“Buying a house is SO easy! There is no stress and everything just fell into place,” … said no home buyer ever! Last month we talked about The Selling Emotional Rollercoaster and the ups and downs sellers experience. So buying a home must be the easy part, right? This quick read will explain what a typical buying transaction looks like and the steps The Wistrick Team takes to avoid these pitfalls.
The gateway drug, AKA, Zillow – You harmlessly start poking around on Zillow out of curiosity to see what types of homes are out there in your price range. Then BAM! Before you know it, you’ve been bitten by the house bug.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Buying A Home
Step 1: The Loan
Unless you’re one of the rare ones who can stroke a check and pay for a home in cash, you will need to obtain a mortgage. This part of the process may feel a little like a spinal tap these days. Lenders will ask for your 3rd grade locker combination, your blood type and everything in between. Suddenly this house buying thing starts to lose its luster a bit. Because you’re determined to get a new house, you persevere and feel like you’re on Cloud 9 after you’ve submitted what you thought was the last of the 100th bank statement. If all checks out, you will get a call from the lender saying you’re pre-approved for a loan.
Step 2: Time To Shop
Your agent has set you up on a search, and you’re feverishly plowing through listings, critiquing and laughing at all the horrible decorating. Then, like a beacon in the night, THE ONE pops up! You dash to the phone to call your agent because you need to get in that house … like yesterday. But to your amazement, another one pops up that’s even better, and another, and another!
This is where it gets tricky. Now you’re starting to catch a buzz off of seeing so many homes, and they start to blur together. As you’re out seeing them in person, you start to realize most looked WAY better in the pictures. All of a sudden, your valuable time is starting to get burned.
Step 3: The Offer
Woo-hoo! Finally the perfect home becomes available. You rush out to see it and don’t hesitate to submit an offer. You have to make your offer attractive because, of course, someone else wants it too. Time to start biting off your nails. You wait and wait some more with no response. Then finally, they counter at full price with no concessions….what?!?! But you’re already emotionally attached, so you cave in and accept. The good news is that you are under contract, and the home feels like yours already.
Step 4: The Inspection
Here’s where the gloves come off! Just when you thought you were done negotiating, you have to step into the ring with the sellers once again. You feel like you’ve paid top dollar for the home, so you expect it to be nearly perfect. To your surprise, the inspector delivers a 25 page report that makes it sounds like your dream home is being held together by toothpicks.
What happens next? Your agent submits a repair request to the sellers, and they counter with an insulting offer. Now you’re fuming. You go round and round, but feel like you’re not being represented well and your concerns are being ignored. Closing day is looking more like a cage match at this point.
Step 5: The Closing
By some small miracle, you navigated through the loan process, the countless days of shopping, the inspection, the negotiations, and survived an awkward closing day. Emotionally, you’ve gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. You ask yourself…
Was all this worth it?
Could some of these hurdles been avoided?
Preparing for the road ahead
The number one rule we live by here at The Wistrick Team is to be proactive rather than reactive. Most buyers experience a roller coaster of emotions because they weren’t guided correctly and were given no expectations. For example …
The Loan: We only recommend top LOCAL lenders who have years of experience in the industry. They model our style of service and will explain each step of the loan process. Being left to figure this out on your own can nearly drive someone away from buying a home altogether.
Shopping: Our goal is to tailor our clients’ searches for homes that only match their criteria, such as size, school district and key features. Believe it or not, many agents set up non-tailored, basic searches which cause buyers to become overwhelmed with too many choices. It’s a poor use of time for everyone and the #1 cause for buyer frustration in the shopping phase. Our team takes it a step further by looking at aerial images (to see if there are negative factors around the home), getting a Sellers Disclosure beforehand (a 5 page document disclosing issues with the home), and calling to make sure there are no active offers on the table. Your time is limited, so we need to maximize the time we spend together.
The Inspection: Many times we can help our clients see potential issues before a formal inspection—old roofs, old AC units, poor drainage, shoddy DIY jobs, etc. We have seen thousands of home inspections over the years, so that pays huge dividends to our clients BEFORE they spend money on an inspection.
Secondly, we prepare our clients for what to expect when the inspection actually takes place. Most don’t know that you will enter a second round of negotiations with the seller …. and these are often more difficult than negotiating a contract price. This is where emotions can fly out of control because the seller feels like the buyer is insulting their home or asking for unreasonable requests.
Because we have been successfully negotiating repair items for over 15 years, we know what it will take to get through successfully.
Closing Day: Buyers are always surprised when we call to prep them for closing day. “Do you really need to prepare … aren’t we just signing a bunch of papers?” In reality, closing day has many moving parts:
And the list goes on! Our team handles so many details on our clients’ behalf, so they can focus on packing, moving and personal planning. Rarely will a purchase happen where there aren’t hitches along the way … that’s just the not-so-glamorous part of buying a home. But by having experienced pros guide you through, it makes the process far less emotional and much more enjoyable!
I bet you know a co-worker or friend who is looking to make a move! They may get some great tips from this blog, so we’d love for you to pass it along.