Whether you are a first-time home buyer or a veteran, the home buying process can create challenges while adding stress to an already busy life. There are a number of decisions to make, and even if you’ve been there before markets and regulations change so it can be challenging to stay on top of current trends and rules. Here are a few common mistakes home buyers run into along with simple ways to avoid them.
1. Not Getting Pre-Approved
If you haven’t been pre-qualified, this is your first step. In fact, take it a step farther and ask your lender for a full on pre-approval. This will ensure that you are shopping for the right homes and not wasting your time, or squashing your dreams, by falling in love with homes that won’t meet your budget. Even if you’ve determined your target monthly payment, a lender will be able to help you determine if that goal fits your qualifications given today’s lending regulations. As a wise consumer you may also want to look beyond your bank or credit union. Just because your money isbeing held somewhere, or because they have a nice closing credit for you, doesn’t mean they are the best fit for you situation and to ensure you close on the home you’ve made an offer on. We are happy to help you find a lender that may best fit your unique situation.
2. Making Your Purchase a DIY Project
There are no awards for buying a home without the help of an agent. In fact, not having someone along to help could actually cost you thousands of dollars throughout your transaction. Even if you have a good understanding of the local market, there are many reasons to connect with an agent. Most notably, agents know the market, understand the value of comparable sales, and can help protect you throughout the process.
Best of all, buyer’s agents are free! While there is a misconception among some buyers that working alone with save them money on the purchase by eliminating compensation to the buyer’s broker this is simply not true. Agent compensation is determined as part of the listing contract and is rarely affected by who brings the buyer.
3. Looking for a Deal When You Need a Home
Whether it’s through foreclosure or attempting a low ball offer many buyers look to “win” by getting what they feel is a great deal. While that can be a noble and exciting journey, there are very few opportunities for buyer’s to get a steal in today’s market.
When looking at distressed properties you’ll need to look at whether making the necessary or cosmetic repairs will be worth the cost and time to do so. In many cases, buyers are better off spending a little bit more to get a great home that is move in ready and without the uncertain history of foreclosed homes.
Another way buyers try to get deals is through submitting low offers. More often than not, low offers are simply not accepted because sellers are typically in the drivers seat in today’s market. With low inventory levels, sellers aren’t feeling pinched to jump on an offer just because it’s on the table. By submitting low offers you also allow other buyers to get in the mix during the negotiation process, therefore putting more power into the seller’s hands.
Keep in mind throughout the buying process that as a buyer you are looking for a place to call home. If you can get this place for a discount, there is usually a good reason why the seller is letting you do so. If you really need to “win” at your purchase, we suggest you make sure you do what needs to get done to get the house you really want.
4. Falling in or out of Love with the Wrong Things
Sure, that pool looks gorgeous and would be perfect for your son’s birthday party, but are you really interested in maintaining it 12 months of the year? At the same time, don’t let the little imperfections distract you from the features that fit exactly what you’re looking for. Walls can be painted and carpet can be replaced, but do you really want to reconfigure the enter bedroom wing of the home?