The average small business owner often finds the home buying or selling process a challenge. When buying, unless paying “all cash,” there’s the loan qualification process. In the past we self-employed buyers had to jump through so many hoops to get a loan and provide so much documentation that many continued to rent or remained in a home that was no longer suitable. Great news! Lenders now have “No Documentation” and “Low Documentation” and “Stated Income” products that have streamlined the approval process and made it far simpler.

Finding the time to look at homes can be tough. We usually schedule a weekend day to view the existing inventory and if we happen to find one that meets our needs, great! Unfortunately in a “low-inventory” market like we have now, that is not often the case. We tell our agent, and if you’re a busy small business owner, you should be working with an agent, “call me when anything new comes on the market.” Your agent can be a tremendous help by constantly monitoring the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and calling you just as soon as a home comes on. When a “hot” new home shows up on the MLS your agent calls and asks “when in the next 30 minutes can you take a look?” you need to work in the time to see the home before someone else makes an offer. This will give you an edge over buyers that just wait for a For Sale sign to appear or a Sunday Open House. By then the best homes are under contract.

When selling a home or investment property, there are tasks you simply don’t have the time to do yourself. Your agent can provide referrals to contractors for sprucing the property up to get top dollar and inspectors to see what repairs are needed. They can meet with contractors and get estimates while you’re at the office doing what you do best, running your business! Even if you plan to sell “AS IS,” you need to disclose what “AS IS” really means and a pre-sale home inspection will accomplish that. You can decide what you will and won’t fix. Disclosing the condition of the property before or during the negotiating phase is better than the buyer “discovering” problems during the contingency period and deciding to cancel.

Buying or selling real estate is much easier for a small business owner than ever before and with mortgage interest rates at an historic low, this could be the year to make a move!

”’Walt Harvey, (R), ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, ePRO, is a real estate broker with East Oahu Realty and works with his wife Arla. They specialize in residential real estate and can be reached on their Web site at:”’ http://www.coastalhawaii.com

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