your agent know what you expect from your collaboration. Do you want the agent to pick you up and go with you every time you are visiting a house or going to an open house? Do you want the agent to call you every day with updates regarding the house you are looking to buy or with information on potential houses that you can buy? Or do you prefer communicating via emails or instant messaging?

You should let your agent know about your expectations so they will be able to understand you better and be better able to work with you effectively. At the same time, it will also help if you ask the agent what they expect from you. This way, you will both be able to understand each other and communicate better creating a more harmonious and, eventually, successful working relationship.

Set realistic goals and timeframe

Whatever project you are working on, it always helps to set realistic goals and timeframe at the beginning of the project. Have the real estate agent work with you in creating these goals and timeframes. Keep in mind that they will be working with you and that they will be putting in as much effort as you in this collaboration.

Always communicate clearly

If there are things that are not clear to you or things that you want to change in your purchase proposal or agreement with the seller, let you Myrtle Beach real estate agent know right away. Similarly with any type of relationship, clear communication is necessary to ensure success. Plus, you will both learn to trust and work more efficiently with each other if you have an open communication.

Working with a Myrtle Beach real estate agent is an important aspect of a successful home purchase. Always work with a licensed and trained real estate agent in Myrtle Beach.

Give Full Potential Real Estate, LLC a call now to inquire about their services.

Full Potential Real Estate, LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

buying a home

Is A Buyer’s Market Forming In The US Housing Market 2019?

buying a homeThe economy of the United States is expected to grow between 3% and 5%. With employment going strong, wages rising, and house construction intact, an increasing number of Americans are buying a house. For buyers, it will be their first house. Uncertainty remains but that Millenial buyers will have a persistent demand for new houses in areas within between New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Even Houston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Chicago can turn out to be the darlings of 2019 as well as 2020 with several people seeking to buy a home.

Economy in California is growing health as well as in areas like Florida, Texas, New York, and Massachusetts. The return of high paying jobs next year will play a great role in the improvement of the US economy. This will encourage the housing market since Millennials in particular, will discover themselves having lasting high paying jobs.

Housing Prices

Many experts predict a flat housing market or a buyer’s market for the year 2019 and 2020. Taking into account the lack of housing availability, it may sound crazy to imply a buyer’s market is on the horizon in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area. But things are actually changing. With an impeccable growth in home construction, this can make it the best time to purchase a house and a wonderful time to sell your house. In case mortgage rates grow a little, you must be considering buying in 2018.

Buyer Market Signals

  • Flattening house prices
  • Growing home construction
  • Stable US economy
  • Sales to active listings ratio well under 12%
  • Trade issues eases inflation

But because of the geopolitical uncertainty, 2020 election, trade transitions, rising mortgage rates, high home prices, and higher housing construction prices, home buyers will find it hard to buy in 2018/2019.

But with US companies getting a huge boost in sales in their own country and with lesser imported products, Americans will get to enjoy low unemployment, more access to home financing, and higher wages. It is all optimistic and positive for a strong housing market and maybe the best time to buying a home.

Millennials Hope To Purchase A House

An increasing number of US millennials, that large demographic group, are into their home buying years, with bigger budget, eager to make their first purchase and that will make sure you have plenty of competition. This demand from millennials can make 2019 the best time to sell your house.

When To Buy A House?

2019 is probably the best time for buying a home in Myrtle Beach or a condo. Housing stock on the US market now is not so hot right now but availability is expected to improve over the next few years. Mortgage rates as well as construction costs will increase however this may not be too painful up until 2020 where financing qualification and inflation may hurt prospective buyers.

In case the world moves into recession by 2020, that will just ease inflation problems in the US. The country’s economy will remain solid as more jobs move from China and back to the U.S. Overall, the prices of houses are not expected to grow that much and market crashes are quite unlikely to happen. That will make it a safer purchase for buyers and harder for sellers to obtain the best possible price.

Call Full Potential Real Estate if you are looking to buy a home in Myrtle Beach.

Full Potential Real Estate, LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

How To Hire A Reliable Listing Agent

listing agent

When it comes to hiring a listing agent, homeowners often make two huge mistakes. They make their choice based on the highest list price for their house and the lowest commission.

At first, the seller may say, “Are you crazy?” since sellers typically want the highest price there is and to pay the lowest amount of commission. However, these two criteria have nearly nothing to do with hiring a reliable and competent listing agent. In many cases, they are totally irrelevant. So let us discuss why.

Highest Suggested List Price

Myrtle Beach listing agents cannot tell you the value of your home. That is a fallacy. A listing agent can show you pending and comparable sales, as well as active sales. However, you pick the sales price and a buyer will let you know if the price is perfect. An agent can recommend the list price that can attract a buyer. What happens next will generally depend on the buyer.

To get the listing, there are agents who distort the truth – because agents cannot guarantee the sales price, the listing agent who recommends the highest price could very well be lying to you. Don’t forget to ask the agent to show you any supporting numbers for their suggested listing price. In case the agent does not have any stats to present or the home sales are found in a different neighborhood, you may need to consider it as a red flag.

Search for a listing agent who can give you a range – There is usually, but not always, a price range. It may be apart $10,000 on the low-end compared the high, or the spread might be greater. Several factors determine the range including the location, market’s temperature, and home improvements.

Pricing is considered an art – the perfect time for an offer is usually within the first 30 days on the market. But the ideal period is 21 days. If your home is priced correctly, it will be easy for you to get an offer. It is priced way too high, you won’t likely see any showings; buyers will ignore your home and you will wind up lowering the price, leaving buyers thinking that there might be something wrong with your house.

Choosing An Agent Based On Commissions

Real estate agents are different. Each of them possesses their own unique characteristics and abilities. Keep in mind that around 10% of the agents will handle about 90% of the business. Each of them has their very own advertising budget and marketing techniques. By picking an agent with a significant advertising budget and company dollars to compliment it, you may gain greater exposure to more potential buyers, which is ideal. Being able to reach several buyers means you will have higher chances of getting an offer.

Why would an agent willingly work for less than competitors? – There’s always a reason why a real estate agent or a broker would discount a real estate fee. In some cases, it is the only way the real estate agent feels it is possible for him or her to compete in a today’s highly competitive business since, without it, the agent will not stand out from the competition on knowledge, service, or negotiation skills. In case the sole benefit an agent can offer you is a cheap fee, you need to ask yourself why. Why is the agent desperate for your business? Is he unqualified? Would you like to work with an agent who is desperate?

There are instances when full-service agents will negotiate a much lower commission under some circumstances like:

  • You are buying a home and selling a home at the same time, awarding both transactions to a single agent. I do not give discounts like that, but there are some agents who will.
  • You are willing to do all of the legwork like marketing, advertising, and paying for the expenses that are associated with the sale.
  • You promise to give more business to the real estate agent, which would lead to several transactions.
  • You are selling more than one home.
  • You do not have enough equity to cover a full commission.
  • The agent accepts you as a pro bono case.
  • The agent will lose the listing if he or she matches a competitor’s fee.
  • The agent would like the signage, overcharging a full commission.

In case you are interviewing agents who provide comparable services and cannot decide between them, request if you can see a track record of their original list prices as well as final sale numbers. The odds will be that the lowest free agent will present to you more price reductions and longer DOM. The difference between an agent who charges 6& and 5% is 1%. Ask yourself how you will come out ahead if your price winds up 2% lower since you chose a much lower fee real estate agent who cannot afford to market your house actively.

Importance Of Agent Marketing

Without the fancy clothing or the expensive car, a good listing agent lives and dies by marketing. Since marketing helps them sell homes. Don’t forget to review every copy of the agent’s marketing plan. What does the agent want to do to sell your home? A few of the basic ones are as follows:

  • lockbox
  • Daily electronic tracking of lockbox access
  • Professional signage, which includes the phone number of the agent
  • Incentives for office/broker previews
  • Staging advice
  • Virtual tour
  • Digital targeted marketing
  • Distribution to websites
  • Flyers for buyers
  • Four color flyers
  • Open houses
  • Direct mail
  • Introduction at Board of Realtor meetings
  • Updated CMAs after a month
  • Updates on facts, trends, as well as recent sales on neighborhood
  • Email feeds of new and competitive listings

Always remember that no single strategy sells homes. It will always be a combination of all these methods that can help you market your home.

Qualities of a Good Listing Agent

You will be in a special business relationship with your listing agent for at least a month. Pick an agent you prefer, someone who you can relate to. Here are a few of the characteristics that most sellers want their agent to have:

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Honesty
  • Networking
  • Negotiation skills
  • Good communicator

Lastly, ask for a personal guarantee. In case the agent will not guarantee performance and will release you from a listing if requested, do not hire that agent.

Call Full Potential Real Estate, LLC if you want to work with a professional, reliable, and competitive listing agent.

Full Potential Real Estate, LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

first time home buyers

Tips For Qualifying As A First Time Homebuyer

first time home buyersCountless potential first time home buyers put off getting a mortgage because they think it is a long and cumbersome process. In 2018, a lot of new mortgage programs have become available so first time home buyers can qualify for a loan much easier than before. FHA loans are a commonly used first time home buyer loan for buying a home.

The primary reason why FHA loans are very popular is due to their low credit and down payment requirements. Borrowers who have a bad credit score of 500 can still qualify for an FHA loan with a 10% down payment. But, if the FICO score is below 580, no lender will approve a borrower.

In case you have a score of less than 580, you need to improve your credit score first before you apply for a mortgage. If you have a credit score of exactly 580, you will be required to pay a 3.5% down payment for an FHA-insured mortgage loan.

Get A Copy Of Your Credit Reports

The first thing you have to do is to obtain copies of your credit report from all three major credit card bureaus. You can also visit, which is a government operated site, to get a free copy of your report. You can only do this on this site once per year.

You also need to know what your credit scores are. Go to the websites that provide you your reports and scores for free. A few good sites to visit are Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and Wallet Hub

Check Your Report For Errors

When you have obtained all three reports, go through each of them to make sure that there are no errors. In case you find some, get in touch with the credit bureau right away and file a dispute.

What To Look For:

–    Incorrect employers

–    Previous and current addresses and phone numbers

–    Incorrect account information

–    Accounts that you do not own

–    Late payments that shouldn’t be there

–    Unauthorized credit injuries

You can argue incorrect information regarding your credit report by getting in touch with the credit bureau in writing, by phone, or online.

Check Your Credit Score

One of the deciding factors when it comes to securing a mortgage approval is your credit score. It is crucial to make sure that you have a high score before you submit an application. Credit Karma and Credit Sesame are some of the sites where you can check your credit score for free.

Increase Your Credit Score

Settle credit card balances – the amount of available credit that you are using is referred to as your credit utilization ratio. It is responsible for 30% of your FICO score. It is important that you pay down your balances to less than 15% of your credit card’s limit.

Don’t Apply For A New Credit – avoid applying for new lines of credit, loans, or credit cards. Once you apply for a credit, a hard credit inquiry will be conducted and reported to the credit bureau, which may lower your credit score. Additionally, you are adding debt to your credit report, which can affect your credit score negatively.

Pay Your Bills On Time – you have to pay your bills in a timely manner at all times. If you are going to be applying for a mortgage sometime soon, you have to make sure that you don’t make late payments. If it helps, set up auto pay for your bills payments.

Get Preapproved Before You Go House Hunting

Before you start your house hunting, you have to get preapproved for a mortgage first by speaking to a lender. A loan officer will evaluate your credit and confirm your income as well as your assets with your W2’s, bank statements, tax returns, as well as paycheck statements.

The majority of realtors won’t begin show you houses unless you have a pre-approval letter in hand. Furthermore, most sellers will not accept offers without the preapproval letter. Getting a preapproval is fast and simple. It can be done in just a matter of minutes. Be sure to bring with you important documents like 2 years of tax returns, 2-3 months of bank statements, proof of down payment, and W2’s and paycheck stubs.

Find Out If You Qualify For An FHA Loan

FHA loans have less strict requirements, making it perfect for first time home buyers who are looking for a loan that they’ll qualify for. The maximum loan to value ratio of an FHA mortgage is 96.5%, which means you just require a 3.5% down payment.

FHA Loan Benefits

–    Minimum credit score of 580

–    Low down payment of 3.5%

–    Down payment can be a gift

–    Down payment assistance programs are widely available

–    Low-interest rates

–    Accepts higher debt to income ratio

–    Fixed rate and adjustable loans are available

Determine Your Down Payment Options

The amount you need for the down payment when you buy a house will be based on the type of mortgage you get.

First time home buyers usually have less cash savings which make low or no down payment home loans extremely popular. FHA loans just need 3.5% of the purchase price as the down payment, making it a very attractive option for those who are buying a home for the first time.

You can avoid mortgage insurance if you don’t have 20% down payment by getting a conventional mortgage. Listed below are a few down payment requirements for every kind of home loan:

–    FHA Loans – 3.5% and a 580 credit score

–    VA Loans – No down payment required

–    USDA Loans – No down payment required

–    203k Loans – 3.5%

–    Conventional Loans – 5% – 20%

–    Conventional 97 – 3%

Hire A Reputable Real Estate Agent

There are a few first time home buyers who think they are doing themselves a favor by not hiring a real estate agent. Don’t be one of them. Always remember that the realtor is paid by the buyer, and the cost is already included in the price of the home. An experienced and reputable realtor will not just help you through the home buying process but also negotiate a good price on your behalf. He or she will always be looking out for your best interest.

Budget For All Home ownership Cost

There are several costs invoiced when it comes to getting a mortgage apart from the house. There’s the mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, closing costs as well as the HOA fees.

MIP or mortgage insurance is required for FHA loans regardless of the amount you paid for your down payment.

MIP on FHA loans costs between 0.80% to 1% based on the size of the loan as well as the down payment.

In case you have a minimum of 20% as down payment, you must consider a conventional loan, which does not need private mortgage insurance or MIP if you pay at least 20% down payment.

Determine Your Debt To Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio or DTI is the amount of monthly income compared to your debt payment obligations on a monthly basis. This will include things like car loans, credit card payments, and so on.

Front-end DTI ratio is the ratio of your income to debt payments, excluding the mortgage loan. For instance, if you have a gross income of $5,000 per month, and your total payments reach $1,000 per month, then your front-end ratio is 20%. The maximum front-end DTI ratio is 28%.

Back-end DTI ratio is the income compared to your debt payments after including the mortgage payment every month. For instance, if you have a pre-tax income of $5,000 and your mortgage loan and debt payments reach $2,000, then your back-end ratio is 40%. The maximum is 41%. But in some cases, this ratio can reach up to 50%.

Check Programs and Grants For First Time Home Buyers

There are several down payment assistance grants and programs for first time home buyers. HUD has several local state programs that provide first time home buyers help with their down payment when purchasing a home.

You will also find local programs on your counties or city website. A few of these programs might need you to take a home buyer education class for eligibility.

HUD Programs

Good neighbor next door program or GNND – was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist law enforcement, teachers, medical and emergency technicians to become homeowners by providing them 50%the list price of HUD homes that are found on

One Dollar Program – is offered by HUD allowing local government to buy HUD homes listed at $25,000 or below that have been for sale for at least 180 days for one dollar. These houses can be offered to families with low income in an effort to revitalize their neighborhood.

Know What Loans Are Availble For First Time Home Buyers

People who are buying homes for the first time have several loan options other than the FHA loan. Based on your current situation, you might be eligible for a few other loan programs that provide advantages compared to FHA home loans.

Conventional Loan – in case you have a minimum of 20% down payment then you have to consider a conventional mortgage. FHA will require mortgage insurance regardless of your down payment. If you have a 20% down payment, then you will not be asked to carry PMI, which will help you save thousands of dollars annually.

Conventional 97 Loan – this type of loan was created by Fannie Mae so as to compete with the low down payment offered by FHA loans. With only a 3% down payment and a credit score requirement of 680, you can be eligible for the conventional 97 programs.

VA Loan – if you are a Veteran, you can get a VA loan. It does not need mortgage insurance or down payment, which means this option is the easiest type of mortgage today.

USDA Loan – this program was created by the US Department of Agriculture to assist low-income home buyers in rural places of the country save money on their mortgage. If you are in a location that is eligible for a USDA loan, then you might be eligible. It does not need any down payment and its mortgage rate is just 0.35%.

203 Loan – in you are considering the purchase of a fixer-upper then there’s a renovation FHA Loan referred to as a 203k loan. You can purchase a home that requires repairs and obtains a loan for the purchase of the house and the cost of the home improvements and repairs required.

Fannie and Freddie 3% Down Loan – the two biggest buyers of mortgage loans are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They launched a 3% down payment program referred to as the conventional 97 mortgages so they can compete with the FHA loans.

FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage or EEM – assists borrowers in financing the home purchase and provides extra cash to for energy efficient improvements on the property.

Other Important Information

Who Is Considered As First Time Home Buyers?

In order to be considered as a first time home buyer, you should not have any homeownership over the past 3 years.

Do You Need A Down Payment?

There are programs that do not require down payment like USDA and VA loans. However, they can also be obtained by existing homeowners. There’s no kind of loan specifically for first time home buyers that do not need a down payment.

Which Loan Is Best For You?

First time home buyers have different needs when it comes to home loans. A certain type of loan may be ideal for one but not suitable for another.

However, the most popular home loan that are used by most first time home buyers these days are FHA loans. They have low down payment requirements and less strict qualification guidelines.

What Credit Score Qualifies For An FHA loan?

The Federal Housing Administration requires a credit score of at least 500 and a 10% down payment. If the borrower has a higher credit score, at least 580, then they will insure the loan with only a 3.5% down payment.

Key Takeaways

Purchasing a house for the very first time does not have to be a scary experience. Just follow the tips discussed above, work with a reputable Myrtle Beach real estate agent and loan officer and the process will surely run seamlessly.

Call Full Potential Real Estate, LLC  if you need the professional assistance of a real estate agent in buying a home. 

Full Potential Real Estate, LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

buying a home

Top Fears Of Buying A Home Debunked

buying a homeYou would love to own your very own home. However, whenever you start going window shopping, you feel scared and cannot move forward. We understand. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. If there is one thing that home buyers have in common, it’s that they are fearful of something. However, these fears are usually just figments of your imagination. In case you are harboring some scary thoughts, listed below are some of the top concerns of home buyers and how to deal with them.

I Can’t Afford A House

Some home buyers are possessed by fears that their whole savings account would all be spent on their new home. They will never be able to go on vacations, buy new clothes, or eat delicious food ever again. The truth is you are not likely to drain all of your savings but of course, that will depend on what and where you plan to buy a house. There are countless loan programs out there today to help you and other first time home buyers with down payment assistance. Many of them don’t need a severed arm or leg just for you to get a mortgage. The best way of determining whether you can afford to buy a home is to contact a loan officer. You can also key in your debts, income, and other info on a home affordability calculator available online so you can see how much you can afford without going broke.

I Might Not Be Able To Buy The Home I Like

The current economy might lead a few home buyers to think that purchasing means they will end up in a version of a horror movie set – a windowless pit that has lots of exposed plumbing. Actually, interest rates are quite low, letting homeowners get an excellent deal and pay less throughout the course of their loan. Additionally, with the economy on a downturn, several fantastic properties are on offer for under value.

What If I Buy A Money Pit?

You might have seen that movie where the life and bank account of Tom Hanks got shredded due to an old house that disintegrated rapidly. That is just a movie and that means not all houses are money pits. Even if the property has some potential issues like a leaking pipe, for instance, there are many things you can do to protect yourself and your investment. Before you buy anything, you should first hire a reputable home inspector who will be able to look for signs of water damage or any plumbing or electrical problems. A home inspector will also give you recommendations on potential repair costs, which can give you leverage when negotiating a price for the house.

I’m Worried I Might Overspend

The asking price for a home might seem like a hefty amount of cash. However, always remember that it is what the sellers are asking for, what they actually get can be far from what they have expected. Your real estate agent will help you come up with a realistic offer. A good real estate agent Myrtle Beach knows the price points well in the areas where you want to buy a house and they can support them with historical data and comps. Because you can look for the prices of homes that just got sold in a certain area recently, it will be easier for you to find out what the neighbors have paid for their home and get a better idea before you make an offer.

It Is Safer To Rent

Sure, renting means you won’t be trapped in a single place, unlike homeownership. However, rent money just disappears and it won’t let you build any equity as time goes by. If you are in doubt, you can always use a rent versus buy calculator to know if it is better for you to rent or buy a house in your area.

Call Full Potential Real Estate if you are thinking of buying a new home in Myrtle Beach.

Full Potential Real Estate, LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577