This one is a doozy! Over the course of my 23 year career I have seen this happen too many times to count. An out of town buyer sees an ad in a magazine or online and makes arrangements to visit the site. On the way to the development they drive right past several Real Estate offices. They arrive, have the tour and decide “This is Great…where do I sign”. In many instances the prices are very inflated or the Buyer gets upsold with extras that significantly increase the price.
Of course sometimes the deal is fair, but very often it is a lot higher than the best comparable’s on the market. If they had enlisted the help of a professional REALTOR to conduct a Comparative Market Analysis on the property they would have a clearer idea as to the true value and avoid the disappointment when the go to sell a few years later. We’ve all seen the situation where people have bought for x and then the developer blows out the remaining last few units for Y. It can be devastating.
2.) The Do-It-Yourself Home Inspection.
So you want to save $400-$500 dollars. Well your home inspection is not the place to do it. The market is full of stories of disaster DIY inspections. DO NOT DO THIS!
A professional home inspection will be conducted by a licensed inspector that carries errors & omissions insurance. It will discover any major structural problems as well as offer advice on mechanical and structural items relative to their age. It can serve as a maintenance guideline or as a warning to get out of the deal or renegotiate the price.
When you hire a professional inspector ask if you can be present for the inspection. At a minimum attend at the end of the inspection to discuss the findings and have the inspector show you what they found. The bottom line is that this investment is way to big to gamble with.
3.) Calling Listing Agents Only
You know how it goes. The Buyer says “I’m just calling listing REALTORS because if I buy their listing they will give me a discount”. This is something we hear often. Unfortunately (for the Buyer) it usually results in the Buyer overpaying for the property.
When a Realtor has the listing & Buyer for a property the are bound under agency law not divulge any information that could compromise either party. In fact both parties must sign a Dual Agency Agreement consenting to this special circumstance.
It can be difficult to be critical or negotiate on a Buyers behalf when you also work for the Seller. The best thing to do is to choose a REALTOR that can demonstrate to you that they have the required market knowledge and negotiating ability to represent your interests as a Buyer. You will have full confidence your interests are being represented and the perceived savings of using one REALTOR between you will likely be overshadowed by making the best deal for you.