Improve Your Credit Score

Those looking for a home should check their credit score before things get too serious. There’s nothing worse than learning that your credit report contains a late payment that can prevent you from buying a property.

The higher your credit score, the better. A score of at least 620 will give you a good chance to secure a home loan; 720 should qualify in most cases.

However, a lower score doesn’t mean you can’t finance a home. Credit repair begins with your credit report. You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from the Federal Trade Commission at AnnualCreditReport.com. Check it for errors.

blog2There are steps to fix negative marks:

If you’ve missed a payment: Call the creditor and ask to erase the negative listing. A well-documented letter can also help. There is no guarantee that a creditor will do this, but if you’ve been a good customer through the years, this method has proven to be successful.

If you have defaulted on a student loan: You can enter into a “rehab program,” which will get your account back on track after 12 months. It may not be the quick fix you need when buying a home, but the sooner the better.

For disputing a negative mark that was not your fault: Try disputing the account with the credit bureaus as “not mine.”

One way to boost your credit score is to have an older family member with a sound credit rating add you as an authorized user on a credit card. This can help increase your score. You don’t even need the card in your possession. With loans requiring higher credit scores, it’s never too early to start fixing credit challenges.

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Final Walk-Through

blog1You found the perfect house, made an offer, negotiated the price, had an inspection and ensured your mortgage. The only thing left is your final walk-through.

Walk-throughs are normally scheduled the day of, or day before the settlement, as the seller should be completely moved out. The object is to ensure that the house stands in the same condition as when you agreed to buy it.

This is not the time to nitpick about nail holes or carpet imperfections. Unless you’ve negotiated allowances for such issues, you’ll have to address them later after you’ve settled.

What could impact the transaction is property or fixtures that the seller agreed to leave behind are missing (e.g., a washing machine, pool table, garage cabinets, etc.) or if the seller leaves things that were supposed to be removed (e.g., paint cans, furniture, etc.).

With your agent at your side, be sure that obligatory repairs flagged during the home inspection are completed to code and satisfaction. If the seller agreed to replace an aging water heater but didn’t do it, this must be accounted for during settlement.

You may be eager to leave the house and get to the settlement, but don’t rush through the walk-through. Run the appliances through a full cycle to make sure they work. Turn on all faucets and showers as well.

Some contracts will specify that the buyer complete a walk-through a week or two prior to settlement followed by a quick meeting prior to settlement to check off any items previously noted. Again, any items or tasks that aren’t complete must be justified at the time of settlement.

Though issues may arise, the majority of walk-throughs go without a hitch as both parties are eager to complete the deal and willing to negotiate any final hurdles.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!