While you might be excited for eager clients who instantly fall in love with a home, you probably also feel frustration with those clients who must nitpick the smallest flaws in an otherwise lovely property. In either case, the clients are likely making terrible mistakes that will result in years of regret.
As a real estate agent, you are hoping to make the sale, but you also want to prevent your clients from allowing emotions or bad advice lead them into poor decisions. By understanding some of the most common home buying mistakes, you can learn to recognize when a client is heading down the wrong road to either buying a home they will regret or passing up the deal of a lifetime.
Helping your clients avoid these mistakes
Unquestionably, buying a new home can be an emotional experience. Your clients may be setting out on their own, providing for a growing family or starting over. No matter the reason for house hunting, they all have some idea of what they are looking for. Some might know only that they want to live in a certain neighborhood for a certain price. Others will have a long list of must-haves. You can help your clients avoid buying the wrong home by guiding them in doing the following:
- Making a list of items they want in a home
- Dividing the list into categories of items they must have and items they can take or leave
- Including a list of items they definitely do not want in a new home, such as a back yard that requires lots of maintenance
- Taking as much time as they need to examine a home, such as checking closets, kitchen space and bathrooms
- Imagining themselves going through a day in the home to see if it works for their lifestyle
- Spending time researching and walking through the neighborhood to get a feel for its vibe
- Gathering trusted opinions but relying on their own instincts about the home they want
- Understanding they may not find the perfect home, but they can plan to make small changes in a home that includes their must-haves
One of the biggest mistakes your clients might make is starting their home search before they check with a mortgage lender. Too often, buyers have no idea what they can afford, and you will have the awkward job of reining in their expectations. Having your clients obtain pre-approval before taking them to showings will likely save everyone time and frustration.