13 Ways Buyers Can Step Up Their Game When Buying A House
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Forbes Real Estate Council

Successful executives in the real estate industry from Forbes Real Estate Council share firsthand tips & insights.

The homebuying process can be scary for a lot of people. After all, it’s a big purchase and there is a lot of information floating around about what to do, when and why. Few first-time homebuyers are truly prepared for the process, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We asked 13 real estate experts from the Forbes Real Estate Council to fill us in on the common pitfalls of homebuying and how buyers can strengthen their position and seal the deal on their future home.

1. Homebuying Is Not What You See On Television

In a hot market, buyers are frequently not prepared to do what it takes to win: act quickly and decisively and present a strong offer at the beginning. Too many buyers are watching too much HGTV and think they “know better.” It generally requires that they lose out on a few houses before they understand that they are not in control. The sting of losing a house they love is sometimes the best teacher. – Thomas McCormackResources Real Estate

2. Stop Looking for Perfection

Homebuyers need to be aware that the perfect property does not exist. As long as the property comes with more pros than cons, and they can make those cons better by turning the property into their own version of perfection, then everything should go seamlessly. – Engelo RumoraList’n Sell Realty

3. Be Prepared To Make Compromises

You may not be able to get everything you want in a home. Maybe you can get a home for the price you want in the location you want, but it needs repairs. Or maybe you find the perfect move-in ready home in the ideal location, but it’s more than you wanted to spend. You need to be ready to make compromises. Make a list of things you absolutely must have, and make a list of “would be nice” items. – Will FeatherstoneFeatherstone & Co.

4. Mind Your Budget, Not Everyone Else’s

What your friends, family and colleagues can “afford” is not your barometer. Your comfort level should reflect items including loans and debt. Whatever your number, remember: Owning a home is more than just your monthly payment. Consider utilities, tax and deferred maintenance items. Buy a home you can truly afford. The bottom line: Know your expenses. – Brian LawtonProperty Revival Realty

5. Evaluate Your Needs Vs. Wants

Homebuyers should separate their needs from wants. You might need bedrooms for each person, but want a game room. There is no “perfect” house, so understanding what you really need and communicating that clearly to your agent is very important.  Agents will do a better job for you — and the process will move much more quickly — when they understand the things that you really need in a new home. – Jeremy BrandtWe Buy Houses®

6. Become Financially Literate In The Process

Understanding the financing process of a home purchase can be really intimidating. After all, for most of us, this will be the largest purchase ever made in life! Don’t let the fear of unknown paralyze you. Find a real estate agent and lender who will educate you through the process and take the time to answer your questions. – Katie BrownThe Paramount Group at Windermere