Real Estate Basics – 6 Blunders to Stay Away From

Blunders are common in every sector, and whether you are a buyer or a seller of real estate, you will not be exempt from stumbling into blunders either.

Fortunately for you, whichever side of a real estate deal you might be on, others have made the same mistakes.

By learning from their errors and omissions, you stand a much better chance of achieving success in the deal.

Here are 6 common real estate blunders that you should be aware of.  

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Three Real Estate Selling Blunders to Avoid

A common misconception that sellers have is that, if they paid top dollar for their home, then others will automatically be willing to do the same.  

To sell your home, you must ensure others see the same type of value (or more!) in it that you do.

Here's how:

1. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder: Don't sell with the attitude of "What you see is what you get." If your real estate home doesn't look attractive, chances are it won't sell – at least not for your asking price.

A few coats of paint, a few gardening tricks and some bright curtains and drapes – and you'll be surprised at how you can transform an otherwise "drab-looking" home.

"It is what it is" is a huge blunder that many sellers make. As a seller, your thinking should be: "This house is EXACTLY what you (the buyer) needs"

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2. Price it right: Too often sellers lose out on great deals because they price the real estate property too high.

Make sure you have researched the prices of similar properties in and around your neighborhood before fixing your ask price.

There are a number of sites that provide this information online (some paid, some free). A reputable home appraisal firm can be a useful ally too.

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3. The devil's in the details: Eager real estate sellers often jump and sign the first deal that they think is "reasonable".

However, sometimes buyers will include clauses in the fine print of an agreement that could make you wish you'd never have made the blunder of signing so quickly.

Get professionals to help you with a deal. They've been there, done that, and can guide you appropriately.


Three Real Estate Buying Blunders to Avoid

As a buyer, you are in danger of falling prey to "buyer's remorse" shortly after signing a deal.

That's because you were probably desperate or too eager to buy.

Here's what you should know before you make that offer:  

1. Sight seen is better than unseen: Too often buyers are fooled by professionally "staged" properties.

While the untrained eye is likely to overlook certain basic flaws in a home, trained home inspectors will see what's often left unseen.

Before you make an offer, make sure you have a thorough home inspection conducted. Alternately, make your offer conditional to a clean home inspection.

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2. Oh! You wanted to buy low? Sometimes, buyers have just one objective: Buy low! That's a huge mistake.

It might work in some cases (e.g. if you are into "flipping"). For a vast majority of buyers however, what you pay for the property should be within your predetermined budget.

If you like everything about the home, and if you can afford it as part of your overall financial plan, then that's the price which is right for you.

Trying to force sellers to reduce the price by a few hundred dollars could cost you the deal!

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3. Beware of distractions: Too often buyers fall in love with the garden or the patio or the backyard. While those are important aspects of a real estate, the home is where you'll spend a lot of time.

Sellers might also offer "freebees" – an extra refrigerator in the basement, a matching couch and sofa etc.

Buyers should resist such distractions and focus on their core requirements instead: Condition, Size, Number of bedrooms, Number of bathrooms, Proximity to amenities, Price, Affordability, Closing costs and terms.   


Being Aware Makes the Difference

Being aware of some of the above common blunders can help you avoid unfair real estate deals.

As a seller, you must be aware that the reasons why you paid what you paid for your home might not always appeal to prospective buyers of your home.

As a buyer, you need to be aware that there isn't just one home that's right for you and your family – look around and you're sure to find others!