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Mistakes We Often See As Real Estate Agents

Homeworks Property Lab is a modestly sized crew that packs some surprising punch. All told, our beautiful downtown offices house just 13 agents…but our small team is flush with experience and industry expertise. Between us, we’ve got roughly a century in the world of real estate. 


In all that time, we’ve learned a thing or two about buying and selling homes.


The good thing is, we know what to do on behalf of our clients in pretty much any and every situation, whether it’s making an offer, writing the contract, or negotiating price and repairs. And just as importantly (maybe even moreso, in some cases), we know what NOT to do. Here are a few mistakes that you should be sure to sidestep in your next home purchase. Trust us, here…it’s best to know it (so you don't blow it).


 

SOME COMMON PITFALLS THAT BUYERS SHOULD AVOID:


  • Waiting to start saving/preparing Before getting out there, it’s a good idea (nay, a great idea) to be as financially ready as possible. Gather any/all financial info and do whatever you can to start squirreling money away. Money makes money, and the longer you save, the more you make. With a bit of prep, you can be in a good position for an upfront earnest money deposit (and ready for closing costs). Once you’ve been pre-approved and have clarified your price range and loan options, you’ll be in a great position to home hunt, and—when it’s time—submit a quick offer.


  • Not using a real estate agent A realtor can help in countless ways. They can recommend trusted banks and lenders, offer advice throughout the process, review contracts, and answer questions (e.g., “what’s earnest money?” or “is this home overpriced?” or “should I sign here or not?”). A good agent is akin to a well-informed tour guide—they can provide the useful information you need to make the right decisions, and generally ensure that the entire journey goes smoothly.


  • Not chatting with a lender/getting pre-approval Talking with a lender is an imperative early step that can save some time as you search for home. You’ll determine if you’re in a good position to buy or if your credit score needs to go up a bit (maybe you’re living debt free—great!—, but you’ll still need some credit history to qualify for a loan). Lenders can offer tips, provide worksheets, help you build or repair your credit, and ultimately, get you pre-approved for your purchase. Armed with a pre-approval letter, you can be sure to search for homes in your price range, and make a competitive offer.


  • Not asking questions If you have a question or require some clarity during the process, you should most certainly ask. Could I get a better interest rate elsewhere? Am I making the right offer? What does this line of the contact mean? Why do we need an appraisal? What is due diligence? This is likely the biggest financial investment you’ll ever make, and it can be stressful—all questions are valid, and they’ll help you to make decisions that are less emotional and more informed.


  • Risking financial eligibility Alterations in your employment status or major purchases that increase your debt-to-income ratio (or even a recent furlough) can impact your credit and potentially prevent you from acquiring a loan. Play it safe by avoiding things like buying a car, getting new furniture, or changing jobs during the process.


  • Waiving due diligence/home inspection In a seller’s market, it’s pretty common to waive the due diligence in order to get under contract. That said, a home inspection could help you to sidestep major issues in the future. This is where you get an idea of the condition of the home’s structure and core systems…things that, if found prior to purchasing, can be folded into negotiations. Without due diligence, any problems (no matter how big or expensive) are yours to deal with.


  • Not getting sewer line insurance After closing, this is an important step that could save you a good bit of money. Our city’s infrastructure is old, and any pipes from your home to the street are your responsibility. Trust us when we say that they can be very costly to repair or replace.


  • Neglecting to do the research It’s a good idea to have at least a basic understanding of the current market in your area, so you’re prepared before you enter the ring. Are multiple offers making things particularly competitive? Have prices increased dramatically over the last year for the home size or neighborhood that interests you? Avoid surprises wherever possible by doing a little research beforehand, and this tricky process will feel a lot less stressful. Hint: hiring an experienced realtor who can help answer these questions is a great idea.


Homeworks Property Lab, 66 Exchange Pl., SLC P: 801.810.8696


grey house with white trim

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