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Looking to Buy or Sell a Home in 2021?

These 5 guiding principles will help ensure your success

A man and woman dancing in their living room


As with most things in life, the primary motivations for buying or selling a home can vary from person to person. Some need a larger living space, while others desire cozier settings. Geography can play a role, of course, whether it’s being closer to friends and family or living out your dream in that perfect city. And then there are those wanting to expand their options by adding a weekend or vacation house. But, no matter the reason or reasons that you are buying or selling your home, success in your journey will likely reside in the following five key principles. 

5 Rules for Real Estate Success

1. Know what’s most important to you. Ranch or split? Outdoor living space? Downtown or city outskirts? The good news: you’ve got options. The bad news: Too many choices can be overwhelming. Creating a list of priorities can help narrow your search and maximize efficiency.

2. Keep your emotions in check. Rushing to make a purchase based on how you feel may come back to haunt you financially. Trusting your gut is fine for picking a dinner destination, but with a big ticket item like buying or selling a home, fact-based decisions are the wisest way to go. Your bank account will thank you. 

3. Do your research. Knowing, as they say, is half the battle. Spend a little time looking into current housing trends—interest rates, nearby price histories, neighborhood demographics, and so on—to help give you the goods on what to expect. 

4. Seek experience. The confidence gained by working with a professional real estate agent is immeasurable. You can take the pressure off yourself knowing that someone you trust, with a wealth of experience, is doing the legwork for you. In addition to having the inside track on listings, your real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the market (as well as the mounds of paperwork involved) and will save you time and money.

5. Utilize your virtual toolbox. In these times of social distancing, it’s important to understand how technology can help keep you safe and bring success to your home buying or selling journey. Virtual tours, virtual listing presentations, and virtual closings are a few examples of the options available.

When my wife and I started looking for our dream home, we had a long list of requirements and were nervous the search would take forever. But our agent did an outstanding job helping us wade through the confusion so we could find just what we were looking for. The entire process could not have been more pleasing!  
— Fred, Colorado

We decided to sell our wonderful house to be closer to our grandkids (the cutest!) and find a smaller place. Long story short, our agent was terrific and our house sold much more quickly than we expected. She helped us find our new place too! The process was super easy and now we see our grandkids every day.  
— Brenda, New York

Years ago, buying my first home was a nightmare—lots of unexpected costs, and winding up in a neighborhood that I soon realized wasn’t for me. This time around, thanks to my amazingly patient, helpful, and professional agent, I had a completely different experience. I don’t plan to move again, but I’ll happily recommend her to my friends and family.
— Bill, Texas   

Buying or selling your home can be one of life’s most joyous experiences—or biggest headaches if you don’t have the right resources. The five principles here can get you started on the road to real estate success.

As an AARP member, you can now get support from AARP Real Estate Benefits by Anywhere, where their team is committed to helping you navigate this exciting and sometimes challenging process. When you enroll, you’ll be assigned a personal Advocate who will be your champion. Your Advocate will be with you every step of the way, and will connect you with a real estate agent known for superior service from one of Anywhere’s trusted residential real estate brands, including Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, Century 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Corcoran®, and ERA®. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, enroll to be introduced to a local real estate agent and earn a $300-$7,200* benefit after you close on your home.