I work with a lot of Boise home buyers and have learned that there are a number of best practices that lead to successful transactions.
I also see many instances of common mistakes that Boise home buyers make while trying to buy a home.
Here are 7 mistakes that Boise home buyers often make.
1) Not Getting Your Financing Pre-Approved
Buying a home isn’t like buying a car.
You can walk onto a car lot, pick out a car, and the dealer will arrange your financing.
When you make an offer on a home, the seller and their agent will want proof that you can obtain financing before they’ll seriously consider your offer.
That means getting pre-approved for your financing before you look at homes.
Getting pre-approved will also allow you to fully understand all of the costs and terms of your financing.
2) Looking At Homes You Can’t Afford
If you are pre-approved to purchase a $250,000 home, there’s no point in looking at $300,000 homes.
The odds of finding a home you love, owned by a desperate seller who will meet your price point, are slim and none.
Don’t waste your time, and your agent’s time, by insisting on looking at homes that you can’t buy.
3) Selecting A Home On The Internet
The internet is a good place to start, but trust me, there’s much more to consider than Photoshopped photos on a website.
Everything looks good on the internet, but often not so much when you actually view the homes you like.
I’ve seen many homes that looked terrific online, then wondered if the home was the same home when I viewed it in person.
And, believe it or not, Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com don’t have a clue about the condition, neighborhood, and true market value of that home you just love on their sites.
After you find a home that looks good on the internet, drive by, check out the neighborhood, schools, schools, drive times, and other important considerations.
Then, ask your agent for their input on other details of the property.
4) Working With More Than One Agent
Contrary to popular belief, it’s pointless to work with more than one agent.
Because we all have the same listing inventory to show you.
Find a competent, full-time, experienced agent and pledge your loyalty to that agent by signing a buyer representation agreement.
Experienced agents won’t give you the time of day if they figure out that you’re playing the field and working with other agents.
5) Making Lowball Offers
Motivated sellers who are offering quality homes are rarely inclined to accept a lowball offer.
In some instances, a lowball offer will result in an outright rejection of your offer vs. getting a counteroffer.
When your offer is rejected, negotiations end unless you write another offer.
Lowball offers are offensive to a seller who has a quality property offered at a fair price.
When you make a lowball offer, you’re setting yourself up for the listing agent to use the existence of your offer to entice other buyers to write competing offers that will likely beat your offer.
If you want the property, make a reasonable offer and work toward a win-win transaction.
The lingering resentment that accompanies a lowball offer usually leads to a challenging escrow if the offer is accepted.
6) Making Contingent Offers
Few sellers, and their listing agents, will consider an offer that’s contingent upon the sale of another property.
A contingent offer transfers control of the sale process from the seller to the buyer.
A contingent offer essentially says” Mr. Seller, I want to tie up your property while I see if I can sell my property”.
That’s not very appealing to a seller with a desirable property who simply wants a firm sale and a smooth closing.
If you must sell before you can buy, it’s best to sell and close first so you can make a firm offer.
7) Requesting A Long Escrow
Escrows are like fruit ~ they don’t improve with time.
Sellers, listing agents, and buyer’s agents all hate long escrows.
Because things go wrong with long escrows.
- Interest rates can rise.
- Buyers change their minds (aka “buyer’s remorse”).
- Buyers can lose their jobs (I’ve had this happen).
- Buyers can decide to get a divorce (I’ve had this happen too).
- Buyers can die during escrow (I’ve also, unfortunately, had this happen too).
Most escrows can be closed in 30-45 days.
Requesting a long escrow can cause a seller and their agent to question the strength of your offer.
If it’s worth doing, it’s best to get it done quickly.