There’s so much information on the internet, I really think not finding a home buyer’s agent that you can trust is a big one, but assuming this isn’t the direction you want…
- Not getting an inspection – I don’t care, new construction, resale even Mom’s house (buying from family). Get it inspected… the piece of mind alone is worth it. In Georgia, this will cost you roughly $500 or less. A good report might be 50+ pages. The key is to be informed, yet not be alarmed. There’s always things wrong with a home, there’s always things that might need to be replaced in the coming months or years. It’s part of owning.
- Not shopping / interviewing – (HUGE!!!) Most buyers choose the first vendor they interact with, whether that’s a real estate agent, attorney, inspector, the list goes on. It’s sooo worth it to get good people. Online shopping for people can be hit or miss depending on the profession. In general, stay away from mortgage people online, whereas you might only be able to find a good inspector by visiting ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) first. Do your research – that’s why you’re here afterall.
- Not working with a budget. – If you’ve been renting it makes sense to buy, but a lot of buyers just see what they can get vs what they can afford. It’s very common to see first time home buyers end up “house poor” where they can’t afford to furnish the home.
- Not driving the neighborhood – Not driving from the neighborhood to work, or shopping, etc. Nothing worse than buying a dream home only to hate your new commute! Don’t just google map it out, wake up one morning drive out to the house and drive to work, see what happens. Chances are really good that there will be some fears that you had that might vanish and NEW ones will be there. This happens most often with home buyers buying new construction. The allure of the home is stronger than the rational side.
- Not interviewing the schools! – This one is HUGE too. Stats only give a small sliver of the school picture. Go and visit the schools, how do they handle visitors, how about how you are treated? Diversity? Seeing it in person is so much better than just an online survey. I’ve had several home buyers change their mind about an area after visiting the school Some schools look really bad on paper but have excellent individual programs for certain specialties. An example is that Norcross and South Gwinnett High School does not rank well academically but a few years ago if my child was in Softball or Basketball, that’s where I’d want them to go.
Bonus Surprise one…
Including “advice givers” at the last minute. This one is common with first timers. They go see 10 homes (after eliminating 50 on the internet) and then invite the parents or Uncle Joe to see the home. The “adviser” does what they think is best and tries to protect the buyer and usually slams the home. Unfortunately, they don’t have the education in seeing the other 10 homes or understanding the market. They are basing their decisions on their current perspective of their living situation. If you’re going to rely on advice, then make the person go through as much as the process as you can, if not then only rely on that person the percentage of their involvement.
Related Real Estate Resources: