Know these 12 things before buying a new house!
Sadly, buying a house or an apartment is not as easy as snapping your fingers. Homeowners and real estate agents alike know that there are many facets of picking a dream home. Some of them are rather obvious but others seem to give potential buyers a lot of headaches.
In most cases, people end up making mistakes throughout the house buying process. Oftentimes these can lead to financial hardships. Other times, they can feel underwhelmed or unsatisfied by their choices.
That’s why, with the help of several real estate agents who have seen it all, we’ve compiled a list of 12 mistakes people make when buying a house. If you’re ready to pack your bags, make sure to keep these things in mind!
1. Caring about Online Listings More than You Should
The internet… you can hate it and you can love it, particularly when it comes to online house listings. If you focus too much on online listings, you could miss out on potentially amazing houses.
Think about it, you’re checking boxes and tags online. Then, a few lines of code spit out an array of options. When it comes to real estate agents, they’ll be able to pick up more of your likes than a computer, so they’ll likely find something that fits your tastes exactly.
But if you’re too busy spending time online, you might miss out on something great.
Plus, a lot of buyers find that the perfect online listing might not be so glamorous in real life. Very disappointing and discouraging, right? That’s when the agent comes in to show you something even better- something real. Just think about it, why not skip this step and allow them to take control?
2. Foregoing a Broker
Real estate agents swear there is one thing as clear as daylight: buyers who approach sellers directly overpay. Working with an agent comes with perks: knowledge about the property, location and an edge when it comes to negotiating.
While you think you might be saving money by avoiding a commission, you’re probably losing or barely breaking even by paying way too much on the house itself. Is it really worth it?
Plus, real estate agents know how this all works. Trying to navigate the market without them could be a huge waste of time, not to mention an additional stressor. Wouldn’t you rather make this an easy of an experience as possible?
3. Making Assumptions about the Price
The process of negotiation can be frustrating and confusing. It’s difficult to tell what’s going through an owner’s head, particularly when it comes to pricing. Everyone has different strategies- on both sides of the fence, no less.
Sellers could leave enough room for negotiation, meaning that they’ll happily sway for the right buyers, within reason. Then there are those who refuse to budge. Likewise, buyers might be very firm on their budget. Others could be open to paying even more if a place is worth it.
Assuming that everyone is open to discussing a different price could lead you nowhere. Testing the waters is a good strategy, but constantly underbidding will turn more owners away from you and you’ll run the risk of losing out on a great house.
4. Making a Lowball Offer
We’ve all heard the saying. Cash is king. But it’s not king when the offer is too low. It may open a lot of doors for you in general, but if you lowball owners, your method of payment might become irrelevant.
Real estate agents want buyers to let them work. It’s their job to try and negotiate and look for a middle ground. Their market knowledge and years of experience will help them gauge what their clients need, and coming in with a low offer right off the bat could ruin the process.
We get it, you don’t want to pay exorbitant prices, you want to save up as much money as possible. But this tactic could turn you away from your dream house if you’re not careful!
5. Limiting Your Search to a Specific Style of House
If you’re only interested in one certain style of home, you’re more likely to miss out on amazing places that could be right up your alley. Limiting yourself could do you more harm than good and could make the process last so much longer than necessary.
You know the saying, ‘home is where you make it’. And it’s not just us saying it, either. Real estate agents often talk about people who were very particular about their houses and how they eventually found happiness in something completely different.
Oftentimes these dreams spring up because of home decor magazines or certain blogs. Readers get attached to perfect pictures and then refused to look elsewhere.
Another issue is settling for a house way out of budget precisely because of its style. What’s more important: happiness in a home suited for you but that is different or financial burdens because of your choice?
6. Getting Distracted by Glam
Picturing your ideal house is a natural part of the process, but if you’re dead set on certain glamorous aspects, you might not be paying attention to real issues hiding just beneath the surface.
Think about it, if you’re distracted by the finish of a perfect walk-in closet or marble countertops, will you really notice any structural issues?
Some buyers even chose to ignore the latter completely if it means getting a picture-perfect home.
It’s not uncommon for buyers to spruce up the place, either, actually banking on your tunnel vision. Always remind yourself to check out the bones and location of a house before agreeing to buy.
The quality of construction should be at the top of your list. With barebones execution, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble later on.
Don’t be shy about inspecting the property either. An honest seller won’t think twice about it. If anything, they’ll be happy to answer any and all questions.
If they’re primarily looking for people who they know will take care of the house too, they’re also far more likely to sell to someone who looks invested.
7. Focusing on Fixable Negatives
The opposite side of getting distracted by flashy items in a house is not looking beyond the truly ugly ones that clash with your style. Our suggestion is to try and look beyond flaws such as unsightly furniture or dated wallpapers.
Once you take those things away, what does the structure of the house look like? Does it have potential? Try to picture what you could do with the new space instead of refusing it outright.
You never know what you could accomplish with just a little bit of imagination. In that regard, real estate agents can also help bounce ideas back and forth.
Before you know it, you will have mentally transformed the place in your personal palace.
8. Holding Back on Your Downpayment
You’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you avoid putting down as big a downpayment as possible. If you have the means but refuse to, all you’re doing is pushing yourself away further from homeownership.
The less money you spend on your mortgage monthly, the better. If there’s any chance for you to ask for outside help, you should. There’s no shame in trying. In fact, turning to family- especially parents- during this time is not as uncommon as many Americans believe.
Real estate agents claim that they see a significant increase in feelings of assuredness in buyers who focus more on bigger downpayments.
9. Not Thinking About Selling Your Home Eventually
A lot of people assume they’ll live in their new home forever. We- and real estate agents- get it. It’s particularly difficult to think about your next home while you’re busy buying one in the present.
We’re not saying it should be at the forefront of your thoughts, we’re just saying you should take it into consideration. That’s why location is so important.
Years down the line, will you be standing on a gold mine? Your agent will be able to give you a better idea of the future of your property, so don’t forget to ask.
10. Ignoring Potential Issues
This ties into the earlier point about getting distracted. But it’s more than that. Agents claim they often see people outright ignore issues such as a roof that hasn’t seen an upgrade in ages or an electric system that has seen better days.
Both of these things are fixable, but they’re hazardous either way.
New homeowners often claim that they’ll fix these issues ‘eventually’. Then they get caught up in moving, getting to know their neighbors and neighborhoods, getting used to a new commute and so and so forth.
All these things, as exciting as they are, can cause more serious issues to fall to the wayside. By then, you’re practically inviting disaster in through the front door.
Remember, don’t ignore issues just because they’re fixable!
11. Passing on a Great Home Because It’s Too Early in the Search
It goes without saying that just as you enter the market, you’re gonna look at the places you like best first. It’s very likely that everything that follows is not always as interesting, otherwise, they would have made the top of your list, right?
Well, real estate agents and home sellers alike have seen plenty of potential buyers walk away from a deal because they found it ‘too early’ in the process.
Thinking that something better will come along eventually, these people often get stuck looking for years! Not only that, but they’ll be harboring feelings of regret for a long time, too.
The same thing will happen if you walk away from a listing that checks 8 out of 10 boxes for you! To help you out, make a list of Pros and Cons, and see which one outweighs the other.
If you really like a house or an apartment, the best thing you can do is to make an offer. Why spend more time looking when you’ve already found your dream home?
No, we’re not encouraging you to jump at the first thing you see if it still has flaws you can’t get over, but thinking that your house will wait for you is an equally big mistake.
12. Buying a House You’re Hesitant About
A rule of thumb: if you’re spending more time worrying about a house than loving it, it’s not for you. It’s very likely that your feelings of hesitation will only amplify in time, as will doubts.
Most of the time, real estate agents will sense this too and will try to talk you out of a deal you’ll regret. Our advice is to walk away from any property that doesn’t spark joy.
If you can’t see yourself living there but think it’s a good place for other reasons, such as price, it’s better to just hold off on buying and wait for something you’ll fall in love with.
These are the scariest mistakes people make. Are you guilty of any of these? Have you regretted buying a new house? Why? Tell us your story in the comments down below!
And speaking of homes, check out the 16 Most Rewarding and Profitable Work from Home Jobs!