Waiting Until the Last Minute to Talk to a Lender
Many homebuyers feel that they don't need to speak with a financing specialist until it is time to start seriously looking for a home. This opens buyers up to a host of potential pitfalls. First and foremost, it is important to know exactly how much you can spend. Many people assume that they can only afford so much, and are surprised when they qualify for more than they expected. Others are met with unpleasant surprises such as a misreported late payment on a credit card or additional monthly expenses that they weren't taking into account.
The safest bet is to have a conversation with a loan officer early on in the process so that you can start the process of house hunting with confidence. Find out exactly how much you can afford and exactly what you need to do to improve or maintain your qualifications. That way, when you find the perfect home, you will be ready to submit a strong offer without delay.
Blindly Choosing a Real Estate Agent or Lender
Just because your brother-in-law works in the industry doesn't mean you have to work with him. Buyers should always do their homework on the agents they consider working with, and there are several ways to do so. The first step is to make sure they are a member of National Association of Realtors (NAR). Then you will want to consider several factors, such as experience, local expertise, and the tools and resources the agent makes available to you.
Thinking You'll Get Everything on Your Wish List
Okay, you might, but most homebuyers discover quickly that sometimes, sacrifices have to be made in order to get a home that has all the most important features. For most people, location and size of a home within a certain budget are priorities, but if your search isn't showing you the results you're hoping for, you and your agent may have to get creative. Think about what you might be willing to give up (extra square footage, pool, larger garage) in exchange for getting a home in the location you want and within your budget.
Falling in Love with a Home
In today's market, well-priced homes sell faster than you could imagine. While your agent will get you in to see the home as quickly as possible to give you the best chance of getting the home you want, there is no guarantee that you won't end up in a multiple offer situation. Your agent will work with you to make your offer as strong as possible. Even if your offer is accepted, you still have to be prepared for inspection or appraisal issues that may cause you to have to give the home up. When buyers get too emotionally attached to a property, they are more likely to ignore red flags raised by these important steps to buying a home. Further, it can make it very difficult to select another option down the road.
Not Considering Resale Value
It is completely normal for buyers to focus on their current wish list rather than the future, but considering resale value is an essential part of buying a home. This can be as simple as familiarizing yourself with the current real estate market, or as complicated as considering what changes might occur later on. Is there a big open field behind the home where a shopping center might be built? Will the view always stay the same? Is the home constructed of quality materials that will stand the test of time? This doesn't have to be a deciding factor, but it is something to think about before rushing into a purchase.
Search every listing on the MLS and see only the homes that match your criteria when you create a custom search using our advanced search tool, or use the map tool to draw the location you'd like to buy in.
Not sure where to start? Contact us and we will connect with a local specialist to help you get started.