If this is the first time you're considering buying a home, or selling your first purchase, there are a lot of possible challenges you can end up facing. Having the right agent can ensure you're able to get through these challenges, but since some of the issues are universal, let's review some mistakes you want to avoid making.
Before you start making appointments with listing agents and falling in love with homes on the market, talk with a local mortgage lender. The biggest mistake a homebuyer can make is not knowing how much house they can afford before they start looking. For a lot of first time buyers, the goal is to pay the same or less monthly than they are paying in rent. The best way to make sure you have a monthly payment you are comfortable with is to be as open and honest as possible with your mortgage lender as possible, they cannot help you with what they do not know. There job is to help you, after all.
1. THE RIGHT PRICE
Pricing a property is a science of its own. There are a lot of components and factors and so many small details that ultimately lead to the value of a home. Although there are a lot of sites with estimates, namely Zillow, the technology used on online sites to determine property values are simply not accurate. Zillow even states that their numbers can be inaccurate up to a whopping 20%. Without a background as a real estate professional, it is virtually impossible for a consumer to be able to know the proper components needed to price a home. When you're purchasing a home, your eagerness to find a deal can lead to stubbornness about what you're willing to pay and what you think a home is worth. But what you WANT it to be worth is the complete opposite of what it should sell for. If you're a first time seller, you may want to sell your home for as much as you can squeeze out of it, but this can lead to unrealistic expectations, and ultimately lead to an overpriced home that never sells. Don't make the mistake of assuming you know what a home's value should be. Instead, partner with a real estate agent that truly is working for your best interest, and let them provide you the tools to support home values, so you can place an offer, or price your home, at a number that makes sense.
2. REFUSING TO NEGOTIATE
If you go into a sale, or purchase, refusing to make negotiations, dead-set on what you want without exception, you're more than likely going to cause a lot of grief and stress for yourself during the sales process. When you're looking to buy or sell a home, you have to have an open mind about negotiations. They are a common practice within the industry, with buyers wanting to spend less and sellers wanting to net more. If neither party is willing to make negotiations, you'll find yourself in a contract time and time again, only to fall apart before you can finally close on the home. Having a great agent will help you ensure you make negotiations that are reasonable to lead both parties to the closing table, without compromising your interests.
3. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Although we all have an idea in our mind what our dream home should be, sometimes the market, and your budget, can’t realistically checkmark everything off of your list. Find an agent that helps you look for the most important needs in your dream house, but keep an open mind to a home that fits most of your needs, but not necessarily all of them. Having too many expectations within a home can become stressful and result in never finding a home that really matches your needs. If a home has the major components you are seeking, get creative and see if the other things you want can be added down the road. Have a certain number of non-negotiable items, like bedroom/bathroom count, but then have a list of "wants."
4. YOU'RE NOT ALONE, DON'T GO IT ALONE
Don't make the mistake of trying to handle the sales process all on your own. There is a reason that the real estate profession, and the laws around it, are as strong as ever. Real estate agents are a necessity during the sales process to ensure the right steps are taken to get a home sold. Buying and selling is a difficult process that requires knowledge and expertise that comes from a professional within the industry. From legal terms, to finding homes that aren't even listed on the market, there are a lot of ins and outs inexperienced buyers and sellers may not think about, which can lead to losing value on your home or never finding the right one. Avoid the stress of "learning the hard way" and find a professional that can give you the guidance you need to get the task at hand completed and ensure you're happy with the outcome.