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Buying a home is a major life and financial milestone, but women often get the short end of the stick in the process. According to research conducted by Jerry, single women pay 2% more than single men when buying homes, and sell their homes for 2% less, resulting in an extra cost of $24,000 for single women in the home-buying and selling process relative to men. In addition, women have 0.04% higher mortgage rates than men on average and may pay up to $5,100 more than men over a 30-year fixed interest loan period. In today’s “Financially Savvy Female” column, we’re chatting with Lynda Vittes, senior director at Jerry, about why women are paying more for their homes and what they can do about it.
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Are there steps women can take to ensure they are getting a fair price when buying or selling a home?
Buying a home as an individual can be financially challenging, regardless of gender, but single women are negatively affected by this more than men. Our recent study found that single women pay 2% more when buying homes and they sell their homes for 2% less. That means that if a woman has just sold her home for slightly less than a man might have sold that same house for, she is also at a disadvantage financially when looking to buy. The most important thing women can do to ensure they are getting a fair price, whether they are buying or selling, is research.
When putting your home on the market, look at comparable properties on the market and those that have recently sold in your neighborhood. Understand market conditions. The same goes for buying a home. Understand the value of the home you are looking at compared to the listing price and the offer you are considering making. If possible, get a pre-offer home inspection to learn of any hidden expenses you may incur later as a homeowner.
Whether you are buying or selling, make sure you are working with people you can trust and who have your best interest in mind. Licensed real estate agents — and buyers’ agents, who specialize in serving those buying a home, in particular — can help homebuyers negotiate the lowest possible offer for the home they wish to purchase. Similarly, sellers’ agents, licensed real estate agents that specialize in home sales, can help ensure the seller receives top dollar for their home.
Some women also prefer to work with a woman agent who may best understand her needs and unique challenges. Taking recommendations from people in your network is a good …….