There are so many right steps and missteps in real estate, and I’ve observed my own clients and colleagues’ clients making many of the same miscalculations when in the market to buy a home. In the interest of helping you find and purchase the home of your dreams, here are some of my top do’s and don’ts:
1. Don’t be afraid to show your cards to your Realtor.
I’ve noticed that some clients will hesitate to share their true “top dollar” amount or how much they love a home. They will often hold their cards very close to their chest, believing that if they reveal too much that their Realtor will weaken their position with the seller. Not only would this action be against our Code of Ethics, a savvy Realtor will endeavor to keep you in the best possible light when dealing with the seller’s broker. Plus, with the knowledge of your heart’s desire, he or she will do everything possible to negotiate a winning outcome for you.
2. Clear your schedule to look at new properties that come onto the market.
Being too busy with work and other activities could jeopardize your ability to find the home you want. With historically low inventory in our market, and a list of must haves and don’t wants from a client, very few homes may actually make it through a client’s filter. My council to buyers is to approach a serious home-buying effort like a new part-time job — be ready to get into a home in the first 24 hours it is on the market. Your Realtor’s job is to make sure you get into it in the same timeline. Without that mutual cooperation, chances for success are substantially lower, if not darn near impossible.
3. Trust us.
When it’s time to sit down and write an offer, sometimes buyers make arbitrary decisions on terms like the amount of earnest money and question offering price strategy. Writing an offer is a great opportunity to discuss what areas of the contract can be enhanced, helping chances of acceptance with the lowest amount of risk to the buyer. Ideally one can discuss different offer scenarios before one is actually writing on the home of one’s dreams, giving time to the buyer to decide which strategies they feel comfortable with. Trust in your Realtor at this important moment is paramount or it can hamper writing the best possible offer. If this level of trust is not there, I would advise working with another Realtor.