Whether you’re a first time home buyer or a seasoned vet, you’re always going to be coming into the deal blind, which means it falls upon you to safeguard your own interests, and your finances. Below are a list of some of the 9 common ways home buyers tend to shoot themselves in the foot while making what they think is an open and shut transaction.
1. Throwing Out A Blind Bid
The first offer is a huge deal in negotiations for eventually buying a home. This is what will ultimately set the benchmark price you will be basing negotiations around throughout the exchange, and will set the entire tone. A lot of people tend to struggle with deciding what a good starting point is for their first offer, afraid to shoot too high or too low, and lacking adequate information to start base the decision on can make this vital decision quite difficult. It is highly recommended that you take it upon yourself to do a bit of homework on the property. Take to the internet and research the housing market, what similar homes are selling for, and any related factors involving the physical estate.
2. Jumping Into The Wrong Home
We almost always advise our clients on this one, noting that emotional attachment, whilst a natural instinct, is a bit of a problem when it gets in the way of a sensible investment. You have to view your new house from a financial standpoint before all else, then create a mental checklist of everything you need, and actually slow down and take the time to confirm the house meets all the requirements. People who are too eager often find themselves receiving none of what they had hoped for, based on initial impressions.
3. Not Fully Owning Your Own Home
A ‘title search’ may sound a little unusual to you, and outside of the standard home buying protocol, but it’s shocking to learn how many times homes are purchased under false pretenses, and the new buyer finds other names on the lease (in the case of a rental), or various tax liens. Make sure the homes title is clean and free from any undesired encumbrances and available for your purchase. With a clean title you won’t have to worry about outside interference.
4. Sneaky Survey Data
Make sure you request an up to date property survey of the house, as many people have been known to pass off older surveys as current. A lot can change in a few years, and you don’t want to have to deal with surprise complications from recent structural changes or other structural issues a little further down the line.
5. Secret Damages And Fixes
Let’s say you’re shopping for a used car, would you be as eager to purchase the car if you learned it has a long history of damage and fix ups? While the home may be fine now, it’s always worth checking out what kind of background the property has, and what kind of incidents have taken place that could potentially lower the value. Don’t let a home owner push information like this under the rug.
6. Missing Out On Preapproval
As always lock down that zero cost financial freedom and security through a preapproved mortgage. Knowing how much you can afford and how much you are approved for is obviously crucial to the entire process but also knowing that your loan is patiently sitting in the bank at your disposal really helps you open up your housing options.
7. Allowing The Contract To Slip
Are there things the seller needs to have fixed before you move into the house? Make sure to be persistent and keep on them! Things like this have a way of being pushed off and forgotten until they become a tangible issue that very well may stand in the way of getting the deal done. One recommendation to deal with the repairs is to make sure an escrow amount is negotiated so you can handle the repairs at your leisure, and without being at your expense.
8. Surprise Attachment Costs
Just like you’d check for hidden fees with your phone, medical, or insurance bills, you definitely want to identify every cost appearing on an invoice when buying your house. Little costs that sneak in can add up fast when you’re dealing with large amounts like this. To avoid this altogether, make sure you get your seller to write up an estate form to demonstrate the total amount owed, so you have an amount to hold them to later.
9. Last Minute Closing Blitz
This is the stage where you most need to be patient and wrap everything up. This is also the time when everything tends to rush you at once, and you’re most pressured to bring everything to a sudden and conclusive finish. You need to fight that urge and make sure everything is covered, since missed snags won’t be able to get fixed after the deal is finished. Take your time, stay patient.
Helping Buyers get the right answers when it comes to buying a home is what a great agent is supposed to do but that doesn’t mean you should do your own homework and be sure that you navigate the home buying process with both eyes open.