When it comes to buying a house, one simple mistake can cause buyers to incur thousands in extra costs. Regardless of whether you’re an experienced home shopper or you’re a first time buyer, the process doesn’t get any shorter or less overwhelming. Being well-informed can prepare you for the lengthy journey ahead and ease the process of buying a home.
Here are three common mistakes homebuyers make and how to avoid it:
Not getting pre-approved before looking for houses
It’s understandable! Browsing through listings and going to open houses are the fun parts of house hunting. The search is the best part! However, you’d be surprised to find out how many buyers meet with real estate agents before they are pre-approved for loans.
The fix is simple. Before you go look at houses, it is in your best interest to determine the amount you are approved for so you can narrow down realistic neighborhoods and price points, establish yourself as a low-risk buyer, and maximize your time with an agent. This will go a long way in helping navigate the market and prevent you from falling in love with a house that is not within your budget.
Not making an informed and competitive offer
Most buyers go into the house hunt with a mindset of negotiating the listing price. While it is possible that a seller may accept an offer lower than the asking price, there's a time and a place for negotiations, and honestly? Now is not the best time. With mortgage rates hitting record lows this year, the influx of buyers in the market means houses are selling fast. In some markets, houses are being sold within 24-48 hours.
If you’re interested in making an offer, you might want to consider putting in an offer that is competitive from the start. With so many buyers in the market, it is very likely that there are multiple offers for the house you are interested in - your offer needs to be strong enough to outbid other buyers. Be prepared to move quickly once your offer is submitted.
Letting your emotions influence your decisions
Don’t buy the house you fall in love with - houses are staged to look appealing to buyers! Conversely, if you’re browsing listings and the sellers haven’t cleared out their things, remember that the house will be a blank slate for you. Don’t get distracted by the clutter or cosmetic repairs. Make sure you’re paying attention to the amenities and the layout of the house, not just the way it is currently decorated.
When you’re initially going through the house, take into account the features and offerings of the property. Before closing, get a detailed home inspection to determine the health of the house. This report can help you ensure that you are buying a house that is structurally sound, with reliable electrical and plumbing systems. You want to take extra care to ensure that you are buying a house that meets all your needs; take into consideration the surrounding neighborhood, the available yard space, and the condition of the property.
There are so many factors that need to be considered when buying a house. In a market where houses are sold within days, buyers need to be informed and prepared to quickly make big decisions in order to make your home owning dreams a reality. The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to avoid making common mistakes. Remember - when in doubt, consult with your real estate agent!
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