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These are some but not all common mistakes that buyers make when looking for a home. Especially in a highly competitive market like Northern California, the devil is in the details. To win the game you have to play the game, but there is a common sense rulebook that you should follow. As always, I am available to help you navigate these and the many other issues involved with a home purchase. I look forward to working with you, ensuring your long-term wealth and happiness.

Dino Virella
Passion > Integrity > Results

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”1959″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Does not strike a monogamous relationship with ONE agent. This is one of the most important aspects of the home buying process. How can you expect success when you’re not showing any degree of loyalty to an agent? Interview at least 3 agents and align your self with the one that you feel will get you to the finish line. More on this process as this list rolls on.

Does not really know what they want. Many buyers do not really know what they want. They think they do but they really do not. When asked, the answer is usually a rambling diatribe of features with no real reasoning. Sit down with your agent of choice and be very detailed about what you want.

Does not review credit reports and FICO score. This is also a very key aspect of being successful. The time to find out that your have an error on your credit report is not during the loan application process. 80% of all credit reports have errors on them. 25% of them have serious errors on them and only 20% are truly accurate.

Does not secure loan approval with underwriting before shopping. Much like interviewing an agent, you should interview 2-3 lenders to review what the best loan products will be for your particular situation. You should also get underwritten ahead of time. This will put you in a better position when you make your offer by shortening your loan contingency removal period.

Does not “season” gift funds from relatives early in the process. If you know that family or friends are going to assist you financially, make sure the money is in your bank account for at least 60 days. This called “seasoning”. This will raise a red flag with most lenders if less than 60 days. This also goes for selling stock options and loans against 401K accounts.

Does not assemble long-term budget. Part of your responsibility is to put together a realistic budget so you can determine what you can truly afford. You do not want to be house-rich and cash poor.

Does not have a realistic timeline to make purchase. Try to establish a real timeline to buy your home. This is critical especially in a heated market place. You want to be ready to pounce like a tiger when you walk into a home and have that “aha” moment.

Does not follow-thru on agent references. This seems like a no-brainer yet I am mystified as to why more buyers don’t follow-thru on this detail. Request a list of professional references and be sure to call them.

Bounces from open house to open house hoping for a miracle. This goes back to establishing a monogamous relationship with your agent. Buying a home is a very complicated process, so why would you want to go through it without the help of an experienced industry professional as your partner and advocate? Think about it. If you walked into a property without representation and did have that “aha” moment, what would you do?

Trusts on-line websites for accurate info vs. the MLS. There are many websites with good housing information, however the bedrock of the industry is the Multiple Listing Service also known as the MLS. The MLS has the latest listing information as well as historical stats data enabling you to make an offer based on the most current details, putting you in a position to win. Much of the information on generally accessible websites is dated and/or inaccurate and leads to frustration.

Over shops what they can afford. This goes back to the budget issue. If your lender says you can afford $800,000 in a heated marketplace, then you should be looking at properties under this amount. In a competitive marketplace, that same $800,000 example is like to sell for over the list price, so adjust your shopping list and look at properties around the $700,000-$750,000 price point. Compromise is not a four-letter word!

Doesn’t researching neighborhood (crime stats, schools, recreation, etc.). Do your homework! At the price of Northern California homes, buyer’s remorse shouldn’t be part of the conversation post sale.

Gets emotional when kicked in the teeth. If you put in an offer and don’t get the property, don’t freak out. Dust yourself off and make it a teaching moment. Is there anything we could have done differently for success next time?

Doesn’t access the potential resale long term. Many buyers tend to think in the “now” without looking at the long-term gains that buying real estate can have. An $800,000 purchase could be worth $1,100,000 in a healthy economy (5% compounded appreciation). You never hear old folks lamenting the purchase of real estate. It’s actually one of the surest bets in modern day life. Also remember that today’s prices are tomorrow’s bargains.

Doesn’t take the time to review all disclosures and reports. This is huge! While a great agent will help you navigate these documents, it is YOU who actually signs off on them. Make sure you fully understand what they mean and the long-term implications that they represent before signing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]