You have been saving for a while, weighing your options, looking around casually. Now you’ve finally decided to do it—you’re ready to buy a home. It is essential you do your homework before you begin. Use the following list of pitfalls as a guide to help you avoid the most common mistakes.
Searching For Homes Without Getting Pre-Approved By a Lender
Do not mistake pre-approval by a lender with pre-qualification. Pre-qualification, the first step toward being pre-approved, will point you in the right direction, giving you an idea of the price range of houses you can comfortably afford. Pre-approval, however, means you become a cash buyer, making negotiations with the seller much easier.
Allowing “First Impressions” to Overly Influence Your Decision
The first impression of a home has been cited as the single most influential factor guiding many purchasers choice to buy. Make a conscious decision beforehand to examine a home as objectively as you can. Don’t let the current owners style or lifestyle sway your judgment. Beneath the bad décor or messy rooms, these homes may actually suit your needs and offer you a structurally sound base with which to work. Likewise, don’t jump at a home simply because the walls are painted your favorite color! Make sure you thoroughly investigate the structure beneath the paint before you come to any serious decisions.
Making an Offer Based on the Asking Price, Not the Market Value
A current Comparative Market Analysis will provide you with the information necessary to gauge the market value of a home and will help you avoid over-paying. What have other similar homes sold for in the area and how long were they on the market? What is the difference between their asking and selling prices? Is the home you are looking at under-priced, over-priced, or fair value? The seller receives a Comparative Market Analysis before deciding upon an asking price, so make sure you have all the same information at your fingertips.
Failing to Familiarize Yourself With the Neighborhood Before Buying
Check out the neighborhood you are considering, and ask around. What amenities does the area have to offer? Are there transit stations, schools, parks, or grocery stores within reach? Consider visiting schools in the area if you have children. How will you be affected by a new commute to work? Are there infrastructure projects in development? All of these factors will influence the way you experience your new home, so ensure you’re well-acquainted with the surrounding area before purchasing.
Not Looking for Home Owners Insurance Until You are About to Move
If you wait until the last minute, you will be rushed to find an insurance policy that’s the ideal fit for you. Make sure you give yourself enough time to shop around in order to get the best deal.
Not Recognizing Different Styles and Strategies of Negotiation
Many buyers think that the way to negotiate their way to a fair price is by offering low. However, in reality this strategy may actually result in the seller becoming more inflexible, polarizing negotiations. Employ the knowledge and skills of an experienced Realtor. We will know what strategies of negotiation will prove most effective for your particular situation.