TODAY   |  April 22, 2014

6 tips for buying, selling homes this spring

HGTV real estate expert Mike Aubrey says folks trying to sell their homes should focus on clean curb appeal and fresh walls and floors. And if you’re buying, he says, get a pre-commitment letter from your lender and hire an agent.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> when you drive through your neighborhood, take a look around and you'll probably see a lot of for sale signs .

>> spring is one of most popular times to buy or sell a home f y. there are some really good rules to live by.

>> here with the top three things you need to know before you sell and before you buy is real estate expert and host of hgtv's "power broker," mike aubrey is here. hi, mike. so how is the market right now overall in the country?

>> interestingly, about 30 minutes ago, they just released the existing home sale numbers. and we're up right now.

>> good.

>> a little bit.

>> which i think is great. but i think as we see inventory come up, we're going to see that that big pricing that we have been seeing over the last four months is probably going to begin to cool.

>> house construction and house buying is a real leading indicator of where the market is going.

>> right now, we can't build enough house s. i think builders are pretty happy.

>> let's talk about some rules. if you are a seller, you say the first impression, of course, is, like, the most important thing.

>> absolutely. i think buying a house is sort of like dating a woman. if you don't like how she looks, the first minute, you're out of there. and i can tell you that you have --

>> that's cold.

>> i know, right.

>> cold but accurate.

>> i think that, you know, that first 30 seconds, you pull up to a house , and it does not look good, you don't even want to go in.

>> you wasted your time, yeah. that's what they call curb appeal .

>> absolutely. curb appeal is hugely important.

>> you walk inside the house , what is the first thing? looking at the walls, looking at things like that first?

>> i think probably when you come into a house , it is going to be walls and floors. that's the first thing you see. walls and floors have probably the biggest impact in making your house sellable. if you have sort of new carpet, if you have freshly painted neutral walls, i think that's going to appeal to most buyers. remember, you're selling to the herd, not to a zebra.

>> if you -- price is such a huge issue, obviously. how much -- say you got a price in your mind, but all of a sudden curb appeal is so great, how often can you change that person's mind to spend a little bit more money just because of the curb appeal ?

>> i think that depends on the agent you're working with and certainly depends on where your own head is at. for me, i tell my clients up front, we're going to decide what our line in the sand is because if we get to that point, we're done. there is always more fish in the sea.

>> let's talk about buyers in the market. what is the most important thing that a buyer should have in mind?

>> i think right now one of the biggest things out there is getting a precommitment letter. not a preapproval letter there are so many buyers in the marketplace. over the past year, a third of the market has been catch buyers, investors back into the marketplace. getting a precommitment is when you put everything in and you have the loan underwritten all the way, except for an appraisal. meaning it is as good as money. that makes you more competitive in what has amounted to be a pretty tough marketplace.

>> people want to move -- they'll go that guy. you.

>> you got to have the right real estate agent . that can be a real problem.

>> real estate is so local. having a local expert is a big, big deal . as an example, i still sell and not everybody is going to like me. having good chemistry with your agent, making sure that agent is going to be somebody who wants and does the things you want, that's a big deal .

>> who doesn't like you, though? come on.

>> no shame in changing. you're not going -- it is going to be a bad experience areawise.

>> we got to go.

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