It’s a buyers market right? You can’t go wrong with all of the “deals” out there. Slow down! You still need to be cautious of some key mistakes buyers are making in today’s market. Here are a few I see everyday:
Failing to find a good buyers agent
Take time to interview a few buyers agents prior to signing an “Exclusive” with one agent. Interview them like you would anyone else providing you with a service. Ask them questions like – what can I expect from you? What hours are you available? Am I working with you or your assistant (or both)? What is your area of expertise? A friend or a relative isn’t always your best option. Find someone you are comfortable with and someone who will represent your best interests throughout the entire transaction. Far too many agents are just out to “do a deal”.
Not making a decision quick enough
I see it happen all the time. You have sat down with your agent, described the perfect home to him and the first house you look at feels like it is “the one”. Don’t make the fatal mistake of saying “we can’t buy the first thing we look at”! If you have a good agent, they will know the inventory and will bring you through only homes that meet your criteria. They also know what homes are typically overpriced and a waste of time to look at so trust their guidance when a new listing comes on the market and they tell you it won’t last long.
Underestimating the cost of owning a home
Depending on the home you are looking at you should safely budget one half to one percent of the sale price for things like window treatments, paint and other minor changes and repairs. Don’t take everything you have in savings and use it as your down payment.
Letting your true feelings show
No matter how much you like the home be sure you or your agent doesn’t share this with the sellers or sellers agents. You will lose the upper hand on negotiations. Again, if your agent is looking out for your best interest and not just trying to “put a deal together” you should have no problem sharing your feelings about the home with the agent representing you in the transaction.
Skipping the home inspection
Regardless of the age of the home or how good the home looks on the surface DO NOT buy a home without a home inspection. Most of the time you are able to write a purchase agreement and secure the property contingent upon the results of the home inspection. You may end up walking away after spending a few hundred dollars on the inspection but you will be glad you did.