Realtors are out to make a commission. Their goal is simply to sell, and not necessarily to sell you the perfect house that meets your budget. You’ve finally decided to buy a house, but making missteps as a first time homebuyer could lock you into a contract that gives you a severe case of buyer’s remorse. Here are three traps to avoid adapted from the Bucks Blog featured on the New York Times.
Choosing a High Starting Price:
With house-buying nearly a competitive sport in many big cities, your realtor might suggest you start the negotiation above the asking price. Don’t let your love for a property or trust in your real estate agent cause you to jump to a number you’ll regret later. Wait to see if other offers come in on the property. If you are the only interested party, you could bid at or below the selling price.
You realize the importance of finding similar properties to extrapolate how much you should expect to pay for your first home. But on paper a lot of properties look comparable. Parking availability, local traffic patterns, better views and expansion possibilities each make a property more valuable but won’t always show up in a cursory search. Be careful that the properties you are measuring against your own are actually comparable.
Trusting the Inspector:
Inspectors won’t catch everything unless they go over the home inch by inch. A realtor-recommended inspector also won’t know or take into account your needs and future plans when judging the property. Find an objective expert whom you trust to walk through the house with you. They will have a vested interest in making sure the property is a correct fit for you, and may end up catching problems an inspector might have glossed over.
As a first-time homebuyer, you should be wary of spending too much for a property that ultimately isn’t right for you. Seek advice from more experienced buyers to avoid regrettable and potentially costly mistakes.
Did you make any mistakes the first time you bought a home? Please tell our community how to avoid any missteps in our comments section below.