Things to Know Before Buying or Selling a Home

Things to Know Before Buying or Selling a Home

Kids all over the country are preparing for a new school year, and while the thought of another season of homework doesn’t sound very fun, there’s no doubt that the most prepared students are usually the most successful. The same can be said about home buyers and sellers. Being prepared when buying or selling real estate can save you money and help you make more logical decisions instead of acting on emotional impulse.

Before You Buy

If you’re thinking about buying a home or investment property, your first step should be to give us a call so we can walk you through the process from the very start.  There are some other steps you should take to ensure a smooth transaction:

  • Save up.  It’s never too early to start saving money for a down payment, as the larger your savings, the more options you will have.
  • Determine your needs.  How much space do you need? How far are you willing to commute to and from work?  Is a particular school district important to you?  Does your family have any restrictions, such as avoiding flights of stairs?  Once you have a general idea of your criteria, we can help you fine-tune your goals and even set up an automated home search which will notify you by email as soon as potential properties that fit your parameters are listed.  We will tour as many homes and neighborhoods as you need to compare your top contenders and make a well-informed decision about your dream home.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage.  If you do not already have a lender, we can recommend some to you.  During the pre-approval process, your credit score will be checked and your house purchase budget will become clearer. You should also refer to our Tips For A Smooth Mortgage Process early on in this journey.

Making an Offer

Once we find your dream home, we’ll walk you through all the steps of making and negotiating an offer and getting through the appraisal, inspections and repairs stages, as well as the final walk-through and closing, and all the details and deadlines in between.

Before You Sell

Again, your first step should be to call us if you own real estate that you’d like to sell.  We will meet at your property during a time that is convenient for you, so we can discuss your goals and timeframe.  At that time, we’ll explain to you our proven marketing strategy to get the best possible results from the sale of your property.  Some other steps you can take are:

  • Clean, clean, and clean some more.  Your property should look clean, smell clean and feel clean to prospective buyers as soon as they walk in.  To help you get your property ready to be listed, refer to our Preparing Your Listing checklist.
  • To update or not update?  Many clients feel that major improvements or updates need to be made before listing their property for sale, in order to be competitive. We can discuss these projects with you and help you prioritize which improvements are likely to net the best returns for your money.  We also have a long list of trusted vendors we can recommend for any recommended improvements.
  • Stay calm.  We’ve compiled a couple of checklists to help you during your listing period and to prepare for showings to potential buyers, which will help keep you focused and organized.

Navigating Negotiations

Of course, we will review any offers with you and negotiate the price, conditions, contingencies and other terms that best suit your goals, and we’ll be acting in your best interest at all times.

We’re here to help make the process as simple and stress-free as you would like it to be. Whether you’re ready to list tomorrow or if you think you might buy or sell next year, we’re always happy to help you prepare and answer questions you may have.

About the Author

My wife and I live in Donelson, where we both were raised and graduated from high school (DCA Classes of 1983 and 1984).  Our current home is on the Cumberland River, very close to my childhood home and the former homes of both my McDonald and Rice grandparents.

Our daughter and son are grown now, and our daughter, Stephanie Miller, is my real estate partner.  She lives in Lebanon with her husband and their two children.  While Stephanie and I specialize in the areas of Downtown Nashville, Donelson, Hermitage, Old Hickory, Mt. Juliet and Lebanon, we have and do serve clients all over Middle Tennessee.

As a Nashville native, I’ve spent a lifetime watching our city evolve, and I am enthusiastic about showcasing it to others and serving their real estate needs.


1997 — 2000   Fleetwood HOA Board Officer

2013 — 2016   Rhythm at Music Row HOA Board Officer

2017   Greater Nashville Realtors: Housing Opportunities & Affordability Committee

2017 — 2018   St. Martin Square HOA Board Officer

2017 — 2019   Brentwood Photography Group Board

2018 — 2019   Senior Ride Nashville


National Association of REALTORS®

Tennessee Association of REALTORS®

Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®