How to Lose a House in 10 Ways

Home buying is one of the most stressful experiences in adult life (second only to getting a divorce). Why is the process so draining? Unfortunately, there are tons of things that can make a deal fall through– especially if you aren’t working with an experienced professional. Here are 10 ways you might to lose out on your dream home (and how to avoid them):

1.You don’t have enough saved up for the down payment

Surprise! Houses are expensive. The down payment for which you’ve spent so much time saving might not be enough. In addition to closing costs, there can also be unexpected fees around every corner. Make sure that you have significant cushion savings in addition to whatever you plan on putting down for your house—you never know how these things will play out.

2.You don’t have your ducks in a row

Staying organized is essential when you’re house hunting. Are you serious about the bid you’re putting down? Make sure that you’re fully aware of all deadlines, contingencies, and paperwork involved in moving forward with your home purchase.

3.You’re shopping out of your budget

Looking for houses way outside of your budget is the first way to “lose a house”—you’ll just be losing a home you never had a chance of having. When you shop above your budget you’re sure to find a dream house that’s nothing more than that: a dream.

Also plan for the strong possibility of putting in an offer above asking price. This may mean looking at homes listed a few thousand below your budget to create padding in your budget to make a higher offer. 

4.You lose a bidding war

Quick, decisive, assertive—these are all necessary traits to winning a bidding war. Working with an agent who can negotiate on your behalf is a great way to ensure you play your cards right. Make sure you’re easy for your agent to reach during talks with the seller, otherwise the house may be gone before you can say “Here’s my offer”.

5.You come down with a bad case of buyer’s remorse

Buyer’s remorse plagues homebuyers across the nation. What’s the most obvious symptom of this condition? Cold feet. Sales contracts fall through all the time because buyers back out at the last second, succumbing to the fear of such a life-altering decision. Keep your wits about you and trust your gut.

6.You close too slowly

Sellers are trying to get sales contracts through as swiftly as possible. In this climate of high demand and limited inventory, residential real estate is a hot market. There will almost always be someone behind you, vying for your potential future home—if you really want it, work hard to satisfy the seller and make things official as soon as possible.

7.Your inspections aren’t timely

Speaking of closing quickly—inspections are sure to take some time. If you’re lucky, all you’ll need is one inspection. However, the inspection is just a first step. If an inspector discovers any problems, you’ll have to start making appointments with specialists to look further into the house’s issues. This is a race against the clock, limited by the time frame set out in the sales contract. Don’t waste any time getting the inspections going or you might find yourself without a house to inspect.

8.Your seller isn’t happy with their appraisal

An appraisal that comes in lower than anticipated is always taken by the seller as a personal blow. This proves to be an issue for the buyer, too. Either the seller will become difficult or, even worse, you’ll have to pay the difference between the appraisal and the sales price out of pocket. There’s another one of those pesky additional spends! Make sure to keep communication with the seller open and diplomatic when frustrations are running high.

9.You can’t secure a mortgage

You’re so close to the finish—and then your mortgage application is declined. Nothing will lose you a house faster than the inability to pay for it! Apply for pre-approval so the seller knows that you’ll actually be able to buy their home; don’t wait for something to go wrong. If you are proactive throughout the buying process the odds of you losing the home are significantly slimmed.

10.You don’t have an agent on your side

None of the above issues are simple. Having someone on your side that knows the ropes of the home buying process is the most valuable tool in your box. Your agent is there to take the brunt of the work off your shoulders and hold your hand along the way. Let a professional help you with the most important purchase of your life.

Going agentless leaves you exponentially more susceptible to the nine other ways to lose a house. Contact me today to work with an experienced professional during your next home search.

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