How to Get Ready to Jump Back in to the Real Estate Market

How to Get Ready to Jump Back in to the Real Estate Market
  • Opening Intro -

    Millions of Americans have been locked out of the real estate market as depressed home prices, unemployment, under employment and personal financial problems weigh in.

    But, conditions have improved since hitting the bottom a few years back, with some markets having made sufficient recovery to make it worth jumping back in again.


Whether you plan to buy or sell a home, the following advice can help you to get ready.

Review Your Credit

If you plan to buy a home, your credit rating will have a huge impact on whether you qualify for a home or not. This means pulling your three credit reports, information that you can obtain for free once annually from

Review your credit reports and address problems that are listed. If you are behind on payments, have a judgement against you or find outdated information, then it is time to address these issues. Errors should be disputed directly with each credit reporting bureau (i.e., TransUnion, Experian and Equifax). Follow the instructions the respective bureaus provide to address your concerns.

Work diligently to fix your problems and once repaired, obtain your credit score. Your score should be at least 700, what demonstrates very good credit management. Know that the higher your score the more likely you will be approved for a home loan and at a favorable interest rate, provided that you have sufficient income too.

Assemble Your Paperwork

When buying a home, you will need to assemble certain documents to provide to your lender. These documents include your income tax submissions for the past two years, recent pay stubs and other income information.

If you are selling a home, you may also need to provide a termite letter, a septic letter or a well letter, attesting that your home is free of termites, that the septic system is functioning and that the well is safe.

Other documentation that will be required at some point includes a land survey, hazard insurance, flood insurance (if applicable), and payoff information for your current mortgage(s). Other closing conditions will be reviewed with you by your attorney.

Go Mortgage Shopping

You need to have at least five percent down, perhaps much more when shopping for a home. The time to save is now as is the time to review your current funds. You may need to sell stock, cash in a life insurance policy or tap your retirement funds to have enough money to put down as well as cash in reserve. Talk with your financial advisor about your options and the tax implications.

Discover your mortgage options and obtain quotes from at least five different companies. Shop for a mortgage based on the type of loan you are comfortable with (e.g., a 30-year fixed rate mortgage) and compare rates, fees and closing costs between each one. When you find a mortgage you like, obtain a mortgage qualification letter. That letter you can show to demonstrate to a home seller that your finances are already in order.

Go Home Shopping

With your credit in order, your paperwork assembled and your mortgage in place, you are ready to shop for a home. You know how much home you can afford, so approach a real estate agent with that information and ask her to assist you.

Likely, you have some strong essentials for buying a home. That information you will tell your agent. Explain to her the type of home that you desire (i.e., ranch, bi-level, townhouse), the community that interests you and other factors including yard size, number of bedrooms and baths, and other must haves.

If you are not ready to meet with an agent, visit open houses to get a feel for the market. Open houses can give you a good idea what homes are available, the amenities offered and pricing. You will also gain an idea of what you want in a home, information that you can share with a real estate agent.

Buying and Selling

Both buyers and sellers have much to do before they jump back in to the real estate market. Buyers must have their finances in order while sellers must prepare the home for the buyer. Sellers also must consider where they will move to next and that may include buying a home themselves and retracing the steps mentioned here.



directory photos forms guide

Helpful article? Leave us a quick comment below.
And please share this article within your social networks.

facebook linkedin pinterest

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The commission earnings are used to defray our cost of operation.

View our FTC Disclosure for other affiliate information.

Categories: Home Financing

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".