Whether you’re a first time home buyer looking for a new place to live or an investor trying to expand your portfolio, there are a surprising number of similarities in the way you’ll go about searching for and purchasing your home. Purchasing a home is always a major decision and involves a lengthy and complicated process. The sheer complexity of the home-buying process means that no matter how experienced you are, it can still be easy to make rookie mistakes when the responsibilities start to pile up. These are some of the most common and most impactful mistakes to avoid when purchasing a new home or investing in a new property.
- Choosing the Wrong Agent
When buying a home, a good real estate agent is your most important asset. They can help you navigate the market, use their connections to get information about the area and the home, and find other listings that otherwise could be hidden or difficult to find. But even so, finding the right real estate agent can be more difficult than it might seem. Many experts caution against going to friends or family for help, given that the most important quality to look for in an agent is their experience. Real estate firms are also increasingly leveraging digital marketing strategies to attract clients, but you should make sure that the agent you hire is local to the area where you’re purchasing the property. Otherwise they won’t be familiar enough with the location and the property itself to do their due diligence in either negotiating a purchase or sale of your property.
- Falling for Misleading Advertisements
Property listings are a lot like resumes. The importance of fine detail in the wording has led to the listings turning into something of an amalgamation of ill-fitting buzzwords. There are plenty of ways to try to sugarcoat the deficiencies of a property or the area that it’s in by describing them in an overly euphemistic way. There are a lot of very well known buzzwords that either distract from serious issues or describe them in a misleading way, so rather than trying to become an expert in dodgy real estate lingo, the best thing to do is manage expectations and avoid preparing to commit to anything before touring the property yourself and making up your own mind.
- Spending too Much on Renovation
This is a mistake that can be made by people either buying a home to live in or just to renovate and resell. It’s always a good idea to put some improvements in, especially if the home you bought was advertised as a ‘fixer-upper.’ Not putting any money at all into a new home is generally bad advice, but unless you’re certain that you want to live there for the rest of your life (and have a lot of money to spare), putting too much money into home improvements can actually make putting it on the market much more difficult in the long run.