With almost 30 years of experience in the real estate industry, I have gained a lot of wisdom from the experiences of both buyers and sellers. Below, I’ve outlined four common mistakes that I have seen repeated by many homebuyers throughout the years and tips on how to avoid making them.
1. Failing to consider your current budget
One of the first things people should do when they are thinking about buying a home is meet with a real estate agent with expertise in working with buyers. They will assist you in assessing market conditions, prioritizing your wants and needs, identifying your most comfortable budget, and help you determine ways to get the most for your money.
In reality, most buyers start their home buying process by looking at homes online until they find one they are interested in visiting. Then, they are typically matched with a real estate agent through that property whose primary purpose is to sell that home, instead of working to optimize the buyers experience.
2. Not differentiating between needs and wants
Choosing a home can be a draining process. With an extensive list of features to look for in a potential home, finding just the right home can become difficult and confusing. Breaking your list of desired features into two categories, must-haves and wants, will make the process easier. Do you really need a fireplace, or could you do without one? What about a third bathroom? Knowing that a perfect home doesn’t exist and the difference between your “wants” and “needs” will make the home selection process much smoother.
3. Not recognizing true value
When numerous cosmetic updates are needed in a home, it can be difficult to see a home’s true value. Many times, buyers let the condition of a home disproportionately affect their valuation of it. We often see buyers choose a home in good condition over a home that, with some minor cosmetic updates, would be much more valuable for the money.
Remember, the value is “in the dirt”. Minor repairs such as replacing carpet or painting can be done prior to closing, so don’t let these issues overly affect your personal valuation of a home.
4. Failing to self-educate and ignoring reputable advice
A lot of the stress from buying a home can come from feeling like you don’t know as much as you should. A Chase Homebuyer Survey indicated that 80% of recent buyers were not happy and wish they had done things a different way. Take a moment to think about that… four out of every five buyers wish they had used a more effective process when they bought their home. Fortunately, there is no reason for a buyer to enter this process blind with the right online resources available.
Knowing about everything available to a homebuyer, such as warranties and negotiable costs, will assist buyers in getting the best deal possible when purchasing a home. The structuring of the offer to purchase can make a world of difference for many buyers.
Use the internet to find a buyer specialist that is well regarded by his or her previous clients. Look through Google to find agents with numerous reviews from past customers and take some time to read through the reviews.
Then, set up a time to see this well-regarded agent at their office to ask questions and determine your plan laid out above. Using a highly reviewed agent with a lot of experience can help to make sure that you have the best home buying experience possible.
Starting the home buying process with a good, solid plan is key. It’s ok to browse the internet and look at homes, but understand you’ll be making a big mistake if you start looking at homes in person before establishing your plan. Team up with a homebuyer specialist and take the time to consider the tips above and you’ll end up loving your home and joining the satisfied 20% of homebuyers who were very happy with the home they bought and the process they undertook to purchase it.