Buying a home, especially for the first time, can be an overwhelming experience. If you feel overwhelmed, trust us, you are not alone and it’s to be expected! There is a lot to take into consideration when buying a home, you have to get pre-approved, settle your finances, find an agent all before you even get to closing! Good thing there are many resources to help you make the process less intimating and easier to manage! We have outlined the four common home-buying mistakes that buyers make, according to our network of real estate experts.
Work within your pre-approved budget. Be realistic and plan out how much you spend in a month, and how much you are comfortable putting towards a mortgage. Remember, if you are not putting down 20% or more you will have additional costs to factor into your monthly payment like mortgage insurance. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your mortgage will include so you aren’t blind sighted when the first bill arrives!
Andrea Valenzuela shares that rarely does she show homebuyers homes that are not in their price point because, “…The psychology behind wanting something you can’t have is too risky. Unless I know the buyer is pre-approved for that price point, I do not show them homes outside their budget.”
Leave your emotions at the door. It’s understandable that when you find a home that gives you butterflies you want to act fast. And many times, that’s the message homebuyers are told by family and friends. But Marti Furay advises her clients that although you may love a home, it’s important to not extend yourself over the value of the home. “Home buying is a HUGE investment.” She reminds her clients to be patient and that another home will come along that gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling!
Not working with a real estate agent
When you’re buying a home, whether it’s your first or your third, it’s important to have a quality real estate agent in your corner! Real estate agents will help you get the best price for your home, and will negotiate the best offer on the home of your dreams. Deb Kirschbaum states, “finding someone to buy your house is easy. Getting to the closing table is the hard part.” And we couldn’t agree more.
Going out of order
Many first-time homebuyers, especially those not yet working with an agent, are unaware that they need to get pre-approved before purchasing a home. It’s important to first find a real estate agent, not only will they help guide you so the entire homebuying process is easier, but they are referral machines! Many know several reputable loan officers and lenders that can help you pre-quality for a home. Elaine Kilpatrick shares, “If they don’t know of a lender, I give them 3-4 numbers to call so they can decide the company they want to work with.”
Second, your agent will help you schedule tours, set-up appointments and take you through open houses all within your pre-approved price point. Unless you are able to purchase a house without financing, you will need to get pre-approved before submitting an offer on a home.
Everyone makes ‘mistakes’ but remember your real estate agent is there to help you through the entire homebuying and selling process. Use their expertise to your advantage and reach out when you have questions! If you’re in the market for a new home, and aren’t working with an agent, check out our online directory of experienced real estate agents that can help you through the process.
Originally published November 2, 2017 — Updated August 25, 2021