If you’re looking to buy a house, you’re bound to have well-meaning friends and family pull you aside and say, “Let me give you some advice.” After all, they’ve been throughout the same process, or they’ve watched too much “House Hunters.” But even though they’re trying to be helpful, having an opinion doesn’t mean they’re informed.
So to keep you from jumping into the market armed with questionable “wisdom,” we’ve summed up the worst home-buying advice you have heard and explained why you shouldn't listen!
- ‘Hold off, home prices are going down’- Sadly, we have yet to find a way predict the future. Prices might drop, or they might keep climbing. If you want or need to buy a home, the time isn’t someday—it’s now.
- ‘You don’t need to use a real estate agent’- Even if you are a great negotiator, an agent’s knowledge and experience are indispensable. Not only will your agent know about properties long before you do and negotiate a better deal, he or she can also guide you through mountains of paperwork, pointing out potential problems that could cost you big-time down the road.
- ‘Just use the listing agent to represent you’- You need someone in your own corner, with an eye on getting you the best deal. You wouldn’t go to court with just one lawyer working both sides of a case. You want someone who has your interests in mind, first and last.
- ‘Make a lowball offer and negotiate up from there’- Making a major lowball offer can very often start negotiations off on the wrong foot with the seller. Serious buyers and sellers know what homes are worth. Which leads to our next piece of bad advice…
- ‘Never pay full price’- There’s no such thing as absolutes in real estate. If a home is overpriced, you don’t have to agree to pay full price. However, if it seems that the house is well worth the money after carefully studying the comps your agent provides, paying full price may be the only way to get it, especially in a competitive market.
- ‘Remove contingencies to make your offer stronger’- In a competitive market, it’s tempting to feel pressure to cast off certain requirements (e.g., passing a home inspection). Contingencies are designed to protect you from utter catastrophe—like buying a home riddled with toxic mold or liens that will cost you thousands of dollars. Never remove contingencies.
- ‘Don’t bother hiring a home inspector’- Oh boy. Saving those few bucks from skimping on an inspector could cost you loads down the line. Don’t skip inspection, not even with a home warranty from the seller.
Now that you're ready to buy, contact one of our many talented agents to guide you through the process!