Common Buying Pitfalls
1. Failing to use the services of an experienced realtor.
Many times buyers avoid using the services of a realtor under the mistaken belief that it costs them money – or that they will be able to negotiate a better deal directly with the seller or seller’s agent. This can be an expensive mistake.
If you are negotiating directly with the seller or seller’s agent, you may not be taking advantage of the best deal available in the marketplace today! You can have your own REALTOR, representing you, the buyer.
Your agent is committed to using the experience gained through hundreds of successful negotiations for your benefit – at no charge to you! Your agent can be paid from the same commission that the seller’s agent is paid by the seller.
Real Estate is a unique business, where an agent with one day’s experience and no sales gets paid the same as an agent with several years experience and hundreds of successful sales. An experienced agent can help you avoid the other costly mistakes outlined here, and make your home-buying experience an enjoyable, stress-free one!
2. Not knowing who the agent is really working for.
Not knowing who the agent is really working for. It is important for buyers to know and understand for whom the agent helping with the house hunting is actually working. The agent may be working as a sub agent – representing the seller’s best interests during negotiations – or as your agent representing your best interests during negotiations. If you are not sure who your agent is working for – ask for clarification. Your realtor must fully explain agency. When negotiations commence, wouldn’t you want to know whether information you divulge will be used for the seller’s benefit – or yours?
3. Failing to have a Comparative Market Analysis prepared before offering.
Before you make an offer to purchase that special home, you must have a good idea what the market value is to ensure you do not overpay. Your agent can prepare a Comparative Market Analysis showing what similar homes have recently sold for, and the difference between the asking and selling prices. This is the same type of report the seller receives when deciding on an asking price. Wouldn’t you like to have access to the same information as the seller?
4. Failing to recognize different negotiating styles and strategies.
Many buyers think that the way to achieve a fair purchase price is by offering low. This is the strategy of the buyer who is not in possession of all the facts essential to negotiating the best possible deal. Many times that type of strategy will polarize negotiations and lead to inflexibility on the part of the seller – or worse yet – failed negotiations!
If you have chosen your realtor wisely, the most effective strategies for this particular situation will be revealed to you. Remember, in the real estate business, an agent with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. That experience could mean a better deal at the negotiating table with a minimum amount of hassles.
5. Using the “Hard Sell” during showings.
Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers like to “try on” a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It is difficult for them to do this if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made. Good Realtors let the buyers discover the home on their own, pointing out only features they are sure are important to them. Many sales are lost by overselling. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to them personally, they will reject the home in favour of a less expensive home without the features.
6. Failing to take the first offer seriously.
Often sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come. There is a tendency not to take it seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true if the offer comes in soon after the home is placed on the market. Experienced Realtors know that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process. The home is most saleable early in the marketing period, and the amount buyers are willing to pay diminishes with the length of time a property has been on the market. Many sellers would give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the first, and ONLY, offer.
7. Not knowing your rights and obligations.
The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars. Have an experienced Realtor who knows the “ins and outs” fully explain the contract you are about to sign, or retain a lawyer to review it before acceptance.
8. Failure to effectively market the property.
Good marketing opens the door that exposes the property to the marketplace. It means distinguishing your home from hundreds of others on the market. It also means selling the benefits, as well as the features. The two most obvious marketing tools (open houses and print advertising) are only moderately effective. Just 1% of homes are sold at open houses, and advertising studies show that only 3% of people purchased their home because they called on a print ad! Agents use these tools to attract future prospects, not to sell the house. The right Realtor will employ a wide variety of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones believed to work best for your home.