1. Going Solo
Locating a house and determining the price of comparable homes on the market – is the easy part. Managing the ins and outs of offers, negotiations, inspections, financing and all the other key steps to buying a home is where many new buyers tend to get bogged down.
Having a buyer’s agent act as your representative obligates the agent to put the buyers' interests first.
2. Estimating what you can afford
Many buyers mistakenly take a do-it-yourself approach to financing. They use online calculators to estimate how much house they can afford, and then get a big surprise when lenders refuse to qualify them for that amount.
We recommend that you meet with one or more mortgage brokers before you get serious about your search. Remember, also, that the costs of buying and owning a home go beyond the purchase price. Although online calculators do account for property tax and insurance, it's up to you to include possible maintenance costs, moving fees and association dues.
3. Letting emotions get in the way of good judgment
You fall in love with a beautiful old Victorian and are swept up by its charm and potential. You can picture yourself drinking mint juleps on the front porch on a summer’s day and descending the sweeping staircase to meet your guests. Reality hits after the closing when problems come to light. Coastal Newport will help you negotiate a due diligence period which gives you extra time to get contractor estimates and back out, if necessary.
4. Focusing on the house, ignoring the neighborhood.
In hindsight, many buyers say they wish they'd taken their due diligence a few steps further to understand all the perks, quirks and hassles of living in a particular neighborhood. You can always fix up the house, but there's no easy remedy for annoying neighbors, oppressive homeowners-association rules and long-distance commutes.
5. Making unreasonable offers
Although the real estate market has picked up since its lows a few years ago, there are still many houses for sale and sellers needing to get out from under them.
It's all the more reason to hold out for the right house and the right price. But when you find that perfect house, don't assume you can lob a lowball offer or make unreasonable demands. Even in hard-hit markets, there are numerous bids being made on nice houses in desirable neighborhoods.
If the house has been on the market for months, you probably don't need to worry about other buyers lining up behind you. Make an offer based on recent sales for comparable homes, foreclosure activity and market trends, and don't be afraid to start the bidding low. If the house is newly listed or recently foreclosed upon, and other buyers are circling the block, put your best foot forward, but don't get pulled into a bidding war.
The advice of a Buyer’s Agent is invaluable in making the right decisions, and there are many, when purchasing your new home. We at Coastal Newport are prepared to lend our time and expertise.