With the economy on a slow rise back to normalcy, many are still unsure of whether they should be buying or selling a home. Despite the uneasiness you may feel, you don’t necessarily have to stay put, explains Debbie Brassel, Broker with RE/MAX Alliance Group. 602-309-9990 For people looking to buy, now is a very good time, she says. "With the all-time low mortgage interest rates, it is the perfect time for first-time buyers, investors and existing homeowners who are looking to upgrade to purchase a property. We got Debbie's best advice for weathering the still unsteady economy. Whether you're a buyer, seller or both, check out these 8 tips for navigating the real estate market successfully. Tips for buyers 1 It's all about location Whether you're a first-time buyer, investor or existing homeowner, you need to understand the best locations for your investment, Debbie says. "Buying the smallest house on the best street versus the largest house on a less preferred street will reap big rewards when it comes time to sell." As an investor, a condominium that is near public transit or a university is a good move. 2 Know your credit rating It's best not to just assume your credit rating is in order. To avoid getting any surprises before you meet with a lender, check your rating first so you have time to resolve any issues that might stand in your way of buying. 3 Know your price range and stick to it Meet with one or more mortgage lenders to obtain a pre-approved mortgage before you start house hunting, Debbie says. Once you know how much you can spend you can narrow down your choices. It's safer to buy within your budget, no matter the economic situation. Tips for sellers 1 Refresh and beautify Getting your home ready for sale is crucial. Debbie suggests considering a consultation from a professional stager so your home's potential is maximized when potential buyers see it. Think about getting rid of clutter, adding stylish accents to tired furniture and tidying the yard for curb appeal. 2 Upgrade and update You don't have to completely renovate your home, but consider updating areas that are tired, such as replacing a kitchen counter and sink or replacing worn carpeting. Adding hardwood to a room or two is also helpful as this upgrade is becoming very popular to buyers, Debbie says. READ ALSO : The Shape of Things 3 Make sure the price is right Price your property right the first time, according to the current market conditions in your area. Some sellers believe that if they overprice their property, they have more room to negotiate or they can always reduce it later, Debbie says. "This strategy can really hurt the seller." Prospective buyers will search for homes within their price range. If your home is listed too high, buyers may skip over it. 4 Don’t worry about a closing date conflict If you receive a great offer on your home but the closing date is up to 30 days later than the closing date of the property you already purchased, don't sweat it, Debbie says. Most mortgage lenders will approve bridge financing for approximately 30 days, if all conditions have been removed and you have a firm sale. For peace of mind, speak to your current lender prior to listing your property to confirm this, she suggests. 5 Get the best representation Your home is most likely your largest investment so you'll want to feel comfortable when you go to sell it. Start off right by selecting a real estate agent who you feel you can trust, Debbie, that has been in the business for over 33 years says. Find someone who has a solid marketing plan plus a proven track record of successful negotiated sales. Please feel free to call or email me with questions or concerns. I will be honored to help you. Debbie Brassel, 602-309-9990 or debbiebrassel@gmail.com www.phxhomesforsale.com