5 Big Mistakes Homebuyers Regularly Make
1. Not talking to a lender firstA home is one of the biggest purchases a person will make in his or her lifetime, and it’s crucial to be prepared for the process. If one wants to look at houses before being pre-qualified, this could set them up to be disappointed or waste their time if they end up not qualifying for what they want. They may also discover during the pre-qualification process that they qualify for more than what they thought they could afford. Relying on online resources to get a loan is risky. Instead, they should ask a Realtor for an introduction to their trusted local loan officers. Not only will the lender’s expertise determine what one can afford, they will also provide an approval letter to that person’s Realtor which is a “must” to include with an offer in this market.
2. Waiting too long to make an offer & offering too littleIn addition to not getting pre-approved before searching for homes, many buyers wait too long to make an offer as well as make low-ball offers. Buyers typically think that it’s always a buyers’ market. This assertion is especially problematic right now, when the housing market has struggled to overcome tight inventory and skyrocketing home prices that can give a seller the upper hand. For example, in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market, there are very few “deals”. In most price ranges, Sellers are getting what they’re asking (if not more).
3. Paying too much attention to other sourcesWhen looking online for homes, Buyers typically use public search portals such as Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, or Realtor.com. These sites are often inaccurate and outdated, causing frustration for Buyers when they discover from their Realtor that the home that interests them is under contract. Some of these sites also provide online home valuations, such as Zillow’s Zestimate or the Redfin Estimate, and their data is often very different than the actual hyperlocal market data. Also, beware of the “HGTV experience” which paints a much prettier (and highly-edited) picture of the homebuying process. If it were that simple, every Buyer would simply look at 3 houses and pick 1 within a matter of a few hours. Buyers often expect their homebuying process to go as smoothly as it does on TV and are ill-prepared for the unexpected occurrences that pop up in the contract negotiations.
4. Relying on friends and family for adviceFriends and family have one’s best interests in mind, and as noble as that is, it can also delay the search process or derail an offer. It is fairly common for a buyer to bring a parent, sibling, or friend into the process once they have found a home they like, only to have that well-intended person give biased opinions or advice that can cause the buyer to back out or second-guess their decision. It is certainly wise to seek the advice and counsel of others, as long as their advice is sound and logical. Our real estate team recently had a listing go under contract within the first few hours on the market to an out-of-state buyer. The wife’s father wanted to visit during the option period and was very vocal about his disdain for the neighborhood, causing stress for the couple buying the home and ultimately resulting in a termination of contract. Once that couple collectively determined what their top priorities were, they went under contract with another property where they really wanted to live – in the same neighborhood!
5. Looking at homes beyond one’s affordabilityIf the pre-approval process is followed, this issue will be easily resolved. Too often a Buyer falls in love with a house they cannot afford, only to be disappointed in the purchase of what their finances will allow. Having the knowledge of what one qualifies for will reduce the potential heartache of missing out on a home that is beyond one’s reach of affordability.
The Tomlin Team will be happy to help you find or build your next home if you are not working with another Realtor. If you are looking outside of Dallas-Ft. Worth, we have an extensive network across the country as well as outside the U.S. and can introduce you to a great Real Estate team to assist you wherever you need. Contact us at (214) 726-2894 or firstname.lastname@example.org.