Each month, I receive a newsletter from Brian Buffini, a real estate coach, filled with information and advice on the current state of the real estate world. He recently sent me a list of common mistakes people make when buying a home. In an attempt to help you not make any of these mistakes and get the most out of your home buying experience, I am going to give you a glimpse into my real estate world. Enjoy!
MISTAKE NO. 1: Choosing a real estate agent who is not committed to forming a strong business relationship with you.
HOW TO AVOID IT: Making a connection with the right real estate agent is crucial. Choose a professional who is dedicated to serving your needs – before, during and after the sale.
MISTAKE NO. 2: Making an offer on a home without being pre-qualified.
HERE’S HOW TO AVOID IT: Pre-qualification will make your life easier—take the time to talk with bank or mortgage representatives. Their specific questions with regard to income, debt and other factors will help you determine the price range that you can afford. It is one of the most important steps on the path to home ownership. Need a recommendation? We have a great list of preferred lenders in our business directory.
MISTAKE NO. 3: Not knowing the total costs involved.
HERE’S HOW TO AVOID IT: Early in the buying process, ask your real estate agent or mortgage representative for an estimate of closing costs. Title insurance and lawyer fees should be considered. Pre-pay responsibilities such as homeowner’s association fees and insurance must also be taken into account. Remember to examine your settlement statement prior to closing.
MISTAKE NO. 4: Limiting your search to open houses, ads or the Internet.
HERE’S HOW TO AVOID IT: Many homes listed in magazines or on the Internet have already been sold. Your best course of action is to contact a real estate agent. We have up-to-date information that is unavailable to the general public, and are the best resource to help you find the home you want.
MISTAKE NO. 5: Thinking that there is only one perfect home out there.
HERE’S HOW TO AVOID IT: Buying a home is a process of elimination, not selection. New properties arrive on the market daily, so be open to all possibilities. Ask your real estate agent for a comparative market analysis. This compares similar homes that have recently sold or are still for sale.
MISTAKE NO. 6: Not considering long-term needs.
HERE’S HOW TO AVOID IT: It is important to think ahead. Will your home suit your needs 3–5 years from now? How about in 5–10 years?
MISTAKE NO. 7: Not following through on due diligence.
HERE’S HOW TO AVOID IT: Make a list of any concerns you have relating to issues such as crime rates, schools, power lines, neighbors, environmental conditions, etc. Ask the important questions before you make an offer on a home. Check the Megan’s Law website. Be diligent so that you can have confidence in your purchase.
MISTAKE NO. 8: Not having a home inspection.
HERE’S HOW TO AVOID IT: Trying to save money today can end up costing you tomorrow. A qualified home inspector will detect issues that many buyers can overlook.
MISTAKE NO. 9: Not examining insurance issues.
HERE’S HOW TO AVOID IT: Purchase adequate insurance. Advice from an insurance agent can provide you with answers to any concerns you may have.
MISTAKE NO. 10: Not purchasing a home protection plan.
HERE’S HOW TO AVOID IT: This is essentially a mini insurance policy that usually lasts one year from the date of sale. It usually covers basic repairs you may encounter and can be purchased for a nominal fee. Talk to your agent to help you find the protection plan you need. There have been many, many instances where these plans have paid off big time for my clients.
The Bottom Line: Be diligent in covering all of your bases and work with a professional who will make sure every “i” is dotted and “t” is crossed. Fortunately for you, you know someone who’s great at that 🙂