In many areas of the country, housing prices are becoming competitive. You may only have one shot to make a good offer and get it accepted. We know that the process can be tricky, especially if you haven’t been through it before. But that’s where a great lending partner and an experienced real estate agent can make all the difference. Before you get started on your home search and begin those nail-biting negotiations, check out these mistakes to avoid to make writing an offer – and getting it accepted – a breeze!
Mistake # 1: Being Unprepared
There’s a first time for everything – and that includes buying a home. That’s why it’s critical to have someone on your side who can explain the process to you and help you avoid potential pitfalls along the way. Don’t know anything about earnest money, inspection contingencies or escrow? That’s ok – as long as you have an advisor who can explain the normal steps and terminology that go along with the purchase of a home. It’s also ok to interview more than one agent before deciding who to use. Their job is to educate you and advocate for you – from looking at homes, to writing offers, to finalizing the sale.
Mistake #2: Neglecting Pre-qualification
Going through the pre-qualification process should happen in the very early stages of house hunting. Many people assume what they can afford, but that can be very different from what a lender says you can afford on paper. This includes running a check of your credit. If there are problems, it’s better to know up front (and give you time to start working to fix any issues).
It can be very disappointing when you find a home that’s just out of your price range. Fortunately, this disappointment can be completely avoided if you know up front what you have to spend.
Mistake #3: Letting Your Emotions Prevail
It happens to the best of us. Whether you’re caught in a bidding war or every house you’ve seen goes under contract the same day, writing offers can feel like you’re on a roller coaster ride. Or you find the home of your dreams and in your excitement, you don’t see the lurking home repairs. We all have blind spots and get emotionally attached. Do your best to keep a cool head, thoughtfully consider counteroffers, and look to your agent for guidance. More than anything, don’t get pressured into spending more than is comfortable for your unique financial situation.
Mistake #4: Offending the Sellers With a Low-ball Offer
Everyone wants a good deal. You may have heard that it never hurts to go low because you can always come back with a higher offer later. Sometimes though, a lower-than-market offer can seem like an insult to the homeowners who love their home and have those same emotional attachments to it.
Conversely, don’t start your offer at the highest limits of your price range. Most sellers expect some type of negotiation and want to feel they are being met in the middle when it comes to price and terms.
Buying a home isn’t a simple process. But knowing what pitfalls to avoid and having experts you trust in your corner can really make a difference. At FirstBank Mortgage, our goal is to help our customers get to a better place – with a new home to call their own. For more information, questions or concerns, please call (855) 753-6209 to speak with a loan officer in your area.