Lake Forest Buyers Beware: Three Mistakes Homebuyers Make

Lake Forest Buyers Beware: Three Mistakes Homebuyers Make

 – A California Association of Realtors article with comments by Jenean Hill

Affordable home prices and historically low interest rates have created an ideal situation for many qualified first-time home buyers to purchase a house.  Despite this opportunity, some buyers may be overconfident and make mistakes during the home-buying process:

 1)    Some first-time buyers are unaware of the vast amount of paperwork and negotiations that go into purchasing a home.  As a result, buyers may think they can save money by forgoing the use of a REALTOR®.  However, managing the nuances of offers, inspections, financing, and other pivotal steps when buying a home often causes confusion and anxiety for buyers.  Working with a REALTOR®–who is obligated to put the buyer’s best interests first–will help to alleviate buyer concerns during this process.  Keep in mind that there is no charge for a buyer’s agent.  The seller pays that cost.  Beware, though, of agencies who solicit your business by offering to direct a good portion of the buyer’s agent’s commission to you.  Agents who work for these firms have to feed their families by sheer volume.  Their lack of service to you can make your buying experience very scary with bad consequences.  Additionally, with multiple offers on the most attractive homes, that agent has the smallest chance of getting your offer accepted.  Most listing agents don’t want to babysit a buyer’s agent who doesn’t have the time to do their half of the job.

2)    Online mortgage calculators can help buyers estimate the amount of house they can afford, but calculators should not be the sole source for mortgage-approval information.  Buyers are advised to meet with a mortgage broker or banker prior to beginning the home search to help determine the loan amount for which they are most likely to be approved. The type of loan that a buyer gets approved for will determine the direction your agent will take you in securing your new home.  Some loans make it more difficult to purchase condominiums.  If you only qualify for one of these loans, you may want to save up more money for a single family residence or for a higher condo down-payment.  It can take weeks to months to obtain a loan approval.  There is no sense in waiting to find a home you like before you have all your paperwork in to the lender.  By the time you have your loan approval ready so that you can write an offer on the home, the home will most likely be gone.  Don’t get caught up in the emotion of looking for home before you look for your loan.  Know your price range and type of home you can buy and monthly costs and then get in the car with a highly recommended agent.

3)    Although there is a large selection of homes available for sale, home buyers should not assume they can make low offers or unreasonable demands.  Even in hard-hit housing markets, homes in desirable neighborhoods are receiving multiple offers. Chances are that you are like the other buyers in the market.  You are most attracted to the most attractive homes.  These are the homes that will get the highest amount of offers in the shortest amount of time. Listen to your Realtor’s counsel. Writing an offer for $10,000 less than the price of a home will often cost you the house.  Going without a cup of coffeehouse coffee every other day will probably hurt a lot less.  Yep.  Less than $2.00 a day is all you “save” when you write an acceptable offer.  If your offers aren’t accepted time after time, you don’t end up saving anything.  If there is one house out there that you really like above the rest.  Get to business and give your experienced Realtor the tools she needs to get your offer accepted.

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