Top Buyer Mistakes
Avoid Common Buyer Mistakes
Making a home purchase is a big investment, so it’s essential that buyers be aware of the most common mistakes and know how to navigate around the pitfalls that can cause undue stress and financial hardship. My best advice to you is follow the steps laid out in "Preparing to Buy Your Home" and you'll avoid the top buyer mistakes.
The top buyer mistakes include:
Not Doing the Essential Up-front Homework
Buying a home on impulse usually ends expensively. By completing some very basic up-front tasks, you can help ensure that your home buying experience is a great one. The most basic up-front tasks include:
1) Determine why you are wanting to move and clearly identify what features you want in your next home. It starts with why are you wanting to buy. Tired of renting? Starting a family? Do you need workspace for your hobby? Prioritize and write down the most important features to you in your next home. Use that priority list as guide when evaluating potential homes. Make sure to consider not just what you want today, but what you might need a few years down the road. For example, if you have a growing family you probably want a home that is oversized to accommodate that.
2) Work up a budget to determine what you can comfortably afford. Financial professionals strongly recommend that you have a reasonable amount of savings as a margin of safety for unexpected events.
3) Check your credit report to ensure it accurately reflects your history. Your credit rating directly impacts your borrowing costs.
4) Shop around for the best mortgage rate and term sheet possible. The interest cost savings can be life altering. Remember you are paying your mortgage costs with hard earned after tax dollars. A few days of up-front work can literally save you years of work.
Skipping the Mortgage Pre-Approval
Many buyers jump into home shopping without even talking to their banker first. Knowing "How Much You Can Afford" is the first step in determining what you should be looking for. Ideally buyers should obtain mortgage pre-approvals before shopping. If you have a pre-approved mortgage you can seize great buying opportunities as they come up - better to be prepared than flat footed. Sellers also take pre-approved buyers more seriously when receiving an offer and it never hurts negotiations.
Making Emotional and Rushed Decisions
Buying a home is usually an emotional experience. When you find a home that you connect with, emotions can play havoc with good decision making. It’s super important to stay grounded, stay objective and honor your written list of priorities. As a real estate professional a big part of my role is to be there as a trusted advisor to help clients stay focused and provide them objective advice.
Not Utilizing a Realtor Early in the Buying Process
A lot of people spend countless hours and days searching for a home on various websites. That’s okay if you are just exploring what’s out there, trying to get some ideas. When you need help or have questions, don’t hesitate to talk with a real estate professional. That’s what we are here for – to help you! Good realtors provide a wealth of information about the market and can answer most questions or at least know where to find answers. It doesn’t cost you anything and you’ll be smarter for it.
Buying a home can be a life transforming and fun experience. To stack the odds in your favour of a great experience, avoid Top Buyer Mistakes and don’t be afraid to ask me any questions you might have.