If you have been considering getting into the real estate market in Vermont, you likely already know what a big step this is. There is a lot to consider before listing or buying a home, and being sure that you plan properly is crucial. One of the first things that is beneficial to do is to take a look at real estate laws of Vermont. Getting a feel for what is required of you beforehand will help to determine if this is, in fact, the right time to get into the market. It will also help to protect you against any roadblocks or legal issues that could arise in the process.
After looking over the regulations for real estate in Vermont, the next big step is to get familiar with the current market conditions in the state. Start to get familiar with factors that affect the market, like local job growth and development. This will help you to get a sense of your own budget, and how it stacks up against the current real estate climate.
As you are considering your budget, and how it fits into the Vermont real estate market, keep in mind other costs related to real estate. One fee that is sometimes overlooked is commission fees related to selling a home. In Vermont this could equate to up to 6% of the total sale of a home. Saving on those fees is possible selling your home through yourself through a site like beycome. If going this way, you can take into account those fees and use them toward your budget in other areas.
The other factor to keep in mind with your budget is time. Having a more flexible timeline will give you a greater advantage when negotiating. On the other hand, know that a tight timeline may create more pressure to move forward with contracts before you might be ready.
After living in a home for a long time, it is common for small issues to build up that go unrepaired. While a broken light switch or leaky faucet might be something that has been able to sit on the back burner for the day to day, when selling a home these are repairs you will want to complete before listing. Having a budget for repairs is vital to a good financial home sale plan. This can go the other way, as well. Keep in mind that if you are open to doing work to a home you purchase, you will need to have that money budget for future repairs once the sale is complete.
You’ve looked over Vermont real estate laws, gotten a feel for the market, and decided you are ready to move forward with purchasing a home. Great! Vermont is a beautiful state, and a great place to put down some roots. Now it is time to consider how you will finance your home. There are a variety of mortgages available to home buyers in Vermont.
203k Rehab Loan
Some mortgages require more details to qualify than others. Talking to a lender can help you get an idea of which you qualify for, and how they relate to your home purchase. The lender can help you get pre-approved for a loan so that you are sure you are in a budget that fits your needs. Some things that you will need available in this process include a good credit score, proof of money down and savings, and proof of steady employment. Keep in mind that you will want to be sure your credit score stays the purchase process. Avoid accruing and new credit during home buying process.
Some mortgages do have fees associated. To find out how you can save money on mortagees, use a website like better.com.
While you are preparing to request pre-approval for a loan, be sure to gather all the needed documentation. You will need:
Social Security Numbers
Addresses for Involved Properties
Proof of Homeowners Insurance
If you have decided to bypass agent fees by selling your home yourself, use beycome to be sure you have what you need.
If you have started the process of researching buying a home in Vermont, it is likely that you already have some idea of what you might be interested in. Once you start looking, it helps to have a list of questions and needs ready when you go in to look at a property. Consider the big hitters like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as things that are easier to forget like proximity to neighbors, shopping or freeways.
So you have an idea of your basic needs in a home - size, location and amenities. The next thing to consider is the architecture and structure of a home. First, what style home do you like? Are you envisioning a cape cod style, with delicate wood accents? Maybe you are more interested in a modern home, or a farmhouse. The style of the home may affect more than the appearance, and could meant that they have different:
Closets and other Storage Spaces
Number of Rooms
Numbers of Floors
Garages or Parking
Numbers of Porches or Decks
While the interior of the house is vital to inspect, don’t forget that you are also buying the property around the house, and investing in your being a part of the larger environment. Keep in mind things like nearby firehouses or freeways that could add to noise levels, and also keep in mind if your own preference for needing a maintain noise levels if you are looking in a closely developed area.
As you are getting your list together, take the key elements that you are looking for and get a sense for what is available that comes close to fitting your needs. Start to do comparisons, and make lists of the homes that best suit your needs. There are a lot of ways to look for homes, including internet searches, open houses, and calling homeowners directly.
As you are searching for home that meet your needs, keep in mind questions related to the transaction that might affect your decision.
How do the price comparisons look?
How long have the homes in question been listed for sale by their owner?
Is there a deadline?
How much time do you have to make a decision?
Why are the owners selling the home?
Has it recently been refurbished, redecorated or renovated?
Are there any association fees?
What are the current utilities like?
Do not be afraid to ask questions.
If your primary method of searching out homes is through listings in publications or the internet, know that it makes a great difference to see a home in person. Consider narrowing down your list to homes that you are most interested in, then go to see them yourself. Keep an eye out for open houses, or get in touch with the seller to arrange a showing.
Once you have made it to see a home in person, it is important to take in as much information as you can, so that you have it available to compare and make decisions later. Photos with notes, paperwork available from the seller, and maybe another set of eyes all can help. Don’t be afraid to get up close and check on things like lighting, appliances, windows and doors. Test the water and outlets to be sure that everything is in working order. Look for any signs of pests. All of these will help to stack the home against others in your search.
Finding the home you are ready to make an offer on is exciting! Do know, however, that there is a lot more left to do once your offer is accepted. When you are making an offer, be sure to look into comparative market analysis to get a sense for area market values. Changing the local market within Vermont may change the cost of a home, and what would be considered a reasonable offer.
Do be sure that once you are ready to make an offer, you are also ready to move forward in a timely manner. Being on a good timeline will be sure that both sides are able to meet contingencies, which offer legal guidelines to home buying and make it possible to exit a contract if needed. It is possible to add contingencies, but the basics are:
Home inspection Contingency
Home Appraisal Contingency
In a competitive market, you might want to consider giving a higher offer than the house is listed for. You also could give a stronger offer if you are able to minimize the contingency periods, making the sale timeline shorter. Sometimes, it is possible to waive contingencies altogether.
Other things to consider in a tight market are how you present yourself, along with the offer. Adding a personal letter to state why you would be a great buyer can set you apart from others. You might also look at your budget to see if you can offer a larger earnest money deposit.
If your bid is considered too low by the seller, it is possible that they will reject it. This may lead to a bidding war if there are other potential buyers. Giving a strong offer, limiting contingencies, and making your case can help to keep these situation from coming up.
Those selling homes want to be sure that the contract closes quickly, and want to know that the buyer is not going to back out at the last minute, causing them to have to relist their home. Doing everything you can to prove that you are a committed buyer will keep your chances of getting your desired home high.
As the contract is processing, there will be final details to complete in the closing. Keep in mind any costs that might come up, including lender and third-party fees. These typically do not exceed 2-5% of the total home sale. Expect this process to take 30-45 days to complete, depending on how many contingencies are involved.
At closing, you will work with a title company to complete final paperwork and payments. These include ordering the title, finalizing inspection of the real estate (personally and professionally), purchasing insurance, and submitting the cashier’s check for down payment and closing costs. When all of these are completed, and all paperwork is sign, you will officially be a Vermont homeowner!
Vermont is known for its beautiful landscapes, and beach-side towns. There are plenty of ways to enjoy all that Vermont has to offer, from city life to lakeside cabins.
Lincoln Family Home: If you are near Manchester, spend some time at Hildene, the family home of Abraham Lincoln’s son and his descendants. Tour the historic home, and walk around the property gardens.
Church Street Marketplace: Great restaurants, shopping and community events make this the place to be in Burlington. Every season has something to offer.
Shelburne Museum: There is plenty to see to keep everyone occupied at this 39 building museum, named for the city where it is located.
Lake Champlain Chocolates: Anyone with a sweet tooth with love visiting this chocolate factory. Take a tour and taste some of the sweetness that Vermont has to offer.
April’s Maple: Like the name suggests, this is the place to find all things maple. Eat at the restaurant after a day of driving through the beautiful Canaan area in northern Vermont.
Okemo Mountain Resort: If you have been to Vermont in the winter, you know if can be quite snowy! Take advantage of the powder by checking out one of Vermont’s ski areas.
Southern Vermont Natural History Museum: Indoor activity more your thing? Check out this great museum in West Marlboro.
Norman Rockwell Museum: Another way to get connected to history is by checking out this famous Americana artist’s work.
Ben and Jerry’s: Visit the birthplace of the famous Vermont ice creamery!
University of Vermont: Located in Burlington, this is the largest university in Vermont with over 13,000 students. It is also one of the oldest, having been founded in 1791.
Champlain College: This non-profit school is also located in the college town of Burlington. The school has connections with campuses around the world, and strongly encourages study abroad.
Norwich University: Norwich is a military college located founded in 1819. It is considered the birthplace of the ROTC program.
Northern Vermont University: NVU has two campuses, one in Johnson and one in Lyndon, and offers over 50 academic programs.
Middlebury College: Founded in 1800, Middlebury College is the first college to operate in Vermont, and one of the first in New England to move to co-education (allowing women into the previously all male school).
Castleton University: Castleton is a liberal arts college with 2,000 students, known for its natural sciences programs.
Saint Michael’s College: Located on 40 acres in beautiful Colchester, Saint Michaels is a Catholic college with over 30 degree programs.
Vermont Technical College: VTC is part of the Vermont State Colleges, and has locations in Randolph Center and Williston. It is known for its small class sizes, which average around 14 students.
Bennington College: Bennington College is a private school, known for its visual arts program, which is one of the first to have been incorporated at an equal standing to the rest of their programs.
Monkey House: Great beer and great music are perfectly paired at this popular Vermont bar. Graft a rotating craft brew, and hang out for the jams.
Higher Ground: With a range of headliners, from big names to indie acts, this venue has something for everyone.
Nectars: Nectars is your one stop shop in Burlington for music, drinks and food. Spend the night here listening to great bands, and filling up on great grub.
Finnigans: Check out this classic Irish pug if you are in Burlington, and enjoy the variety of beers, and pull up a stool to watch a game.
Prohibition Pig Brewery: This hip Waterbury brewery is a great place to get craft beer and New American dishes, like duck fat fries.
Harrison’s Restaurant: Harrison’s offers an upscale dining experience in the town of Stowe, with a comfortable, family-run vibe.
Whetstone Station: If you are in Brattleboro, don’t miss stopping at Whetstone Station. Pick from over 60 beers, and enjoy by the fireplace, or outside looking over the river.
McNeill’s Brewery: As one of the oldest microbreweries in the country, this is a must stop for beer enthusiasts.
Club Metronome: From karaoke to headliners, this venue offers a great place to head for a night in Burlington.
Deciding to sell your home in Vermont is a big decision, that requires a good sales campaign to reach potential buyers. When you are considering your budget for a home sale, keep in mind that you will want to factor in costs associated with marketing your home. Also put aside money for any needed repairs, upgrades and inspections that will need to be done. Having your finances ready is an important first step to selling your home.
There is a strong market for homes for sale by owner in Vermont, and it is a great space to get into. Putting your home for sale yourself can save in closing costs related to realtor fees, though it does require some extra work. There are a lot of useful resources available to be sure that you are ready to go forward with your home sale.
Another great step to take is to make sure that your home is ready to sell. Walk through your home and make note of anything that needs to be fixed. Hire a professional for things where needed, or if you have the budget. Prioritize the biggest items that might deter buyers, like plumbing or electrical issues. Cosmetic changes can come after the basics are taken care of.
Keep in mind issues that are common to Vermont. Think water issues near the coast, or heating issues in the mountains. Consider questions like:
What were other homes sold in your area like?
Is your home in a better or worse state than they were during the sale?
How many repairs can you handle yourself?
Is the damage severe enough to require professional help?
One of the biggest decisions you will make in your home sale is how to price your property. Start by completing any repairs or upgrades. Once your home is ready to sell, do research to get a feel for what is happening in the Vermont market. Look at the market in general, then start to look for homes that are similar to yours that have been sold in the last quarter.
Looking online is a great place to start. You can search for results with things like “Vermont for sale by owner,” or “home for sale by owner Vermont.” Keep a list or spreadsheet of home prices, especially those that are similar to yours. Take a look at the average median for home costs in Vermont to get a sense for the overall market, but know that prices will vary depending on location within Vermont.
While looking online is a great place to start, take advantage of any opportunity you have to look in person at homes for sale, especially any that are similar to your property. Getting to see a space in person will give you an idea of what needs to be present in your home to match the price of the home you are looking at, and help to give you a sense for what a fair asking price is.
As you look at a variety of homes in Vermont, you will start to get a sense for what is popular in fast selling homes in the area. Take note of things that seem to be desirable, especially when it comes to common upgrades. Some areas to consider are the kitchen, bathroom, its exterior, and the roof. Keep track of anything you notice that you still might want to adjust in your home, and make those updates before deciding on a price. Once you feel comfortable, choose a price that fits well into the pricing averages you have noticed in your Vermont market.
Once you have decided to sell and come up with a price, it is time to let the world know that you are selling your property. Come up with a marketing plan, with a wide variety of ways to reach potential buyers. There a plenty of places online to lists homes, like Craigslist, that are user friendly, and will allow you to reach many people quickly.
beycome offers several services to help your real estate marketing campaign including:
Listing on your Local MLS
Listing on top real estate sites
Full listing on beycome
Virtual Tour & YouTube© Video
Printable promotional items
Full legal offers online
Home Visit Manager
Open House Scheduler
Getting your home out on the internet is a great first step to marketing your property, but there are plenty of other options available, as well. Many local publications have real estate sections that you can advertise in. Putting a sign in the yard is an obvious step, but adding fliers will draw even more people to the lot.
Potential buyers want to see everything that you have to offer, and want to know what to expect when they see the inside of your home. Creating eye catching marketing material is key to getting people interested in coming in to see more. Consider reaching out to local photographers and/or graphic designers to help you create great promotional material. A great headline will help, letting people know that your home is for sale by owner in Vermont.
Along with providing details about your property, it is also a great idea to let potential buyers know about the area that you are selling in. Include things like proximity to schools or shopping, how it is located on the street (quiet cul-de-sac?), or any other points of interest. Let people know that they want to live not only in your house, but in your neighborhood.
Vermont is a beautiful state with a steady demand for real estate. If you are thinking of selling your home in Vermont, remember to take advantage or promoting all the area has to offer. Consider listing your property yourself to avoid real estate agent fees, and work with Beycome to get quick results. Take advantage of the growing Vermont real estate market, and get involved today!
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