In addition to the items listed below, if you’re thinking of buying a home soon, FOLLOW THIS LINK for the rest of the details I reserve only for active clients

or contact me directly - Bud Griscom - Lyon Real Estate at 916-467-9283

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"A systemized approach to the home buying process can help you steer clear of these common traps, allowing you to not only cut costs, but also secure the home that's best for you."


No matter which way you look at it, buying a home is a major investment.  But for many homebuyers, it can be an even more expensive process than it needs to be since they fall prey to at least a few of the many common and costly mistakes which trap them into either:

  • paying too much for the home they want, or
  • losing their dream home to another buyer or,
  • buying the wrong home for their needs.

9 Homebuyer Traps

This important document discusses 9 of the most common and costly homebuyer traps, how to identify them, and what you can do to avoid them: 

1. Not Getting Mortgage Pre-approval

Pre-qualified is fast, easy and free, but to have the best chance to get the best home you need to be pre-approved. When you have a pre-approved mortgage, you will be able to move quickly to place an offer to purchase as soon as you discover the home of your dreams. Make sure you identify and uncover all costs - large and small - far enough ahead of time. You have every right to fully understand all fees associated with getting a loan, (unless you plan to pay cash) and the costs for inspections and all fees customarily included on the closing statement provided by the escrow company. All this helps you plan your expenses along the way and to be prepared with sufficient funds at closing.  In addition, find out what not to do between the time you are pre-approved and when you are presenting an offer to purchase. 

2. Buying the Wrong Home

What are you looking for in a home? A simple enough question, but the answer can be quite complex. More often than not, buyers have been swept up in the emotion and excitement of the buying process only to find themselves the owner of a home that is either too big or too small, wrong neighborhood, too long a commute to work, or a dozen more fix-ups than they really want to deal with now that the excitement has died down. Take the time upfront to clearly define your wants and needs. Put it in writing and then use it as a yard stick with which to measure every home you look at.

3. Not Using the Best Search Techniques

Most prospective homebuyers only search for homes on the internet. It’s a good starting place to get a feel for the market, but if you want to make a move soon, you are missing out on several other ways of finding the perfect home. You can learn a proven process that will save you hours of wasted time by using 7 tips for advanced internet searching that will help you zero in on the best properties to select for viewing. How to “read between the lines” of internet properties for sale to avoid the problem houses that will waste your time going to see. 

4. Misusing the “Fair Market Value” of the Home

What price should you offer when you bid on a home? Is the seller's asking price too high, or does it represent a great deal. If you fail to research the market in order to understand what comparable homes are selling for, making your offer would be like bidding blind. Even with this knowledge of market value, buyers often realize too late that several other critical questions need to be evaluated. What are they?

5. Making a Poor Offer to Purchase

Prior to making an offer, there are several significant bits of information that can help improve the odds of your offer being accepted. For example, do you know why the seller is selling, how soon to they need to be somewhere else, are there other offers being contemplated or coming soon, what items can you control in your offer that would make your offer more appealing to the sellers. How do you discover these things? 

6. Using the Wrong Approach for Different Sellers

Will you be dealing with a conventional owner occupied seller, an investor, a REO bank, a distressed short seller or perhaps a trustee or court appointed probate sale? While the template of your purchase offer is basically the same, choosing the best terms, presented in the best format for the specific seller can increase your odds for success. What is the simple straightforward way to avoid this pitfall?

7. Underestimating “Time is of the Essence”

A real estate transaction is structured to move along a very specific timeline for completion of the various stages of the process. Buyers who disregard the importance of this may risk the chance of their transaction being cancelled. Any good real estate agent will guide you along the way, but your cooperation is necessary to avoid problems.

8. Poor Decisions Regarding Inspections

Don't expect every seller to own up to every physical detail that will need to be attended to. Both you and the seller are out to maximize your investment. There are a variety of inspections that are available for every property. Some are more evident than others. Ensure that you conduct a thorough inspection of the home early in the process. Which ones are the most critical for the property being considered? Consider hiring an inspector experienced with the type of property you are considering, for example urban properties with public utilities vs rural properties with wells and septic tanks. Do the inspection reports provide approximate costs for the repairs? When and how would it be a good idea to ask the seller to make the repairs? There are proven strategies for this too.

9. Rushing the Closing

Take your time during this critical part of the process, and insist on seeing all paperwork the day before you sign. Make sure this documentation perfectly reflects your understanding of the transaction, and that nothing has been added or subtracted. If you rush this process on the day of closing, you may run into a last minute snag that you can't fix without compromising the terms of the deal, the financing, or even the sale itself.

Remember, if you’re thinking of buying a home soon, FOLLOW THIS LINK for the rest of the details I reserve only for active clients

or contact me directly - Bud Griscom - Lyon Real Estate at 916-467-9283