As real estate professionals who work with dozens of clients each and every day, we certainly know how exciting it is looking for a new house. It can be absolutely exhilarating visiting properties and imagining where your stuff might go and how your family can grow in these new surroundings.
It’s so exciting, in fact, that common sense unfortunately goes out the window sometimes. It’s an easy thing to do – you’ve found the house you feel is absolutely perfect for you and your family and you want it! You really, really want it!
But it’s important to keep your emotions in check during these times. Remember that this will be one of the biggest financial obligations of your life, so it’s a good idea to step back and think things through before making any rash decisions.
Hopefully, you’ve chosen a good real estate agent who can help you through the process. Lean on him or her, ask a lot of questions and plot your way forward in a rational and well thought out way.
Oh, and did we mention to ask a lot of questions?
Your agent has probably seen it all over the years and is an invaluable tool when making these difficult decisions. So let your agent earn his or her money by guiding you along this often euphoric path to home ownership.
In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about a few common pitfalls to avoid when searching for a new home. These are fairly common mistakes that are often made along the way, but ones that can be prevented if you know about them ahead of time.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Not Learning Ahead Of Time What You Can Afford
This is a big one, and one that can easily be avoided by doing a bit of due diligence before hitting the road and looking at homes. We’ve met with so many people over the years who tell us that they’ve searched for homes in the past, but gave up because they kept being denied for mortgages.
Nine times out of ten, they were rejected because they were looking at homes that were out of their price range in relation to their income. So while they might have fallen in love with the jacuzzi bathtub, the fantastic neighborhood and the large lot, it was quite simply beyond their reach.
To avoid this issue, consider getting pre-qualified for a mortgage so you know 100 percent what you can afford and what you can’t. Shop around to get the best rates and take your time doing so. Every day spent becoming pre-qualified for a mortgage will be well worth it in the long run.
Now you can conduct your home search secure in the knowledge that the financial stuff has largely been taken care of, at least as far as the mortgage goes. Can you image how much stress will be alleviated from your search simply by knowing that when you do find your dream house, you’ve already been approved to buy it?
Not Shopping Around
Unless you’ve found that once-in-a-lifetime home that you just can’t live without, it’s always a good idea to shop around and look at different properties in different towns and communities.
You may think you’ve found the house you want to buy, but it doesn’t hurt to keep looking in the short term. You might be surprised what else is out there, so hop back in the car and look at a few more properties before deciding too impulsively.
It’s also a good idea to think about the future. Buying a condominium at the beach is great if it’s just you and your spouse, but it may not be the best choice if you’re planning on starting a family in the next few years.
In short, just keep an open mind and don’t make any rash decisions. Think things through so you don’t end up regretting your choices down the road.
Not Using A REALTOR
If you follow our blog, then you’ve seen this one before and probably already know what we’re going to say. But we’re going to say it again anyway.
You may think you can save a few bucks by buying a home without using an agent. But this is simply not the case, especially if you’re the buyer.
Real estate commissions are paid for out of the sales price of the home, meaning these commissions are paid 100 percent by the seller. So not only are you hampering your efforts by not using a Realtor, but you’re also not saving any money.
Even if you’re just attending an open house or meeting the sellers for a one-on-one appointment, you always want to have your agent with you looking out for your best interests.
This is how your agent makes his or her living, and has likely done so for many, many years. Let them earn their money while guiding you on the path to home ownership.
Making An Offer Too Fast, Or Too Slow
This part can get a little tricky, as you certainly don’t want to make an offer on the spot without considering all of your options and all of the pros and cons of this particular property. On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long and potentially miss out on the home that was meant for you.
Make sure you lean on your real estate agent for advice here and then act appropriately. If this is the home that you definitely want, at least do your due diligence first. Once you’re certain that all of the Is have been dotted and the Ts crossed, and you’ve slept on it, you can move forward and make that offer.
But if after some deep thought and contemplation, as well as discussions with friends and family members, you’ve decided that you want to keep looking at more properties, then ask your agent to schedule more appointments for you.
Remember that every situation is unique in its own way and only you can decide what’s best for you. Just resist the urge to act too rashly, or too slowly. Think things through and proceed the best way you see fit.
Not Having The Home Inspected
Nearly all mortgage lenders require home inspections these days, but you might find one every now and then that doesn’t and think you can save some money here. Don’t do it!
In fact, not only should you not skip the inspection entirely, you should also resist the urge to automatically hire the cheapest home inspector in the yellow pages.
If the individual inspecting your future home finds even one area of concern, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. And these issues are often remedied by homeowners prior to the sale, in order for the deal to go through.
At the very least, you can probably renegotiate the sales price of the home, while saving yourself some sticky financial situations down the road.
At the Oldfather Group, our team of real estate professionals has decades of experience in dealing with these kinds of issues and anything else that can pop up while buying or selling a home at the Delaware and Maryland beaches.
Give us a ring today at 302-260-2000 and schedule an appointment with a member of the coastal region’s number one real estate sales team.
We’d love nothing more than to welcome you into the Oldfather Group family today.