Avoid These 8 First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Realty Group Pittsford, NY

Avoid These 8 First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes


You have decided its too expensive to rent any longer and have been saving and skimping two years for a sizeable down payment. Excitement kicks in when you,  a first time home buyer, sees “the one”.  Will you Avoid the 8 First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes"?

Statistics from the 2013 National Association of REALTORS report shows that home buyers spend 2 weeks looking at homes both on-line, at open houses and driving-bys before ever contacting a REALTOR®. 

Avoid these 8 First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes: 

  1. CalculatorNot getting Pre-Qualified First: Before starting the home search process all first time home buyers need to get Pre-Qualified. Agents & their first time home buyers need to know exactly how much home home buyers can be afford including the estimated closing costs to purchase a home and taxes. First time homebuyers often overlook this process, go through an open house and find the home they love only to lose out waiting for Pre-Qualification.  My professional advise is to get Pre-Approve/Pre-Qualified before starting your home search.

  2. Delay having Buyer Agent representation: This is both a first time home buyer and many repeat home buyers mistake. Unwitting potential home buyers walk through a open houses, contact listing agents directly and even answer qualifying home buyer affordability questions on the spot. First time home buyers give up all this information to the listing agent representing the home owner, whom must now tell everything you just disclosed to the seller because they are legally obligated to. Using a buyers agent can protect you from all this through helping first time home buyers with pre-approval, setting up home searches, pre-screening home conditions, investigating seller motivation, looking for common/uncommon home defects, negotiating on a first time home buyers behalf, offering up neighborhood home sales statistics, and finally representing only the first time home buyers best interests. Failing to have your own buyers agent represent can potentially cost you thousands of dollars.

  3. Searching homes outside their price range: First time home buyers should avoid this pitfall as it wastes your time and other potential homes for sale are getting offers written on them. A first time home buyers hopes of talking sellers down in price are quickly dashed with a full-price counter offer or offer rejection.  This is the a major reason for your pre-approval/pre-qualification as it gives buyers and their agents a very good guideline for price and taxes etc..

  4. Ignoring their agents market data & opinion: Purchase offers written too low ultimately are countered at full price, ignored or buyers will lose out to a higher bidder. First time home buyers should consider the Rochester, NY neighborhood, its homes condition, set-up/layout, amenities, updates and finally the overall housing market for that area. An experienced and knowledgeable buyers agent will give you a detailed report of recently solds, and pending homes sale comparables so you can make a sound financial home purchase decision. They will also give their professional opinion as to where they see that particular home fitting into the current market.  Listen to your real estate professionals information to make a wise financial decision.

  5. ContractNot doing enough to make their purchase offer look appealing to a seller: Removing/lowering seller concessions when in a competing offer situation, offering delayed or sooner escrow closings and even offering to pay some seller paid fees are 3 ways to make a first time home buyers offer more appealing to home sellers. Depending on the current market conditions, only you and your real estate agent can decide what is best for your situation and professional advice should always be consulted.

  6. Not thinking about resale value before they buy: The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for 4-5 years. A Rochester home buyers status can change quickly requiring a bigger home or a sudden move to be closer to a new job offer. Particular neighborhoods and areas retain their value better than others based on many factors. It's not always possible to guess when the housing market will change and first time home buyers need to pay attention to individual neighborhood sales reports. Others home sales in the area will affect your homes resale value in coming years. Just maintaining your home will not increase it's resale value alone, but continually updating and enhancing your homes features will help. Just don't over improve. Consult your local real estate agent to see what improvements have the best return on investment.

  7. Writing an offer based on emotion: Home buying is usually the largest financial transaction most people will ever make in a lifetime. First time home buyers will have to check their emotions at the door when viewing Rochester homes for sale. Everyone wants to have the winning bid at the auction. It's ok to lose out on an offer if you are advised by your buyers agent that you are overpaying for the area or the homes condition. Do not make exceptions when it comes to your financial budget, because you love the master bath. Where will most of your families time be spent? If you sell in 5 years will you may take a loss due to changing market conditions or your emotional desire to have the home at any price? Can you afford future tax increases? Use your agents market data and his/her professional opinion when writing purchase offer, not your love of the home and "Gotta have it" attitude.

  8. Waiting 24 hours before writing an offer: Home buying is a here and now process. "You snoooze, you lose"!  A good buyers agent will schedule showings quickly for you when the home first hits the market, so if its "the one" you are not the second offer submitted. Sellers are going to work with the first purchase offer that comes in and quickly try to get the buyer under contract. First time home buyers waiting to deciding to write an offer, almost always results in other home buyers offers getting accepted first. You don't want to be #2 in a normal sale.

Avoiding these 8 first time home buyer mistakes when when buying Rochester NY homes for sale will help you get your purchase offer accepted, save you time and money.

To get more answers to your Rochester NY real estate questions subscribe to my blog GreaterRochesterArea.com , friend me on Facebook, or visit the home buyer resource page on my personal website.

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Helping Families Make the Right Move!

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Cell: 585-236-7780  Office: 585-500-4511  

Email: BradNewton@Remax.net

Website: NewtSells.com


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If you have questions about buying, selling, renting or investing in the Rochester NY market call/text 585-236-7780 or email Brad at BradNewton@Remax.net.  


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Comments (2)

Jeff Fritzson: Frisco Real Estate Pro
Jeff Fritzson Real Estate, Ebby Halliday Realtors - Frisco, TX
Your Success is My Focus!

Hey Brad - this is a great list for buyers to be aware of. Thank you for sharing.

Jan 24, 2014 01:56 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Brad, pls. view our Re/Max RELO message -  http://actvra.in/4jHG

Aug 19, 2014 10:52 PM