LOVELAND – Buying a home is a complex process involving many steps, along which you may unknowingly make critical mistakes. Given that a home purchase is one of the biggest investments that you may make in your lifetime, mistakes are certainly something that you want to avoid. Here are a few common mistakes that you should beware of.
Not hiring your own agent
Whether it’s your 1st or 5th time buying a home, there is a lot about the home buying process that you may not know. Real estate agents work in the market every day and transact hundreds of home sales, and even they encounter new scenarios and an ever-changing industry. However, that experience builds a wealth of knowledge that ultimately benefits their clients.
Think about this, you may be involved in many court cases as either a plaintiff or defendant, but you would probably still hire an attorney to represent you. Similarly, no matter how many homes you may have purchased in the past, it’s smart to hire a real estate agent to represent your best interests and to assist you through the process.
Not reviewing paperwork thoroughly
From property disclosures to purchase contracts and lending disclosures, it’s important that you read and understand what you are signing. After all, your signature is confirmation that you do. Take the time to read all paperwork and be sure to ask questions if anything is uncertain.
Relying on verbal agreements
Although oral contracts are enforceable in some cases, the Statute of Frauds requires written contracts for real estate sales. Imagine this scenario… you negotiate a price verbally with a seller. You go back and forth several times, eventually coming to a verbal agreement. Before anything is signed, another buyer comes in with an even better offer. Unfortunately, the verbal agreement is not enforceable in court. The seller could legally accept that other offer over
yours. Thus, it is important to get everything in writing.
Increasing your debt before closing
Some buyers mistakenly believe that credit scores are only checked at the pre-approval stage of a mortgage. Lenders actually re-check your credit once you find a home and begin the formal application process and again just before closing. Making a major purchase (such as a car or furniture) just before closing could disqualify you as a borrower. It’s best to avoid any changes to your debt or credit score until after closing.
Missing a deadline
Dates noted within real estate contracts are extremely important. Missing a date could have severe consequences, such as losing your earnest money or leverage to negotiate. Home buyers should always be aware of pending deadlines and be proactive in meeting them.
Summary of homebuyer mistakes to avoid
The above are just a few examples of common homebuyer mistakes. By hiring a real estate agent, you can avoid these and many others. Buyer agents understand the market, the buying process, and the many intricacies of a home purchase. Your agent will ensure that you have the right information and guidance to avoid the most common pitfalls of the buying process.
By Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland. Suzanne Plewes is a broker associate at RE/MAX Alliance. Write to 750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537, call 970.290.0373 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.