The real estate game is far from simple. Not only are there tons of mistakes and missteps that can be made along the way, but the stakes are also pretty high. Whether you’re buying or selling a property for the first time, we don’t want to see you make any avoidable blunders. So, to help you forge ahead without regret, we’ve rounded up a list of common mistakes that you will want to avoid at all costs.
To kick it off, let’s talk about buying a home or property. We know as if it isn’t already daunting enough. We’ve got two things for you to be aware of that should make your experience far more efficient and hopefully more cost-effective, too. Here’s what you want to avoid:
Not Getting Pre-Approved
Please, we beg, do not venture into today’s real estate market without being pre-approved for a mortgage. This is an invaluable step for two reasons. First: getting pre-approved from a lender gives you clarity on your price range. This helps you ensure you are only looking at homes you can actually afford and not falling in love with something to later be disappointed.
Beyond gaining a well-rounded grasp of your financial situation as a prospective buyer, being pre-approved is actually a serious feather in your cap in this extremely competitive market. With so many buyers and so few affordable homes on the market, you will struggle to be taken seriously unless you’ve completed the step of being pre-approved. It is a huge risk for a seller to commit to someone who has yet to be approved, so give them more incentive to take your offer by proving you can actually back it up.
Not Exploring Your Options
Buying your first home is exciting! But, you can’t let your excitement blind you along the way. There is no one-way track to homeownership and everyone's journey looks very different, so you need to be aware of the endless options that you have. You want to shop around when it comes to a mortgage lender, a real estate agent, different neighbourhoods, various types of homes, and different mortgage terms. Moreover, there are many different types of loans and various structures that can support folks in unique situations in purchasing their homes.
So, ask tons of questions, do tons of research, and always get multiple opinions every step of the way. Commit to being flexible and give yourself permission to change your mind. Flippantly locking yourself into any relationship or situation without understanding the full ramifications is always a mistake.
Now, let’s talk about some selling mistakes you should be aware of before you delve into that side of the transaction.
Not Properly Staging
Not to be dramatic but, staging is everything! When a prospective buyer steps foot into your home for the first time, all of the little details come together to inform their gut instinct about the place. If it’s beautifully staged, they’ll be far more likely to want to picture themselves living there. Staging stretches far beyond the decor in this circumstance, you’ll want to consider paint, lighting, appliances, and everything in your power (and budget) to elevate the first-look impact of your home’s appearance.
Skipping Professional Photos
In the same vein, you certainly don’t want to list your home with unattractive photos. Unless you’re a photographer yourself, you’ll want to be sure you hire a professional real estate photographer or partner with a realtor who includes this in their services. Just as you want someone to fall in love the second they step through the door, you want someone to feel that way when they stumble upon your listing.
Pricing Your Home Incorrectly
Last but absolutely not least, pricing your home incorrectly can be deeply damaging to your potential sale. Pricing too high may leave it sitting on the market and put off potential buyers who keep their eyes on the market. On the flip side, if you price it too low, it will likely sell but you would be missing out on some serious earning potential. To avoid this mistake, you’ll want to get an assessment before you list your property.