Source: Shannon O’Brien / Staff Writer Trulia
1. Get pre-approved or get disappointed: Surprisingly many Buyers begin their home hunting without speaking to a Lender. More often than not they tend to take upon themselves to begin the process not knowing what they can or can’t afford. This usually sets the scene for disappointments and a bumpy ride. Rule #1 get pre-qualified or even better yet pre-approved before searching for your dream home.
2. Get to know the home loan process: Lenders offer a number of loan packages that will best fit the client’s budget. The Lender will recommend which option or options are best for the clients. Thus the client can decide which way to go.
3. Make a wish list: The Buyer’s best wish list is based not on their dreams, but on their fears. A Buyer needs to decide what they despise about their current living conditions and, along with whatever other reason they have for moving, these items are good indications of why they want to move and what they truly want.
4. Don’t lack vision or buy into a manufactured vision: Many Buyers that can’t seem to look beyond ugly wallpaper, ratty carpets and even something as simple as dirty dishes in the sink. Before stepping foot in even one house, a Buyer must understand that what they see may not necessarily be what they have to live with for the rest of the time they own the home.
On the other hand, Buyers must understand that what they see may not necessarily be what they get—especially if what they’re seeing is a model home. Staging adds the “wow factor” relatively inexpensively for the seller but at additional cost to the buyer. Caution to look beyond the sexy staging to the bones of the home.
5. Read and understand HOA docs: HOA (Home Owner Association) docs are notorious for being wordy with a lot of legal terminology , rules and regulations that are often confusing and difficult to decipher. Not only are HOA’s confusing to Buyers but also are confusing for their Agent. It is recommended that the Buyer should hire an attorney to interpret the docs due to the complexities within the documents.
6. Make your offer in accordance with current market conditions: Buyers always want to pay less for a property than the list price and often make low ball offers on every home they like. Offers at ALL TIMES should reflect what the current market conditions demand. The worst scenario is when a Buyer wants to or does low ball in a HOT MARKET. A smart and experienced Agent will warn and discourage the Buyer from making this serious mistake.
The flip side is that in a Buyer’s market the Buyer needs to slow down and avoid giving money away. Again with the assistance of an experienced Agent a Buyer can avoid doing the wrong thing.
7. The inspection report may not be as bad as it looks: Home Inspection photos and verbiage contained within the report can that make even the tiniest problem look massive. They’re enough to disturb even the most level-headed buyer.
Before the Inspection is ordered an experienced Agent will explain the process and point out what items are usually most important and what effect they have on the home. Health and Safety Issues are the important issues where as Cosmetic issues are the least important and generally left alone.
No matter what the findings are in the report the Buyer can request that repairs be made by the Seller. Most of the time strategic negotiating between Buyer and Seller results in a give and take position and the sale will prevail.