Given that we’ll be moving in the coming months, I’m always on the lookout for good articles on buying and selling houses. Here’s one from Bankrate.com that covers ten real estate mistakes to avoid. Today we’ll cover the first five…
1. Not understanding the length of the buying/selling process — This is the scariest one for us… The home-selling process can often take a surprisingly long period of time. The article recommends giving yourself and extra couple of months. But we don’t have an extra couple of months!
2. Exposing your hand — Never let your love of a house cloud your judgment, and always contain your enthusiasm. You don’t want to let the seller (or their agent) know that you’re hooked.
3. Skipping the loan preapproval step — Preapproval gives you an idea of how much you’ll be able to borrow, and it shows the seller that you’re a serious buyer. And in a hot market, sellers will demand proof of preapproval before they’ll accept your bid. Otherwise they might be wasting their time.
4. Assuming the appraisal equals actual value — Appraisals should be an objective estimate of your home’s value, but it’s critical that your agent do a comparative market analysis to get a reliable estimate of your home’s value just to be sure. And if you’re buying, be sure you get similar “comps” from your agent before making an offer.
5. Timing the bubble “burst” — Throughout most of the country, the real estate bubble remains ‘intact’. And bubbles such as these usually don’t burst, they slowly deflate. Your best bet is to treat real estate as a long-term investment, rather than a way to make a quick buck.
See also: Ten Real Estate Mistakes, Part 2