Unemployment rates have risen, foreclosures are still occurring, so everything on the home market must be a steal, right? Wrong! Just because a home is being sold at a certain price does NOT automatically make it a good deal.
Now, more than ever, buyers need to exercise due diligence and research carefully before buying a home. A listing agent can recommend a certain price, but that doesn't obligate the homeowner to sell at that price. If you go to an open house and question the asking price, the agent will probably defend it – that's their job. In most cases, they work for the seller, not you, the buyer.
- What can you, the buyer, do to make sure the home is worth what the seller is asking?
Ask your agent (or even the listing agent) for recent comparable sales in the neighborhood that justify the house. Real estate agents have access to sales information that can give you a good idea of how much a house should sell for.
- Things to weigh as you look at a new home:
Does it actually meet my needs, both now and for the future? If you're starting or expanding your family, will this home work? Will you need to add on or make major modifications for it to suit your lifestyle? Is there enough storage and closet space to suit your needs?
Does it meet any handicap-accessible needs you have? If this is a concern, will you have to modify the home to meet these needs?
Is the neighborhood a good fit? If you have children, check out the school district. This is important for both your family and because it can affect resale value. Ask the local police department for information on safety concerns in the area, and walk around yourself to get the feel of things.
Make a list of activities you enjoy to see if this area meets your needs.
Does the home need major repairs within the next five years? If so, how much will the repairs cost?
Can I afford the taxes if I get re-assessed? Checking with the local city economic office will help you learn if/how property values have changed.
What is my financial safety net? If you're a dual-income family and one spouse decides to stay home, how will this affect your financial situation? Will you be able to afford mortgage and upkeep on the home?
In general, making sure that a home fits your needs and that the price is justified, given the current market conditions, will leave you happier in the long run.
Ask your Re/Max agent TODAY for more information about the one-time $8,000 First Time Home buyer and $1,500 Energy tax credits!
Cell - (262) 204-SELL