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The Very Best Real Estate Advice of 2018 That You’ve Just Gotta See Again

December 16, 2018

Navigating the home-buying and -selling process is kind of like diving into “Game of Thrones” for the first time: People speak in a language you don’t quite understand. There’s backstory you should research before you get started. And ideally, you’d have someone by your side who knows what’s coming and who can guide you through the experience.

Yes, buying, owning, and selling a home comes with its own share of drama and plot twists. But rest assured: We’re here to help guide you! That’s why we’ve doled out so much expert advice over the past 12 months on every possible real estate topic we could think of.

But what was most useful to you? In no particular order, here are our most-read advice pieces of 2018—the greatest hits that resonated with you the most and (hopefully!) have helped make your real estate journey a little less overwhelming. (Just click the headlines to read the full story.)

6 Home Maintenance Tasks You May Not Even Realize You Have to Do

Does anyone actually like the tedium of home maintenance tasks? We’re doubtful. (Although if you’re out there and single, call me!) But when you’re a homeowner, regular—and monotonous—maintenance comes with the territory.

And sure, you might think you know what you have to do to keep your house in order—mow the lawn, clean the gutters, sweep your chimney. But we guarantee there are some small things you’re overlooking—things that can create big problems and enormous repair bills.

Can’t-miss tip: Clean your refrigerator drip pan. Your what now? If you didn’t know your fridge has one of these, you’re not alone. It turns out, like with belly buttons, we all have one—and it can get pretty gross (and moldy) if you don’t clean it regularly.

But to clean your drip pan, first you have to find it. Just remove the kick panel at the bottom of your refrigerator, then use a flashlight to trace the defrost drain line to the pan. Pull out the pan carefully (it could be full of water), then empty and wash it with an all-purpose cleaner.

5 Mortifying Reasons Mortgage Applications End Up in the ‘Reject’ Pile

mortgage rejection
Don’t let your dream home dreams die with a mortgage rejection.

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

You’ve scrimped and saved for your first home, and you’ve already mentally moved in. But then, in a cruel and humiliating twist of fate, your mortgage application is rejected. How could this happen to you, of all people?

According to a Federal Reserve study, 1 in 8 mortgage applications (12%) is rejected. And often those rejections are the result of something you could have easily avoided.

Can’t miss tip: If you’re a Venmo-only kind of gal, or you’ve avoided using credit cards (debt’s bad, right?), it’s time to rethink your fiscal approach and swipe that plastic.

Credit cards allow you to establish a credit history—proof of a strong track record of paying off past debts. (Of course, don’t forget to actually pay those bills.) Without that credit history, lenders will likely be reluctant to fork over loan money they can’t be certain they’ll get back.

How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets—and What If You Don’t?

washing your sheets
Get thee to a laundromat.

iStock; realtor.com

Quick: When was the last time you changed your sheets? If you can’t remember, we won’t judge—you’re in good company (38% of Americans wash their sheets less than once a week). But after you read this, you might want to strip your bed, pronto.

This year, we launched a series where we put all aspects of homeownership under a microscope—literally. In “According to Science,” we take a look at the scientific reasons behind what’s happening in your home, the weird stuff that can be avoided, and, in this instance, what’s lurking under your covers.

“Body oils, sweat, and sloughed-off skin,” answers Bill Carroll Jr., an adjunct professor of chemistry at Indiana University. “We live in a world of pathogens, and not all are virulent enough to take us down. But can bedclothes spread disease? Kind of.” Yuck.

Can’t miss tip: We’ll let you read up on the bacterial Armageddon that’s happening every day you don’t wash your sheets. But if you want to slow down the invasion, just make a simple adjustment to your bed-making routine: Each morning, pull all the covers down from the fitted sheet and let things air out for a few minutes. This lets the sweat and moisture evaporate from your sheets.

7 Mistakes People Make Handling Deceased Family Members’ Estates

Don’t make these mistakes.

Punkbarby/iStock

This one might seem macabre, but dealing with a deceased family member’s estate is, unfortunately, a part of life. And not an easy one: Figuring out what to do with your loved one’s property and possessions, all while you’re grieving, can feel like a one-two punch. So it’s understandable that mistakes happen. We ID’d the biggest ones to avoid during this turbulent time.

Can’t-miss tip: When you’re going through a loved one’s belongings, it’s easy to overvalue the sentimental stuff and undervalue the things that are unfamiliar to you. Rather than unwittingly letting go of something rare and valuable, talk to an appraiser before you get started.

How Much Below the Asking Price Should You Offer on a House? Answers Here!

“I’d love to pay more for that house than I have to!” said no one ever.

Every home buyer wants to score a deal, and the most obvious place to start is with the house’s sticker price. Offering below asking is a common tactic, but not one that always works. How low can you go before you offend the seller—and ruin your chances of landing your dream home?

Can’t miss tip: In the same way you should know how long that leftover chicken parm has been in your fridge, you should know how long any house you’re eyeing has been on the market. If you’re familiar with the property history, you can get a better idea of demand for the house—and whether the listing is getting stale.

“Two days on the market? Probably not a good idea to go in with a lowball offer $50,000 below asking price,” Jennifer Carlson of Coldwell Banker in East Greenwich, RI, told us. “A whole year on the market, with price reductions? Go ahead and roll the dice. The longer a house has been on the market, the less of an upper hand the seller has in negotiation.”

The number of days on market is public on most online listings, and if not, any good real estate agent should know.

7 Decluttering Myths That Could Derail Your Dreams of an Organized Home

decluttering myths
Are your decluttering efforts doing more harm than good?

iStock

Decluttering seems like the last thing you’d be able to screw up. Isn’t it just sorting and tossing?

Well, sure, that’s a big part of it. But a good decluttering session (yes, there’s good and bad) hinges on more than just purging. And if you go into decluttering mode assuming you know how to do it right, you could end up with more stuff than you started with.

Can’t miss tip: We’ve been conditioned by organizing gurus like Marie Kondo to keep only the things that “spark joy” and to toss everything else. We don’t disagree entirely. But realistically, some exceptions should be made.

“Let’s be clear: My diaper pail does not spark joy, but it’s an essential item that is used every day in my home,” Laura Kinsella, owner of Urban OrgaNYze in New York City, told us.

Declutter with this thought in mind, she says: Is this item beautiful in my home or does it prove to be useful? If the answer is no, then it’s probably time for it to go.

The One Room That’ll Make Buyers Bail, Even If They Love the House

room that makes buyers bail
What dark secret is your home hiding?

iStock

You know the one. You’re touring a home, loving every aspect of it, and then bam! You turn a corner and see a space that just kills the whole home-buying mood.

Can’t miss tip: Got an empty room? You might think it’s a selling point: Look at all that space! The buyers can envision themselves in your home without your stuff in the way!

But “empty rooms can kill a home sale, especially if the other rooms are furnished,” real estate analyst Allison Bethell told us.

A room without furniture leaves the buyer wondering if it’s unnecessary space. Plus, any imperfections will stand out. If you have an empty room, stage it as an office, crafts room, or guest bedroom.

The post The Very Best Real Estate Advice of 2018 That You’ve Just Gotta See Again appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

So Nice We Did It Twice: The 2018 Real Estate Advice You’d Better Not Miss

December 13, 2018

Navigating the home-buying and -selling process is kind of like diving into “Game of Thrones” for the first time: People speak in a language you don’t quite understand. There’s backstory you should research before you get started. And ideally, you’d have someone by your side who knows what’s coming and who can guide you through the experience.

Yes, buying, owning, and selling a home comes with its own share of drama and plot twists. But rest assured: We’re here to help guide you! That’s why we’ve doled out so much expert advice over the past 12 months on every possible real estate topic we could think of.

But what was most useful to you? In no particular order, here are our most-read advice pieces of 2018—the greatest hits that resonated with you the most and (hopefully!) have helped make your real estate journey a little less overwhelming. (Just click the headlines to read the full story.)

6 Home Maintenance Tasks You May Not Even Realize You Have to Do

Does anyone actually like the tedium of home maintenance tasks? We’re doubtful. (Although if you’re out there and single, call me!) But when you’re a homeowner, regular—and monotonous—maintenance comes with the territory.

And sure, you might think you know what you have to do to keep your house in order—mow the lawn, clean the gutters, sweep your chimney. But we guarantee there are some small things you’re overlooking—things that can create big problems and enormous repair bills.

Can’t-miss tip: Clean your refrigerator drip pan. Your what now? If you didn’t know your fridge has one of these, you’re not alone. It turns out, like with belly buttons, we all have one—and it can get pretty gross (and moldy) if you don’t clean it regularly.

But to clean your drip pan, first you have to find it. Just remove the kick panel at the bottom of your refrigerator, then use a flashlight to trace the defrost drain line to the pan. Pull out the pan carefully (it could be full of water), then empty and wash it with an all-purpose cleaner.

5 Mortifying Reasons Mortgage Applications End Up in the ‘Reject’ Pile

mortgage rejection
Don’t let your dream home dreams die with a mortgage rejection.

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

You’ve scrimped and saved for your first home, and you’ve already mentally moved in. But then, in a cruel and humiliating twist of fate, your mortgage application is rejected. How could this happen to you, of all people?

According to a Federal Reserve study, 1 in 8 mortgage applications (12%) is rejected. And often those rejections are the result of something you could have easily avoided.

Can’t miss tip: If you’re a Venmo-only kind of gal, or you’ve avoided using credit cards (debt’s bad, right?), it’s time to rethink your fiscal approach and swipe that plastic.

Credit cards allow you to establish a credit history—proof of a strong track record of paying off past debts. (Of course, don’t forget to actually pay those bills.) Without that credit history, lenders will likely be reluctant to fork over loan money they can’t be certain they’ll get back.

How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets—and What If You Don’t?

washing your sheets
Get thee to a laundromat.

iStock; realtor.com

Quick: When was the last time you changed your sheets? If you can’t remember, we won’t judge—you’re in good company (38% of Americans wash their sheets less than once a week). But after you read this, you might want to strip your bed, pronto.

This year, we launched a series where we put all aspects of homeownership under a microscope—literally. In “According to Science,” we take a look at the scientific reasons behind what’s happening in your home, the weird stuff that can be avoided, and, in this instance, what’s lurking under your covers.

“Body oils, sweat, and sloughed-off skin,” answers Bill Carroll Jr., an adjunct professor of chemistry at Indiana University. “We live in a world of pathogens, and not all are virulent enough to take us down. But can bedclothes spread disease? Kind of.” Yuck.

Can’t miss tip: We’ll let you read up on the bacterial Armageddon that’s happening every day you don’t wash your sheets. But if you want to slow down the invasion, just make a simple adjustment to your bed-making routine: Each morning, pull all the covers down from the fitted sheet and let things air out for a few minutes. This lets the sweat and moisture evaporate from your sheets.

7 Mistakes People Make Handling Deceased Family Members’ Estates

Don’t make these mistakes.

Punkbarby/iStock

This one might seem macabre, but dealing with a deceased family member’s estate is, unfortunately, a part of life. And not an easy one: Figuring out what to do with your loved one’s property and possessions, all while you’re grieving, can feel like a one-two punch. So it’s understandable that mistakes happen. We ID’d the biggest ones to avoid during this turbulent time.

Can’t-miss tip: When you’re going through a loved one’s belongings, it’s easy to overvalue the sentimental stuff and undervalue the things that are unfamiliar to you. Rather than unwittingly letting go of something rare and valuable, talk to an appraiser before you get started.

How Much Below the Asking Price Should You Offer on a House? Answers Here!

“I’d love to pay more for that house than I have to!” said no one ever.

Every home buyer wants to score a deal, and the most obvious place to start is with the house’s sticker price. Offering below asking is a common tactic, but not one that always works. How low can you go before you offend the seller—and ruin your chances of landing your dream home?

Can’t miss tip: In the same way you should know how long that leftover chicken parm has been in your fridge, you should know how long any house you’re eyeing has been on the market. If you’re familiar with the property history, you can get a better idea of demand for the house—and whether the listing is getting stale.

“Two days on the market? Probably not a good idea to go in with a lowball offer $50,000 below asking price,” Jennifer Carlson of Coldwell Banker in East Greenwich, RI, told us. “A whole year on the market, with price reductions? Go ahead and roll the dice. The longer a house has been on the market, the less of an upper hand the seller has in negotiation.”

The number of days on market is public on most online listings, and if not, any good real estate agent should know.

7 Decluttering Myths That Could Derail Your Dreams of an Organized Home

decluttering myths
Are your decluttering efforts doing more harm than good?

iStock

Decluttering seems like the last thing you’d be able to screw up. Isn’t it just sorting and tossing?

Well, sure, that’s a big part of it. But a good decluttering session (yes, there’s good and bad) hinges on more than just purging. And if you go into decluttering mode assuming you know how to do it right, you could end up with more stuff than you started with.

Can’t miss tip: We’ve been conditioned by organizing gurus like Marie Kondo to keep only the things that “spark joy” and to toss everything else. We don’t disagree entirely. But realistically, some exceptions should be made.

“Let’s be clear: My diaper pail does not spark joy, but it’s an essential item that is used every day in my home,” Laura Kinsella, owner of Urban OrgaNYze in New York City, told us.

Declutter with this thought in mind, she says: Is this item beautiful in my home or does it prove to be useful? If the answer is no, then it’s probably time for it to go.

The One Room That’ll Make Buyers Bail, Even If They Love the House

room that makes buyers bail
What dark secret is your home hiding?

iStock

You know the one. You’re touring a home, loving every aspect of it, and then bam! You turn a corner and see a space that just kills the whole home-buying mood.

Can’t miss tip: Got an empty room? You might think it’s a selling point: Look at all that space! The buyers can envision themselves in your home without your stuff in the way!

But “empty rooms can kill a home sale, especially if the other rooms are furnished,” real estate analyst Allison Bethell told us.

A room without furniture leaves the buyer wondering if it’s unnecessary space. Plus, any imperfections will stand out. If you have an empty room, stage it as an office, crafts room, or guest bedroom.

The post So Nice We Did It Twice: The 2018 Real Estate Advice You’d Better Not Miss appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

‘The Best Home-Buying Advice I’ve Heard, Ever’

October 18, 2018

If you’re house hunting, you’re probably getting snowed with advice from well-meaning friends and family members on which neighborhoods are hot, how so-and-so is selling a place you have to see … and plenty more. That’s all fine if you have an insatiable appetite for info, but what if you’re a bit more discerning about the tips and tricks you want delivered your way?

We asked home buyers and real estate agents to share not just any old advice, but the very best home buying advice they’ve ever heard. These tips can help you save money, keep you from losing money, and stop you from making a real estate purchase you regret. So pay attention, dear home buyers!

Buy less house than you can afford … just in case

“Growing up, my parents bought several homes, and one of the lessons my mother, a civil service worker and longtime beautician, instilled in me was never to buy more house than you can afford. This came back to me when my husband and I bought our home 26 years ago. When our first real estate agent learned my husband was retired from the military and had a second career at a prestigious local hospital, she suggested we could afford a much larger, more expensive house than we told her we were seeking. We stuck to our desire not to be ‘house rich and cash poor.’ That decision came in handy when I was laid off from my job and we were still able to make our payment.” —Carol Gee, homeowner in Atlanta, GA

Don’t forget about maintenance costs

“The best advice I’ve ever heard is to not focus so much on your mortgage payments that you lose sight of the fact that a home has maintenance costs, too. The size of the property, as well as the age of the home, will impact your budget for annual maintenance and repair costs, but you can ballpark about 1% to 4% of the purchase price. Ask the sellers what they pay to get a better ballpark, and don’t neglect those tasks. Not performing small tasks around the home can increase energy costs and is likely to lead to expensive repairs if appliances and materials are not properly maintained. Trust me, you’ll end up paying more in the long run if you let it slide.” —John Bodrozic, real estate agent, HomeZada, Sacramento, CA

Explore mortgage options beyond the usual 30-year loan

“While a 30-year mortgage with a fixed interest rate is great for many home buyers, it isn’t for everybody. It depends on your finances and living situation. While I was house hunting, a mortgage lender gave me the great advice to deviate from the standard 30-year mortgage and look into a 15-year mortgage. I heeded the advice and saved thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. Best financial decision of my life.” —Adorn Lewis-Mitchell, homeowner in Chicago, IL

Leave the kids at home when you house hunt

“The last thing any home buyer with kids would want is for their child to fall in love with a home that may not be ‘the one’ for some reason. Only when you have narrowed your search down to the one home you want to buy should you bring your kids in and ask what they think. Even if the decision is almost made, they will appreciate that you sought their input, which can make all the difference in how they settle in.” —Adam Leitman Bailey, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., New York, NY

Visit the house at different times of the day

“Always drive through a neighborhood at different times of the day and night before purchasing a home. A neighborhood that is quiet and peaceful during the day may have an entirely different atmosphere at night. And if you can, try to drive through a neighborhood during different types of weather; you may find that beautiful yard turns into a lake when rains are heavy, or that all the snow or leaves end up at the end of a hill … and in your yard.” —Tangela Walker-Craft, homeowner in Lakeland, FL

Check for any upcoming construction in the area

“The best advice I’ve ever heard is, in addition to checking out the house and neighborhood as it looks today, check for any planned construction in the area before you make an offer. On the one hand, more buildings or houses could add traffic and noise, or possibly even block a great view. Just keep in mind that construction isn’t always bad; it also might bring new amenities and signal that the area is becoming more desirable, potentially increasing your home’s value.” —Gannon Forrester, real estate agent, Warburg Realty, New York, NY

Money isn’t everything with an offer

“The best advice I’ve ever heard—and given—is that the highest offer doesn’t always win. For example, a lower offer might still look appealing if you promise a high earnest money deposit, or you don’t have a contingency to sell an existing house or secure financing. Ask your agent to try to suss out the seller’s motivation, which you can use to guide you when formulating your offer so that it really appeals to a seller in a way that works far better than a few extra thousand dollars.” —Cornelius Charles, real estate agent, Dream Home Property Solutions, LLC, Ventura County, CA

The post ‘The Best Home-Buying Advice I’ve Heard, Ever’ appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Here’s the Very Best Real Estate Advice of July—Decided by You

August 3, 2018

As we say a fond farewell to July, it’s worth acknowledging that, despite being prime home-selling season, it can in fact be a challenge trying to show or renovate a place between fireworks on the 4th and weekend barbecues. And now that there’s only one official month of summer left, those who are determined to cross a real estate to-do task off their list before Labor Day had better get cracking!

And that’s where we can help—by rounding up the best real estate advice of this month, as decided by you. Here are some of July’s top advice stories that you viewed and shared about buying, selling, and renovating your humble abode—and the best nugget of wisdom from each to whet your appetite.

Too Hot for House Hunters? 5 Home-Selling Tactics That Sizzle During Summer

It’s never too hot for an open house—if you lay out some good bait like a barbecue.

KLH49/iStock; realtor.com

Your open house is likely to have a ton of competition in the summer, and not just from other sellers. With picnics and long weekends stealing some of the spotlight, home sellers looking for an offer before September need to stand out. And luckily, there’s plenty you can do.

Can’t-miss tip: Adapt an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mentality by turning your open house into a barbecue or pool party.

“Advertise it as a party instead of simply an open house,” says Brett Fischer, associate broker at Lee & Associates Residential in New York, NY.

Forget about those freshly baked cookies and bottled water. Instead, fire up the grill to serve sliders and pour lemonade or iced tea. The result will be a homey event that feels more like a fun celebration than a sales pitch.

Bonus: The party will shine a spotlight on your fantastic outdoor space.

Move or Improve? These Scenarios Will Help You Decide How to Spend Your Dough

July roundup
To expand or move, that is the question we help you answer.

Lex20/iStock; LightFieldStudios/iStock; realtor.com

If your home, sweet home, is feeling more like a home, small home, you may start dreaming of extra square footage. So how do you figure out if you should add to your current home or dig into savings to buy a new house? To move or improve is not an easy choice. You may love your house and your neighbors. Or you may be looking for a fresh start.

We’ve come up with a definitive list to help you decide whether you should start over in a new place—or transform your existing property. (And yes, it includes your mom.)

Can’t-miss tip: One surefire sign you should move is if the addition you want to build will make your abode the biggest house in your neighborhood.

“Before expanding, families should make sure they’re not adding on in a neighborhood with smaller homes,” says Christina Souretis, a real estate professional in Duxbury, MA.

Why, you ask? Because if you do decide to sell, unloading the most expensive home on the block typically isn’t easy.

How to Mow a Lawn, and When: Odds Are, You’re Doing It All Wrong

July roundup
Learn how to keep your grass greener.

spyderskidoo/iStock

If you have acres of land or a small patch of green, you need to know how to mow your lawn. And whether you ride a mower or push one, there’s a right and very wrong way to keep your grass trim.

Believe it or not, lawn maintenance is more than simply moving around a mower. To help you out, we’ve put together a comprehensive Lawn Lover’s Guide. And we reveal everything you need to know about keeping your grass greener—from the best time to tackle this chore to how often to fire up the mower.

Can’t-miss tip: Take care not to overmow. This may seem counterintuitive—cutting your grass short means less time between mowings, right? Not exactly.

“We advise against cutting more than one-third of the grass leaf at a time,” says Debra Morrow, vice president of marketing at ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design in Venice, FL. “Your lawn will need less water, be more resistant to weeds, and have a deeper, greener color. Mowing your grass too short just stresses your grass and invites pests and diseases.”

‘White-Boxing’ Is the Hot New Real Estate Strategy That Lets Buyers Visualize Their Dream Home

what is white boxing?
“White-boxing” lets buyers of luxe homes start designing from scratch.

yenwen/iStock

“White-boxing” is not some new, austere way to wrap presents. It’s the opposite of traditional staging in a home to attract buyers. Instead of bringing in designer furniture and decor, home sellers—especially those with high-end properties—tear out everything in a home before showing the property.

As weird as it may seem, the idea behind white-boxing is to let prospective home buyers start from scratch, with a blank canvas. But it’s not always a good idea, so we outlined when white-boxing makes sense and when it can be a massive mistake.

Can’t-miss tip: White-boxing works best in the luxury real estate markets in places like New York City and Los Angeles, where sweeping views—and not just the interior—is a major selling point of a home.

“As recently as a few years ago, it would be relatively rare for a seller to go to market with unfinished luxury space. But now, there’s increasing recognition that ‘designer-ready’ is exceedingly more attractive than ‘move-in ready’ to the ultrawealthy,” Josh Greer of Hilton & Hyland told CNBC.

Why Flushing the Toilet With the Lid Up Is Grosser Than You Even Imagined

Why Flushing the Toilet With the Lid Up Is Grosser Than You Imagined
Here’s everything you never really wanted to know about flushing. (You’re welcome!)

Anetlanda/iStock; realtor.com

Likely taking up very little of your mental space is the position of the toilet lid when you flush. Please reconsider. Because the one rule we should all agree on in the bathroom is to close the lid when flushing. And if you think this isn’t important, you obviously don’t know what really happens when you pull down the lever. It’s called “the aerosol effect,” and it showers you with fecal bacteria and viruses. Yes, you read that correctly.

Can’t-miss tip: Be on alert when you flush in a public bathroom. The valve-type toilets often found there are really powerful when it comes to a spray radius.

“I always flush and run,” explains Charles P. Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona.

And remember what Mom told you: Use your foot, not your hand, to press down the lever.

8 Things Parents Wish They’d Checked Before Buying Their House

July roundup
Read up on tips to find a home perfect for your brood.

monkeybusinessimages/iStock

There’s a list of kid-friendly features all parent buyers know by heart: extra room, good school district, and stairs wide enough to get down on a diapered rear end. But what about those hindsight insights that other parents found out too late? We’ve rounded ’em all up. So please make your life easier and keep your children safe by reading this list of features that even the most dedicated parents can overlook on the house hunt.

Can’t-miss tip: All parents know how crucial having a yard for their children is. But unless you’re outside playing tag as much as they are, make sure a home has easy sightlines to the backyard. And the most important views to check out are from the kitchen. For instance, make sure you can cook dinner while the kids play. A backyard will turn into a hassle if you can’t keep an eye on your kids.

Beat the Crowds! How to Buy a House Before It Officially Hits the Market

July roundup
Want to learn some secret ways to snag a house before it hits the multiple listing service?

SvetaZi/iStock; realtor.com

Buying a home means a lot of time trolling listings. And when a good one pops up, buyers have to immediately snag a showing before the other buyers out there start bidding. It’s not exactly a fun process! But if you had access to homes before they officially hit the market, it can help you snag your dream house long before those other buyers even see the listing. If you want to win the house-buying game, check out these secrets for beating out your competition.

Can’t-miss tip: Psst. You need to infiltrate local parenting groups. Because parents are all in “transitional periods—with newborns, babies on the way, or young children heading off to school,” says real estate investor Steve Davis, founder of Real Wealth Academy. “Thus the likelihood of these families looking to move is very high.”

The post Here’s the Very Best Real Estate Advice of July—Decided by You appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.