The process of searching for a home can feel like a roller coaster and especially stressful if it’s a competitive seller’s market! As an experienced real estate agent on Oahu, I’ve seen a handful of first timer mistakes. However, allow me to ease some of that stress with 5 things to keep front of mind while shopping!
1. NOT Interviewing Agents to Represent You
As a home buyer you are entitled and (definitely should) choose to use an agent…. but not just any agent! It’s important to do your research and choose a few agents to interview with because having a strong realtor can potentially save you money, time, and a huge headache!
My recommended traits for choosing a strong realtor:
- Experienced or have an excellent support system (like a team or communicative broker)
- Someone you feel comfortable with and trust (you will be spending a lot of time with this person)
- Someone that provides tons of value and insight
- Extremely communicative and responsive
2. Overlooking Location + Getting Distracted by Renovations
Every situation is different, however… in a competitive market like Hawaii, prices of homes can sky rocket and turn into a bidding war especially if it’s in a great location, excellent condition or beautifully remodeled.
It’s no secret that location is key! I’ve seen quite a few gems in amazing locations overlooked by potential home buyers because it’s not shiny and new. BIG MISTAKE, everything is renovate-able 😉 especially at an excellent price. You can’t pick your neighbors, and you can’t pick up and move your house if you decide that you don’t like the view. However, if you want to replace the bathroom cabinets and old school tile… well easy-peasy!
Now choosing fully renovated is really not a bad thing, i purchased my home this way because i desired move-in ready and preferred to not have to make any improvements but i did notice that i spent a little more and quite honestly i still want to change a few things. But one thing i am sooooo thrilled about is the LOCATION of my home. It’s something that you definitely should not skip out on when home shopping.
3. Thinking Everything Will be Perfect
Tough pill to swallow. Especially in a competitive/crazy market. As we all look at spending the MOST money we’ve ever spent our expectations can be through the roof but truth is, no home is 100% perfect. Quite honestly nothing is perfect, and it’s important to assess your wants and needs when home shopping. This will help you narrow down your options and help you decide when an amazing property and opportunity presents itself.
4. NOT Thinking Long-term
Real Estate is a long game. Well at least a 4-5+ year game. Have i seen families pocket some nice cash in a shorter time? Absolutely! But is it really common? Nahh it depends. It’s a case by case scenario and truly property specific. As FTHB, it’s important to recognize that your first home might not be your forever home, but when shopping you might want to plan for at least a 5-year home. To plan for this we should probably discuss your unique situation here🤙🏻
5. Presenting an Offer without a Cover Letter
Ok ok, let’s say you’ve found one in a great location, the price is also within your budget and it checks all your boxes! BOOM, offer time! But this isn’t a done deal…think back to when you asked “why is the seller selling?” Ever think the seller may want to know why the buyer wants to buy?
Often times they do, especially if this was their first home too! So it’s important to introduce yourselves, tell your story, and share why you love the home. If there is anything in that cover letter that the seller can connect with, it can potentially benefit you. I’ve seen it done with many of my FTHB clients and it makes for a true WIN-WIN negotiation.
This can also help you if you’re in a competitive situation and can’t budge on price. Overall, you have nothing to lose with this added step!
Hope you found these tips helpful! Let me know what you want more info on next!