Sure, compromise between the buyer and seller is part of the game when getting to closing. But there are some things buyers should never acquiesce—or they’ll likely regret their home purchase. Realtor.com® recently asked real estate professionals to weigh in on some of the top items their clients regret about the home they bought
1. The floor plan. It’s difficult and expensive to reconfigure a home’s floor plan. A home that does not fit your buyers’ minimum criteria in terms of number of rooms and the flow of the main living areas, should cross it off their list. You can change a layout to make it an open floor plan, but it’s a lot more difficult to change the bedroom and bathroom count. In the long run, you could end up having a lot of problems and taking on a really big financial undertaking.
2. The school district. Even buyers who don’t have children—but wish to one day—should carefully consider their neighborhood’s school district. Encourage buyers to visit the school district’s website to get a map of its exact boundaries. I will advertise a property as being near such-and-such school area but not necessarily specify the district, which can be very confusing. When discussing schools with my clients I give them access to resources that will aide them in selecting the “right school” that may fits their needs.
3. The neighbors. Buyers should be cognizant of the condition of neighboring homes, as it can affect their future resale value. You can’t change the house in front of you or to the side of you or move the people out. And then there’s the barking dog that won’t quit. Another case of “buyer be ware”.
4. The budget. Tell your clients to consider the expenses beyond just the list price. For example, they’ll want to factor in monthly mortgage payments, potential homeowner association dues, utility costs, and real estate taxes. A lender’s pre-approval will tell buyers how much house they can afford, but there other factors determine whether they’ll be financially comfortable. They may be able to purchase a bigger and better home at the expense of not having any food on the table. A good loan officer and or a good real estate agent will explain the realities of home ownership. It’s their duty to do so especially with first time home buyers.
5. The commute. Buyers should make sure they are comfortable with the time it takes to get to work. They should drive the route between the home and their office at the time they’ll be commuting. Sometimes buyers are so infatuated with the home they end up losing a proper perspective of the big picture. Long commutes means less time spent in your “infatuation”.