On your quest to live out the American dream of homeownership, you may be your real estate team’s worst nightmare.
While most real estate professionals love helping first-timers accomplish the dream of homeownership, nothing quite sours a deal like a nightmare buyer. Nightmare buyers can be poor communicators and planners. They approach situations in a combative way and have unrealistic expectations. Not only do they make the entire buying process difficult for everyone involved, they also inadvertently put themselves at a disadvantage. Are you among those considered unreasonable home buyers? Here are some of the telltale signs:
1. Failing to Communicate
Having open lines of communication between you and the various parties involved in the home buying process can make or break your experience. Effective communication is a two-way street. You should receive prompt follow up from your real estate agent, lender, title company and escrow officer, and you should also provide them the same courtesy through your responsiveness. By going dark on your real estate agent, you could miss a deadline to submit an offer on your dream home. Ignoring requests from your mortgage lender can cause delays in securing your loan.
2. Having Unrealistic Expectations
One of the preliminary stages of buying a home is getting educated about the inventory in your target market. It can be disheartening to learn that your money doesn’t buy as much as you hoped it would. However, you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. If you’re motivated to buy a property, at some point you’ll need to come up with a new strategy that meets your objectives and works for your wallet. Can you open your search to a more affordable neighboring town? To stay in your desired area, can you consider different home styles, like condos or fixer-uppers?
3. Blowing Off Your Home Tours
Everyone is busy, and fitting a home search into an already packed schedule can be stressful. But if you’re serious about buying a house, you have to make it a priority. Not only is it rude to be a no-show at a scheduled property tour, it sets the wrong tone, which can hurt you down the road. For example, in the early stages of house hunting, you may decide to cancel a showing at the last minute. Fast-forward a few months when you’re serious about seeing a property. Coincidentally the same listing agent is representing the home and remembers you as the flakey buyer.
4. Bringing Your Entire Entourage to a Showing
Sure, it can be helpful to have a close family member or friend accompany you while you look at a home, but having more than a few extra opinions can be overwhelming. If you decide to bring a guest with you to showings, it’s important to set expectations. Many people offer their unsolicited feedback, which can be discouraging when you don’t see eye-to-eye. Before involving a third party in your search, make sure that person understands your priorities and budgetary constraints.
5. Nickel-and-Diming After a Home Inspection
In real estate, everything is negotiable. While it’s common for negotiating to happen after the home inspection, some take it a bit too far. When buying a used home, buyers shouldn’t expect everything to be perfect – because they never are. Renegotiating price or preparing an extensive repair agreement over minor items is nickel-and-diming, specifically regarding conditions apparent to the naked eye, like peeling paint or damaged floor coverings.
6. Ignoring Your Lender’s Sound Advice
Having a solid working relationship with your lending institution is key – after all, you are depending on the lender to issue your loan. When your application is going through underwriting, all of your finances will be scrutinized. During this time, you will be advised not to make any major changes to your financial situation. Switching jobs, buying a new car or taking on more debt mid-transaction can put a lot of strain on the situation or even tank your deal.
7. Taking Real Estate Concepts Out of Context
You never want to go into a major buying decision blindly. During the preliminary buying stages, you’ll want to get informed and may feel the need to consult Google for all of your real estate questions. With real estate laws and practices varying from state to state and even county to county, you don’t want to take information out of context. When you’re actually ready to buy, you want to surround yourself with trusted experts who are well-versed in the nuances of your local market.
8. Forgetting to Mention a Buying Partner
It may seem hard to forget about a partner when you’re buying a home, but it happens more often than you might think. A partner may be someone who is helping to finance the purchase, like a parent or grandparent. Another example of a partnership is an unmarried couple who buy a home together. In both of these situations, many questions need to be answered, such as who should be on the deed? Who should be on the mortgage? How involved should all the partners be? There’s nothing worse than waiting until the final hour and realizing you need a parent’s final stamp of approval before funds are released.
9. Having Your Funds Tied Up
A key component of buying a house is transferring funds over to the seller. As such, money must be liquid and readily available at the time of closing. It’s truly a nightmarish situation when a buyer’s money is unable to be accessed because it’s locked up in a bank with limited transfer options. Proactive planning can eliminate this issue. By contacting your bank ahead of time, you can walk through the available methods for transferring funds and ensure you won’t hit a snag at the time of closing.
10. Approaching Everything in a Doom and Gloom Way
Almost all transactions have some sort of complication or inconvenience – a home inspection doesn’t go as smoothly as planned, you need an extension to get financing, a seller accidentally forgets to submit paperwork, which causes a delay. In face of these issues, some people take on a doom-and-gloom mentality and shut down. Having a solutions-oriented approach is a much more effective way of working through any real estate-related problem. Things don’t always go as perfectly as you want, but if you focus on finding solutions, you have a much better chance of getting through the transaction.