The top 3 home buying mistakes I see home buyers make are:
1. Choosing The Wrong Agent
2. Using The Wrong Banker
3. Hiring The Wrong Attorney
Choosing The Wrong Agent
Communication is key. Are you and your agent on the same page? Are you a team? Is your agent advising you like a consultant rather than trying to “sell you” on a house?
Does your agent know the area like an expert tour guide? Does she know the neighborhood you want? Schools? Commuting?
How about the market? Anyone can sign up for online listing alerts. While being sent listings is easy, it doesn’t educate you about market trends. Your agent should keep you fully informed about market dynamics.
How about attentiveness? Do you have to call because your agent doesn’t? Are you getting continual guidance and updates? Is your agent spending the extra time required to tell you what’s happening and what to expect next?
If you and your agent are not a good match, move on to someone who is.
Using The Wrong Bank
Before you do anything else, you need to get your financing in place. Getting a mortgage from the wrong banker is a nightmare. From closing late to being denied a loan last minute, I’ve seen it all.
Avoid the banker who gives you a pre-approval with next to no documents. It’s oh so easy. He tells you things like “Go find a house and then come back to me.” Sometimes you fill out a form online and magically you’re pre-approved a short while later. This is worthless – it’s a prequalification masquerading as a loan preapproval.
Find a banker who, like your agent, is a good fit. Someone who takes the time to teach you about the mortgage process. Additionally he asks about you, what you want, your goals, your needs. I also believe that experience counts. A senior mortgage banker has a wealth of knowledge that can’t be replaced with an algorithm. The banker should also have direct access to the loan processor. This is extremely important.
Go to a direct lender. While it’s the toughest place to qualify for a mortgage, I believe it’s the safest and best approach. Don’t shop for rates because this is the worst way to proceed.
Hiring The Wrong Attorney
Once again you need someone you can mesh with. This means establishing rapport over the phone since, whether Covid or not, communication is over the phone. It’s doesn’t work if you and your attorney can’t understand each other.
Never ever choose an attorney by what they charge. Would you go to a discount brain surgeon? Real estate attorneys do more than read a contract. Their advice is priceless. So much is involved – contract, home inspection issues, title work, deed, survey, etc. You want someone who will truly read every document.
Make sure your attorney does a large volume of local residential real estate. Town ordinances matter. A good local real estate attorney knows these things.
Why would you risk having a thorough home inspection to save $1-200 while you’re spending hundreds of thousands on a house? People do every day. They hire someone cheap who does a lousy job. Problems are found after they move in. Ouch!
Find a good inspector by recommendations from your agent and folks you know who’ve recently purchased a home . Ask for referrals from the inspector that are no more than 3 months old. Then call them.
Make sure the inspector belongs to ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors). What tools does the inspector use? Some use drones for roofs. Does he have a tool that measures dampness in a wall? Does he do a lot of inspections where your house is located? Is he familiar with local environmental issues and housing styles?
The Top 3 Home Buying Mistakes
You can avoid the top 3 home buying mistakes if you know what to look for. A lot of it comes down to a few simple concepts. For recommendations or questions, text/call me at 201-741-8490.