Home Buyer Mistakes in a Competitive Market

Mike Capelle, Broker/OwnerMike Capelle, Broker/Owner

There’s a lot to consider when looking for and purchasing a home. Making a poor choice can be costly.

Don’t assume you can negotiate down the price after your offer is accepted. In a competitive market with high demand for properties, a seller often has the option to go with another buyer if you make unwarranted requests for credits. Of course, you should ask for credits if an inspection turns up potentially costly repair work you didn’t know about when you made your offer. But don’t assume you can get a seller to cave in to last minute demands. Make your best offer up front.

If you chase after the best possible deal by making low-ball offers, you may miss out on good opportunities. In a strong real estate market, the deals are in homes that have been overpriced and haven’t sold as a result, or properties that don’t show well because they need work. If the home you want is well-priced for its condition and location, the best strategy is to make a solid offer; otherwise, be able to support your offer with facts about condition and price.

Going into the real estate market without the full support of an agent puts you at a disadvantage. It is easy to find listings on the Internet, but a good agent will know the ins and outs of the market, has local contacts, and may have more information about a property than is found in a listing. He or she can help you zero in on what you want, and then craft an offer that is likely to succeed. And by establishing a relationship with an agent, you will have a trusted advisor for that issue or question that you will inevitably have at some time during the process. Not to mention that having an agent costs you nothing as the buyer—the seller pays the commission.

Don’t purchase a property without considering its potential for sale. Most likely, you will need to sell the property you’re about to buy at some time in the future. Shortcomings of the property now may make it less marketable in the future.

To give yourself the best possible advantage when looking for a property to buy, involve an agent early in your quest.

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