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Andrew Caton is passionate about two things - Real Estate and the Greater Hamilton, Ontario area including Hamilton Mountain, Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Dundas and Waterdown. Through the blog we hope to share the best of our city as well as provide timely and helpful real estate advice - whether you're buying or selling a home.
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Top 6 Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make

Top 6 Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make

6. Wanting to see every home on the market in their price range.

Eek! That's a lot of work. It's also a lot of wasted time, for you, the Buyer. 

Do you watch every movie that comes out? No. Why? Because a lot of them are terrible. If there are 50 homes in your price range, maybe 5-10 are the real "blockbusters". How do you kow which are which? Fortunately, you have access to your very own "Home Review Critic". That's your agent. Their job is not just to show you homes, but also to look at homes when you can't. To determine if that house is what you are looking for and meets your criteria. Odds are, that if your agent is active, they have already viewed it anyways.

POWER STRATEGY : Look at the gems, not the junk.

5. Using several agents at once.

I'm going to be brutally honest with you here. Real Estate Sales is 100% commission based. If agents don't sell, they don't eat (or pay their brokerages and expenses, mortgage, taxes, car loans, kids college ... you get the point). Further, time is finite. Most agents will do their utmost to "win you over" to them exclusively. However, most agents will also only give half hearted service if they think there is a chance you will use someone else for your purchase or sale. Often they won't spend any time working for you.

POWER STRATEGY : Work with just one agent (more on how to choose at end). Every agent I know will work 100 times harder when they know you consider them your "go to person".

4. Using the wrong agent.

The agent is a friend of the family, maybe a relative, or a long time friend. But one thing becomes apparent after trying them out for several weeks. They don't listen. They show you homes outside of your price range. They don't answer emails or return phone calls. They blow you off, saying they are too busy. They pressure you to buy a home you aren't really sure about. In the end, they just aren't a good fit. 

POWER STRATEGY : This is a huge purchase and a VERY big deal. Do what's best for you. Find the right agent.

3. Thinking they can find the "best deal" by going direct to the listing agent.

I can't remember how many times I've shown a house to someone who has called from seeing the For Sale sign and been told they called direct because they wanted to get "the best deal possible". Invariably they want the agent to  "cut their commission to make the deal happen, you know, because I'm buying from you". 

Interesting.

First, let's note that in the case where there are competing offers from multiple agents the concept of "cutting their commission" to make the deal happen is virtually moot. In Ontario the law says that if there are competing offers and the Listing Agent is going to reduce their commission, it MUST be disclosed in writing to EVERYONE making an offer. So usually the Listing Agent just won't do it, or if they do, all the other agents will make the same concession, negating any "advantage". 

The other scenario is usually with a house that hasn't sold for several months and the Buyer hopes to save thousands by going direct. 

My question: Why would you want to buy a house that nobody else wants to buy? Nobody else is interested in the property at the current price point. How much could you possibly save to make this house a good deal?

POWER STRATEGY : Look for well priced properties and develop a relationship with a skilled and trusted agent who will negotiate the best deal for you. You'll get a great house AND a great deal.

2. Listening to bad advice or advice that is out of date.

Don't ever offer what they are asking. 

Lowball them.

That's a horrible area.

Today's Real Estate Market, much like many other industries is rapidly changing. Today's market is much different then it was 10 years ago, and it's DRASTICALLY different then it was 20 or more years ago. Each home and each negotiation is unique. The home you just looked at might be a GREAT value, and receive multiple offers causing it to sell for higher then asking price. Neighbourhoods are always changing. A neighbourhood that was undesirable 10 years ago, might be the up and coming neighbourhood of today. 

POWER STRATEGY : Approach each home you look at individually. Take all market factors into consideration. Then develop the best approach for that specific home, in that specific neighbourhood, at your specific time.

1. Trying to do it on their own.

Real Estate is dynamic and complex. I am not saying don't do your own research. Nor am I saying not to become an educated consumer. (Personally, I love questions ... I love complex questions even more.) However, much like you can't become a doctor by reading WebMD.com, neither can you gain the skills needed to obtain the best possible outcome FOR YOU, by trying to do it alone.

A good Realtor brings to the table a variety of skills that have been refined over years and years of experience. They will make the stressful and complex processing of buying and selling seem easy. Some of us will even make it fun ;)

POWER STRATEGY : Before you start looking, find your agent. Talk to several to see if they are a fit. Sit down, have a coffee, and ask them TOUGH questions. In the end, pick the agent that you feel COMFORTABLE with and CONFIDENT about. 

 

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