6 House Hunting Pitfalls to avoid as a Buyer in the Summer 2014 Market:

June 19, 2014 | by Brooke Willmes

Missing out on the perfect place:

Find an agent who is knowledgable and tech-saavy to navigate the waters for you.  Hundreds of homes go on the market each day and it can be an overwhelming process if buyers are not using an agent’s resources or checking the emails we send letting them know a new listing has just hit the market. You should meet with your agent very early before even beginning to look at houses to make sure they are aware of your house hunting needs/wants and you’re ready to jump with them when the right house hits the market. Be set up to receive alerts and be on a schedule to check your emails daily so as to not miss your email about a new listing that has just hit the market. By setting up such a strategy, you can stress less and focus on window shopping then missing the window of opportunity. If your agent isn’t alerting you, it might be time to seek out someone else’s services.

Choosing the wrong lender:

It is important to choose the right lender because I know all to well how frustrating it can be to find the perfect property only to realize that the loan is going to fall through.  Take your agent’s advice to talk to a few lenders they trust and know will deliver the loan they promise. These lenders only end up on our preferred lender status only after they have consistently delivered loan closings and followed through on their promises time after time.

Fixating on price per square foot:

If you are searching price by square foot, you can be in for a major disappointment. We as agents know that measurements are not always guaranteed to be accurate and if you are solely searching for a home based on price by square foot, errors or omissions can place appropriately priced homes outside of your price range.  Plus, a layout may make very similar square footage feel much differently and finishes can largely change a price per square feet value.  Switch up your search criteria and focus more on beds/baths and you may find a few more homes that meet your criteria and have better utilized space and value.

Desperation:

If you have been outbid on numerous properties and get tired of looking, you may potentially place high offers just to settle on a property that could very well not have been what you have been looking for just to settle this minute. It is our jobs as agents to help our buyers avoid such temptations and have a back up plan. Considering a short term sublet or a month in an Air Bn’b at this stage is a good idea, especially if you have a home sale contingency.  If you have been looking for awhile and are consistently at the top end of your price range and are being outbid, you might consider looking at different neighborhood you may not have considered at first…spend an afternoon looking a few properties just to see what is out there. Maybe this exploration can led you to find a home that is perhaps cheaper than what you planned and has a better chance of appreciation.

Foregoing Inspections:

Even though we would love for everything to be disclosed in the Sellers Disclosure, that is rarely the case as houses are a series of working parts that break and owners may have little clue as to many of the issues that come up in a home inspection. This is why it is important to have get and attend your home inspections. The inspections can help us all further identify any red flags with the property and address the general state of it. When you neglect the home inspection process either by not being present or by waiving your right to one in trying to be competitive, it can wind up costing you in the long run.  Discuss the pros and cons of this with your agent.

Buying A Project:

It is important to make sure that you  know your threshold for renovations before buying a fixer upper. Embarking on a fixer upper can take (usually takes!) more time and money than expected..it’s more or less an unwritten law. An agent can schedule a showing with one of their trusty pros they will be referring so that you know what you might be getting into before you find yourself in over your head. If your agent can guide you through a successful renovation project by giving you all the right information and consultation it can be the right situation.  The important things to realize is that you can finance a more expensive home monthly into your mortgage but usually, you must come out of pocket to pay for renovations and it’s a much greater sting, especially in situations when you cannot stay at the home during the renovation, such as when you’re renovating the sole bathroom or kitchen, and you’re paying for temporary housing.  Also it’s important to note what is a cosmetic renovation and what is a mechanical renovation–usually a cute 1940’s bathroom has ancient plumbing that can go at any time too.

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