If you had to do one thing over again when buying a house what would it be?
I participate on another forum and there is a great thread being written by consumers and agents alike about what they would do differently now that they know about home ownership and the process. I thought the information was good for consumers and agents alike, and wanted to share their words of wisdom for those of you out there.
Do a walk through the day of closing. Sellers are leaving junk behind that buyers are having to clean up and it is costing them money. This actually happened to me, and it cost me $300 to haul their junk to the dump.
Get a smaller yard. Don’t underestimate how much time it takes to maintain a large yard.
Would buy a resale home. Many buyers are seeing quality problems with new construction homes. Several folks commented that they would NOT buy new again. The commenters were also referring to spec homes, and not custom built ones.
Would get a home inspection on a new construction home.With the rash of building that occured during the boom, quality was a big focus on the thread.
Would look more at closet space. Storage space is one of the most overlooked items for buyers, when we look at homes. I know I am often pointing it out (when there is a lack).
Would have interviewed and gotten a really good agent, not just used the person on the sign. Sometimes the person on the sign IS a really good agent. Don’t rule us out, but if you don’t feel you are getting a great agent, look around.
Would not have stretched my budget. Bad things happen to good people. Plan for these times.
Would buy a smaller house. While enamored with the extra space, you forget about the cons. Remember you have to clean those larger homes, and have increased utility bills.
Would not let the agent represent both sides of the transaction (ie dual agency).
Would not hire a friend to be their agent or home inspector. I am getting ready to represent a friend and we had a very frank conversation about it. I needed to be able to tell her things she doesn’t want to hear and she has to be able to fire me without hurt feelings. I asked them to think about it, and would refer them to an excellent agent in town who would take good care of them. I’d rather have my friend than the money. They decided to list with me, but I do think this should not be taken lightly.
Would bargain harder. Many buyers fell in love with the house and didn’t bargain hard enough for a deal.
When relocating would rent for a year first, and then buy a home. Several posters expressed this sentiment. I just told some potential buyers this exact same thing a month ago. It takes a while to really learn neighborhoods.
Would look more at kitchen space. Remember dining rooms tend to only get used a few times a year for most people.
Would check zoning of the property and surrounding land. I would hope agents are encouraging buyers to look into this.
Would look at the performance of the school district by the state. Some people did not and bought in under performing school district areas. They were now paying for private schools.
I do think that as agents we spend our days in and out of houses, we would help our clients understand what due diligence means. Helping them to know what questions to ask is one of our greatest values. I think this list is a good reminder for agents to help our clients think through the process, and some good thoughts for consumers to consider.
If you are thinking about relocating to Salem-Keizer Oregon Metro area and need more information about what our city is like, please call or email me for more information. If you are considering a purchase or sale of a home, I’d like to discuss your real estate needs with you.
(c) Copyright, 2008. Melina Tomson, All Rights Reserved. DO NOT COPY this without express written permission from the author.