Buying real estate is full of little” trip me ups”, but it is one area where you don’t want to make a mistake.
Have you ever gone to look at 6 houses, being desperate to find one and then got them all muddled up in your head?
Sure you have! It is common to look at several and take features and benefits from one and think that the other has it.
I remember a client once telling me she wanted to buy the one with the gorgeous drapes in the main bedroom. She was visualising the best drapes in a house in possibly the worst location instead of the best house with the average drapes.
When I suggested we make a short list and go back to each of them, she was thoroughly confused and could not understand why she thought the house she liked had the nice drapes.
Top house hunting mistakes
- Buying emotionally. We can buy with our emotions and perhaps we might fall in love with a lifestyle when in reality it could be vastly different in real life. Take the buyer who envisages a laid back life on a lifestyle block several km out of the city, not close to work or schools at all. They imagine green space and a child’s pony and loads of free homegrown vegetables, when in essence it is probably a 2 hour trip by car to work leaving in the wee hours, and every weekend and night working on the land, feeding the cantankerous pony and watering for those pest ridden vegetables.
- Skipping getting pre-approval for financing. Imagine making an offer only to go through all the sales process and costs associated with the building inspections and solicitors fees and then be turned down for finance and have the sale crash? Disappointing.
- Not doing your homework and shopping around. When you are spending so much money, surely it is wise to make sure that you are buying at a fair market price? Why would you not compare apples with apples and view other houses in that location that offer the same or similar. If you don’t do your homework you might pay too much. I always advise my buyers that it is better to buy with the attitude “buy to sell”. In other words when buying a property making sure that if you had to sell suddenly you could.
- FOMO Fear of missing out. All this does is push up the price. If a Seller has several people competing for the property for fear of missing out they are sure to get a higher price as buyers try to outbid each other.
- Researching the neighbourhood It is always best to check out the neighbourhood. Ask questions and do the research. Are there any negative things about the neighbourhood? How good are the schools, the shops, the transport etc?
- Not doing a proper building inspection check. Nobody can know everything. If the property looks great, then that is fine, but can you really see underneath the cladding, or is the electrics or plumbing in good condition? Does the roof leak? What about termites? I have seen newish houses demolished by termites… they are nasty little mites!
- Offering too much. Often in a Tender situation or at an Auction you buy with emotion. FOMO ( fear of missing out ) comes into play. Rather make a limit on what you will spend and act logically. There will always be a property out there for you.
- Overreacting to a relative’s opinion of price on the property. Often first home buyers will bring Mum or Dad along to view a property. This is well and good, unless they have not bought or sold in 50 years. They could be judging the value on “back in the day” and are not in tune with a fair market price. Before you invite their thoughts make sure that you supply them with current market sales statistics, otherwise you will not understand why they do not feel that you should buy that particular property. But do take notice if there is a suggestion that the roof could be leaking or some such thing – always investigate, as often they might have had experience in such things and notice the signs beforehand.
Research and make sure that you know what you want
Ask the questions. Find a suitable agent to help you with your search. They should be the area experts.
A buyers advocate could give you valuable advice
Often it is a misconception that buying privately can win a buyer a bargain.
This is not true.
I have seen buyers pay too much time and time again when people sell privately to them because they think their house is worth more after getting a real estate market appraisal that they are not happy with.
In most countries Real Estate Salespeople are governed by certain codes of professional conduct and client care and many Government Acts which protect you as a consumer.
Sometimes, private sellers can also sell for too much or too little, so you see it works both ways.
Why would you take a risk on the most expensive and important buying decision that most of us will only make a few times in our lifetime if we are lucky enough?
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