As the market stabilizes some buyers are defeating themselves and reducing the value they could gain from buying at the bottom of the market, in terms of both home prices and interest rates. Here are just a few ways buyers are setting themselves up for failure.
Looking too long and at too many homes. It is not unusual to hear buyers today say they've been searching for a year, 18 months, even two or three years. Often these buyers have made low offers on multiple properties and have lost out on several “deals”. When you take that long, you become susceptible to overpaying out of sheer exhaustion. It can also cause you to settle for a home that doesn’t meet your needs. To avoid this problem understand and be clear on the differences between what you want and what you need, and work with a local real estate professional you trust. Look to your agent to help keep your expectations based in reality so you can make better decisions about your purchase. Look at homes in a price range where you're likely to find something that will work for you and will allow you to be successful in your efforts to obtain one.
Delaying making a decision because they think prices may get even lower or a better deal will come along. The lake home market has stabilized and I predict a small increase in values over the course of 2012. Inventory is being reduced and days on the market are almost a month and a half shorter than last year.
Making offers way too low. Overbidding seems like an obvious way to cancel out the bargain potential of your deal but making excessively low offers that sellers couldn't afford to take if they wanted to can have the very same result. Buyers who think they can operate strictly on the basis of what the news keeps reporting as a buyer's market are shooting themselves in the foot. If you don't actually secure the home, the bargain basement price you offered is no deal at all. Even if you are willing to come up in price, you’ve probably insulted the seller which will make negotiations more difficult when you make a better offer.
Stressing out. There is so much information available now that it can be overwhelming for a buyer to know how to move forward. Some buyers try to apply national headlines about home prices being depressed to the superlocal dynamics of the Lake of the Ozarks market. Many deny that basic truths apply to them. For example buying a short sale listing can result in a great deal for you however every step in the process is a long drawn out affair, know going in that you will have to have patience and remain calm. Stress over buying a home often leads to panic-based and fear-based decisions, which can be costly in the short and long term.
Manage your expectations by working with a trusted broker or agent you feel comfortable having advise you about the lake area market. Make sure they are knowledgeable about the location where you want to purchase and that they have the negotiation skills to secure the best deal possible on the home that fits your wants and needs.
If you would like a detailed sales report on your specific property type or neighborhood, or would like information on the best buys at the lake, contact C. Michael Elliott & Associates at 866.Your.Lake or email@example.com View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com. You can also log your opinions on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com