7 Mistakes Boise Home Buyers Make

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.


Boise Homes: Pending Sales Trends

Pending sales of Boise homes are an indicator of future closed sales.

Here’s a breakdown of 2014 year-to-date pending sales.

  • January: 813
    % Change: (baseline number)
  • February: 897
    % Change: +10.3%
  • March: 993
    % Change: +10.7%
  • April: 1,177
    % Change: +18.5%
  • May: 1,143
    % Change: -2.9%
  • June: 1,114
    % Change: -2.5%
  • July: 971
    % Change:  -12.8%
  • August: 898
    % Change:  -7.5%
  • September: 914
    % Change: +1.8%
  • October: 891
    % Change: -2.5%


  • October’s pending sales were only 2.5% below September’s number, indicating strength in our Fall market.
  • Pending sales are typically higher in our Spring and Summer markets, then decline as we approach our Winter market.
  • Our lower pending sales numbers from May through August confirm that we had a slower market this past Summer.

Data pertains to Ada County single-family homes on lot or acreage.  

Data does not include condo or townhome properties.


The Typical Boise Real Estate Transaction

As with most things in life, there’s a proper sequence that works best in a Boise real estate transaction.

Here’s how most successful Boise real estate transactions get to a successful closing.

Pre-Approved Financing

Smart Boise home buyers obtain pre-approved financing before making an offer on their chosen home.

Few sellers will accept an offer without pre-approved financing, and buyers need to understand the details of their financing before looking at homes.

Offer Acceptance

This occurs after all of the arm-wrestling is done and both buyer and seller have reached agreement.

Depending upon the circumstances, there may be one or more counteroffers before buyer and seller reach agreement.

Escrow Is Opened

The act of opening escrow occurs when either the buyer’s agent or the listing agent sends a copy of the accepted offer to the designated escrow officer.

Home Inspection

The home inspection is ordered by the buyer’s agent and is coordinated with the listing agent and the seller.

The buyer selects the home inspector, pays for the inspection, and it’s usually done within a week after the offer is accepted.


It’s customary to wait to order the appraisal until inspections have been completed and all inspection issues have been resolved.

This prevents paying for an unnecessary appraisal in the rare instance where the inspection reveals inspection issues that can’t be resolved between buyer and seller.

Loan Processing

Most lenders will process the buyer’s loan throughout the escrow period and be prepared to draw loan documents immediately before closing.

Buyers should expect requests for documentation from their lender during loan processing.

Hopefully, your lender will not wait until the last minute to process/underwrite your loan.


Contrary to popular (mistaken) belief, closing doesn’t occur when buyer and seller sign their final documents.

Those of us in real estate go to great lengths to confuse everyone by calling the “signing appointment” a “closing appointment”  :roll:

Closing actually occurs when the deed is recorded at the county recorder’s office, which follows the lender wiring the loan funds into escrow (aka “funding the loan”).

Buyers usually get the keys to the home after the deed has been recorded.


Boise New Homes Cost More

Boise New Homes

If you’re in the market for a new home, be prepared to spend more than you would for the average resale home.

The simple truth is that Boise new homes cost more than resale homes now.

There are many reasons, including:

  • Rising land/lot costs.
  • Rising materials costs.
  • Rising labor costs.
  • Stronger building codes and energy standards.
  • New homes are often larger with more amenities.

Here’s a comparison of closed Boise new homes sales vs. resale home sales for October.

Boise Resale Home Sales

  • # Closed: 544
  • Average Sales Price: $229,642
  • Median Sales Price: $190,250

Boise New Home Sales

  • # Closed: 131
    % of Total Closed Sales: 19.4%
  • Average Sales Price: $324,258
    % Difference: +30.8%
  • Median Sales Price: $304,900
    % Difference: +46.6%

Data pertains to Ada County single-family homes on lot or acreage.

Data does not include condo or townhome properties.

Data pertains to the month of October 2014.


Eagle Idaho : Snow Day Today!

Downtown Eagle, Idaho This Morning!

Today is one of those magical, rare, early snow days in Eagle, Idaho.

This is the earliest significant snowfall I’ve seen in our area since moving here in 1990.

Eagle Snow - 1 - 700W

Eagle Snow - 2 - 700W