Cover story: Mistakes first-timer buyers can avoid

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“Buyers sometimes assume they know what sellers will or will not do when negotiating the price or terms of the contract, and this can be disastrous,” Mr. Green says. “Sometimes buyers are too aggressive and the sellers will not even make a counteroffer. I recommend that buyers make an offer based on what works for them and on the value of the home rather than getting caught up in a negotiating game.”

Mrs. Thatcher says some buyers attempt to communicate directly with the sellers instead of having their agents communicate, which can derail a negotiation.

  • Not doing due diligence

While Mrs. Thatcher recommends that buyers allow their agents to do the negotiating and communicating, she points out that buyers must take responsibility for their choice of home and for investigating issues that may have an impact on the home and community that Realtors are not allowed to discuss, such as school quality and crime statistics.

“If buyers are concerned about the local schools, they need to do their own research and find out about them,” Mrs. Thatcher says. “Ultimately, the choice of a home is up to the buyer. I always tell buyers to visit the home on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon, not just on a Sunday afternoon, so they can evaluate their commute. I can help them narrow down their choice to a subdivision or a ZIP code and help them find homes to visit, but, in the end, it’s important that the buyers love their home.”

While buyers can rely on the assistance of real estate agents and lenders, they also need to carefully evaluate their own priorities and take their time to find a home that is both financially and emotionally comfortable.

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