• 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying in Today's Market

When buying a home, you should want to pay as little as you need to for as much as you want. A professional Realtor can help you get the best deal. Whatever you do, don't make the mistakes listed below.

Whether you are looking for a place to call home for the long run or are looking for a place to grow your nest egg, you want to pay the best price you can for your property. Getting a better price builds instant equity in your property, and with an expert negotiator at your side, you may be able to acquire your dream home or investment property for less than the seller is asking for it. Unless, that is, you make one of these seven mistakes.

1. Not Consulting a Market Expert

Chances are you're looking to buy in an area you know only in passing at best. A professional agent keeps abreast of developments and trends that shape and affect local markets, such as the developments you read about on this blog. Our team has the deep knowledge of the neighborhoods we focus on, and we also know what to look for in a property that might affect its value for the worse. Having a professional Realtor at your side will help you avoid costly problems with the home you buy.

2. Not Having a Plan for Your Purchase

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." You want to make sure you're headed down the road to personal happiness and financial success, especially if you are buying a home for its investment value. Buying a property without having a plan for how you will manage or alter it will cost you money in the short and the long run. You should have answers to questions like "How long do I plan to own this property?" and "What if I need to sell before I had intended to?" in mind before you begin your search.

3. Not Sticking To Your Plan

Many buyers start their search with a plan for their purchase, then toss it out the window once they start searching. Because there are many homes on the market at a given time, it's tempting to buy a home you see that you like but may not fit in with your plans and goals. Don't force a square peg into a round hole — make sure you're buying a property that's likely to meet your needs for as long as you intend to own it.

4. Not Setting a Limit When Choosing a Home

Use your head, not your heart, when determining whether you're willing to pay more than you had intended to for a home. It's easy to fall in love with a home, but if that home lists for more than you'd set as your upper limit and your Realtor can't negotiate a better price, it may cost you money in the long run as well as right now. It will take longer for you to realize a return on your investment if you're investing, and it may mean you will have to sell at a loss if you need to move or sell in a hurry.

5. Making Too Many Improvements to a Home You Don't Intend to Hang Onto For A While

If you're planning to live in or hold onto your home for only a short period of time, don't go overboard on improvements - make only those that will increase the home's resale value. Ask your Realtor for advice about improvements you're thinking of making; he or she knows what types of changes will make sense.

6. Not Understanding How Agency Works in a Real Estate Transaction

You're hiring a professional Realtor because you want someone who knows the lay of the land and the negotiating process on your side as you find your way to a new home. Realtors will disclose any potential conflicts that may affect their ability to represent you effectively in a transaction; not only is it the law, it's good business practice. But don't be afraid to ask if you're in doubt.

7. Trying to Time the Market

None of us can know in advance when a market will hit bottom, so why pretend otherwise? By the time you get confirmation a bottom has been reached, the market is already headed in the opposite direction, so you will pay more than you wanted to for your property. Instead, just remember what your goals and plans are and figure out whether the home you're interested in fits them at a price you want to pay.

Reference: 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying in Today's Market Posted by Philly Living on Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 8:03am