There are many aspects to buying a home that a normal person who isn’t in the industry daily might not understand. A professional real estate agent’s job is to juggle all the components involved in the purchase. Without the right professional help, homebuyers risk making costly mistakes that either kill the deal or leave them with huge financial burdens after the sale. Here are 5 home buying mistakes hiring a Los Angeles agent will help you avoid.
Offering Too Little
Buyers want the best price possible and sellers want the most profit imaginable. At the same time, everyone needs to understand there is a sweet spot for offers. Sometimes you can get away with a low offer if you waive any inspections and buy the property “as is.” But more often than not, unless the property is advertised that way, you’ll essentially insult the seller who won’t even consider opening negotiations with you. It is also possible to offer the listing price that doesn’t get considered because the market is hot and the seller has multiple offers.
A good real estate agent understands the market conditions, property pricing and is able to feel out sellers or the seller’s agent to see what might be considered or not. When agents talk to each other, more information behind the sale is often revealed, helping you the buyer get a better starting point for an offer.
Unless you know how to fix plumbing, electrical, termite damage and any series of other potential existing or impending problems in a house, you don’t want to bypass inspections. Even a new home might have issues with it that could be costly if discovered after the sale is complete. While there are those who do waive rights to inspections, these are often investors that are either contractors themselves or have access to the best to sweep into a home and whip it into shape.
Once escrow closes, the responsibility is the new owner’s. But if an inspection shows existing and potential problems, the new buyer is able to negotiate to have items fixed or reduce the price of the home based on the problems. Your agent will keenly advise you to pay for at least one general inspection.
Forgetting Contingency Timelines
With so much going on in the home buying process, it is easy to forget timelines. There are many and they are confusing because they are based on trigger events. Nineteen days from the opening of escrow…. Does that mean the day you gave the check, the day escrow got the documents or the day that escrow actually opened the file? While this may not seem like too big of a deal if you miss a deadline you have waived the right to exercise options during that contingency period. For example, if you miss the inspection deadline you can’t have inspections. Okay, that isn’t entirely true. You can still hold an inspection but if you find out anything is wrong with the property, you won’t be able to negotiate and if you walk, you lose your deposit. Your agent keeps you on track.
Negotiating is a stressful thing for homebuyers. Most homebuyers already envision their kids in the tree swing and backyard bounce houses. Yet the price of a home is the largest purchase most people will ever make. This means a homebuyer is caught between desire and fear. A real estate agent helps focus the negotiations to what is realistic. By removing the actual buyer from the process of negotiation, the agent is able to remove the fear component which tends to keep things less heated and allow all parties to come to an agreement.
Not Using Professional Resources
When paying for inspections and other costs in the process of buying a home, it might seem like a good idea to call Uncle Joe who was a plumber to look at the house. That might be fine but it might not be. Professional inspectors look at home in a different way than a repairman. In fact, most service providers who offer inspection services have specially trained technicians to look at a home in the buying process to ensure the scope of inspections gives a buyer the information needed to make a smart decision. Uncle Joe might not have a camera to look through the lines to see if they are about to crack with tree roots. Your realtor is there to make sure the right information is obtained, reviewed and digested to make a smart decision.