5 Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid

ESTATENVY breaks down the steps to take when buying so you're fully prepared for this big investment.

Michele Narowetz, an experienced Sales Agent from Stark Company Realtors, shares the five common home buying mistakes new homeowners make when looking to purchase a home and how they can be avoided.

Mistake 1: Thinking a Pre-Approval Letter Isn’t Needed to Buy a Home

Many new homebuyers think they can begin searching for a new home without a pre-approval letter; something that can sidetrack their efforts. A pre-approval letter is crucial in finding and securing the right home. The letter is based on the buyer’s income, assets, employment and credit score. As an example, if you found your dream home and made an offer without a pre-approval letter and you were bidding against another potential, qualified buyer, you would most likely lose the house because of not having all your paperwork prepared.

Mistake 2: Not Understanding the Buying Process

Many new homeowners are unaware of the buying process when it comes to purchasing a new home. Each step plays a crucial role in the process, including the most common:

  1. Research
  2. Determine cost and get pre-approved
  3. Find the right agent for you
  4. Shop for your home with your agent
  5. Make an offer
  6. Get a home inspection
  7. Get your home appraised
  8. Finalize paperwork with your agent
  9. Close the sale
  10. Move in

Mistake 3: Not Understanding the Actual Cost

Many new homeowners think the only cost associated with buying a home is the initial asking price. There are many underlying costs that go into the purchase, such as the down payment, earnest money, moving expenses, inspection costs, closing fees and home owner’s insurance. It’s important to be aware of all outstanding costs, making certain you’ve budgeted funds to account for the expenses beyond the purchase price.

Mistake 4: Thinking Buying a Home isn’t an Emotional Investment

Buying a home can be one of the biggest decisions of a person’s lifetime. “Most of the time, when new buyers work with me, I don’t think they are emotionally prepared for the process. It’s an emotional investment for the buyer/seller and people aren’t always psychologically prepared for what they’re getting into,” says Narowetz. People need to be prepared to walk away from a home because sometimes the offer doesn’t end up working out. It’s important to always keep an open mind and remember that your dream home is out there…you will find it.

Mistake 5: Not Hiring an Agent

An agent isn’t needed to purchase a home, but they are certainly helpful and worth the additional expense. Remember, your agent works for you – not the seller. If you went to an open house showing without an agent and you’re unrepresented, you will be bound to the seller’s agent and it might not be in your best interest. It’s beneficial to have your own agent because they will be able to properly navigate through the process, helping you to avoid any potential mistakes. It’s definitely an investment to hire an agent, but it’s worth the cost to ensure everything goes smoothly. Not to mention, the agent will be able to negotiate whether or not the home is priced properly for the general condition and comps in the area.