Are you making these common house hunting mistakes?
Buying a home can be an emotional experience, especially for first-time home buyers. Your new home is going to be the place where you host your holidays, raise your family, and make happy memories. It’s easy to get caught up in the home search. However, a seemingly simple mistake could cost you when it comes to the closing table.
Apartment Therapy interviewed Realtors and real estate agents from around the country to compile this list of the most common mistakes first-time home buyers make. Repeat buyers, pay attention too! If it’s been awhile since you purchased a home, you may also be guilty of these mistakes.
Looking at a home without your agent
Rather than scheduling time with your agent, you may be tempted to pop into an open house if you notice one driving by, or if you are don’t plan on staying long. Remember, open houses are for the seller’s agent, it’s their opportunity to make connections with possible buyers – and their agents. Viewing open houses with your agent puts you in a better position when it’s time to make an offer. Plus, your agent will point things out about the home that you may not notice. As a potential buyer, you’re focused on the aesthetics and new appliances and the great backyard, but as a real estate professional your agent is more aware of other things to watch.
Focusing only on the home
You’ve found the perfect home! Is it the perfect neighborhood? It’s beautiful in the sunshine, but do the streets experience flooding when it rains? What about crime data and school district ratings? It’s easy to focus on the immediate goal of finding a home without considering all the details. Your real estate agent can help give you a better idea of the neighborhood’s reputation. Is it as peaceful and calm on Tuesday at 10 AM as it is Friday at 2 AM? Are neighboring homes appreciating in value or depreciating rapidly?
Not planning ahead
You’re attached to the perfect two-bedroom home, but you’d like to start a family or may have to move in an aging parent soon. You’re in love with a sprawling five-bedroom home, but your children will all be away at college within the next three years. Looking for the house for “right now” may leave you looking again in just a few years. Share your goals with your Realtor or real estate agent. They may know of listings that aren’t yet available on public databases.
Relying on photos
In a competitive market, you may be tempted to make an offer sight unseen. This works out in some cases, but photos of the home will not show everything. Professional photos especially are designed to highlight the best features and mask the less desirable ones. On the other hand, average photos might not be showing the full potential of the home. Schedule tours, visit open houses, and make time to actually see the home you might buy.
Buying a home is a big investment, and a smart investment starts with the right real estate team. Remember, your Realtor or real estate agent does not get paid until you buy your home. Hiring support now, helps protect you from potential pitfalls later.
Sources: Apartment Therapy