Buying a house is a big deal, so it’s only natural for buyers to ask others for advice before taking the plunge. The thing is, some pieces of advice aren’t necessarily good ones. Even advice that may have been true at some point in the past might not be applicable today.
As a buyer, you want to follow sound guidelines to navigate the market and end up with a successful contract when all is said and done. But the following pieces of advice might not be ones you should follow.
Spring is the Best Season to Buy
There’s a long-standing myth about buying and selling real estate, and that is the idea that the spring season is the ideal time to buy. Sure, the spring is a great time to go looking for a home. But so is any other time of the year.
As a buyer, don’t wait around until spring to look for your next dream home just because it’s widely believed that this is when floods of awesome new listings will come onto the market at great prices.
This might be a great time to house hunt, but there are great homes to be found in the other three seasons as well. While there may be more housing inventory in the spring, there might also be heightened competition among buyers too.
When you’re ready to buy a new home, the time to start looking is now. Regardless of what season you happen to be in, it’s likely a great time to buy, as long as you approach the process according to current market conditions (which your agent can help you with!).
Wait For Prices to Come Down
Of course, every buyer wants to find a home at a great deal. Nobody is looking to pay any more for a home than they have to. But maybe you might be finding yourself in a seller’s market right now where prices are quite high to reflect the big demand for homes and lighter inventory.
You might have been told to wait until prices simmer down somewhat before you plunk down a huge chunk of change on a new home. But that could be bad advice. Why? Because prices are constantly on the rise.
Waiting until prices slow down is not really the best approach to take. Given the history of housing price increases in California – and across the nation – you’ll likely be paying a higher price a few months from now if you wait. While there might be slight dips here and there, timing your home purchase just right could be a gamble.
Your best bet is to make a smart purchase today on a property that will likely appreciate in value over the long haul.
Offer a Price With Room to Wiggle
A common tactic that some buyers employ is offering a price that’s low enough to allow for some negotiation. It’s often assumed that real estate deals involve a bit of back-and-forth bantering between buyers and sellers. And while they often do, it’s not necessarily the way they all happen.
With this idea in mind, buyers may offer less than what they probably should in an effort to leave some room to haggle.
But that approach could backfire. In the current market, even motivated sellers may be less likely to participate in constant counter offers in a real estate transaction. These days, listings are usually priced as close to the final sale price as possible, and a big reason for that is because sellers are pricing their homes according to what the current market dictates.
Instead, buyers should be basing their offers on comparables, which are similar homes in the area that have recently sold. Smart sellers know exactly how much their homes are worth and probably won’t respond well to lowball offers.
The Best Deals Are in Distressed Sales
Many buyers look to foreclosures in an effort to get the best deals on a home. But while there are certainly deals to be had this way, buyers need to understand that there are plenty of nuances that come with distressed sales that could end up costing them more than they may realize.
Foreclosures are usually sold in “as is” condition, without buyers even being able to see the inside of the home in person before committing to the purchase. That means that the property is being sold in its current condition without the opportunity to have a home inspection done or a chance to back out of the deal if a major issue is discovered.
While many foreclosures don’t require much work to bring them back up to par, others might be total disasters. It’s a risk that buyers take when purchasing homes this way.
You Don’t Need an Agent
There’s absolutely no reason for buyers to go it alone when looking for a new home to buy. Considering the fact that sellers are usually the ones who pay real estate commissions, buyers really have nothing to lose financially by working with a real estate agent.
Buying a home is a huge deal and involve hundreds of thousands of dollars spent. With such a big investment on the line, it’s crucial for buyers to have a seasoned professional in their corner to make sure all bases are covered.
As a buyer, having a real estate expert on your team who’s completely involved and knowledgeable about the market is important to help you find the right home, steer clear of problems, put together a sound contract, protect you from legal repercussions, and make sure you get the best deal on a home.
The Bottom Line
If you want to make sure you’re getting the best advice when it comes to buying a home, speak with a real estate agent. Any advice that you obtain should only come from a seasoned expert who has their finger on the pulse on the current market in your area. Be sure to consult with a professional for the best advice you can follow.