When you begin the process to buy property, you may think you can do it all yourself. While you are capable of picking out properties that meet your needs, there are a few industry tricks that new homebuyers may overlook, leading to mistakes. Below are a few of the most common missteps first-time homebuyers make and how to avoid them for a smooth purchasing process.
What Not to Do When You Buy Property
1. Get Emotionally Attached
This happens when you walk through a house and picture yourself living there. You become willing to overlook the property’s flaws and pay well above market value. To avoid this, make a list of what you want in a property before you begin touring homes. Include must-haves and preferences, but remember the difference: if a home has all your wants and none of your needs, move on. Take this list with you to homes to help keep you rational.
2. Avoid Hiring an Agent
Never go directly to the listing agent and try to represent yourself. A real estate agent will help with everything from paperwork to negotiations. They also know the business, which means they can sometimes show you properties that aren’t listed online or strike an incredible deal with the seller.
3. Skip Pre-Approval
You’ve saved up for a down payment, and you know that you have good credit. Now go to a mortgage lender to get pre-approved for a loan. This tells you how much you can afford, and the pre-approval letter from the lender will make your offer more desirable to sellers as they know you can pay.
4. Forget Other Costs
When you are calculating how much home you can afford, remember that your mortgage will not be your only cost. Factor in 1% of the home price each year for maintenance. Look up the cost of homeowner’s insurance, local utilities, property taxes, and other costs such as landscaping. When looking at homes, ask about any homeowners association dues or other local fees.
5. Overlook a Credit Report
Many credit reports contain errors, which lower your credit score and impact your ability to get a loan. At least a few months before you start looking at real estate listings, request a complimentary copy of your credit report from one of the credit reporting bureaus. You’re obliged to one free copy a year from each of the three credit companies, so you could request one every four months. Look through it for mistakes and report them if you find any.
If you’re ready to shop for your first home, talk to the team at Wright Real Estate Co. Based in Ronan, MT, their agents offer personalized service and more than 40 years of experience working with homebuyers in the area. They’ll guide you through the process so you can buy property that meets all your needs and wants. Visit them online to read about their agents, or call (406) 676-8610 to talk with a realtor about your real estate goals.