Expert Tip: Money

In any hot market, you’re up against stiff competition—like cash buyers. Best defense? Get pre-qualified. Now. “Interest rates have already gone up to five percent and it’s the perfect storm when selling your house,” Brett Lamperes, a real estate agent with Keller Williams. “If rates go up one point, you lose 10 percent of your buying power. For example, if you were prequalified for a $400,000 mortgage, you’re now only at $360,000. And the same goes for sellers, assuming the market doesn’t crash for another few years. If your house price goes up five percent and interest rates go up two points, did you really save any money by waiting?”

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