Buying a home may be a financial transaction, but it’s a highly emotional one, too. And while there are highs—like the moments you know you’ve found The One or you get the keys to your new home—you may also go through periods of high anxiety or hopelessness before you close the deal.
Ask any homeowner about their experiences buying a home, and you’ll hear a similar refrain: Purchasing property is utterly nerve-racking. With so many moving pieces, buying a home can feel like a high-stakes juggling act—only you don’t have time to practice.
As a real estate broker going on 20 years now, I’ve worked with quite a few first-time buyers. Although each home sale is unique, I’ve noticed buyers experience some of the same ups and downs during the home-buying process.
Here are seven things only home buyers understand.
1. Online photos can be deceiving
Odds are good you’ll be spending a huge chunk of time looking at properties online, but listing photos can be misleading. Professional photographers and listing agents alike are capable of disguising flaws of all shapes and sizes. The only way to truly know what a house looks like is to see it in person.
2. Open houses are fun—until they’re not
Going to open houses gives you the opportunity to see properties without having to deal with the hassle of coordinating showings. However, it’s easy to get worn out. If you’re serious about buying a home, you’re attending open houses every weekend—which can get quite cumbersome, especially if you’d prefer to be out brunching with friends or attending Junior’s soccer matches. The important thing to remember is that your house hunt won’t last forever, in spite of how it may feel in the thick of things.
3. Buying a home can feel never-ending
Finding a great home—one that meets your needs and (hopefully) checks off a lot of your “wants”—takes a bit of effort. Explaining your wants and needs to your agent thoroughly makes this process go much smoother and from years of experience, we find that it takes looking at around five properties before you find “The One”.
The good news…we have yet to have failed at finding our clients a home they love!
4. Anxiously waiting to hear back on an offer
No one likes playing the waiting game after submitting an offer on a home but, unfortunately, this is simply part of the home-buying process. Whether or not you’re going up against other offers, the seller needs time to review each bid carefully.
Once you’ve submitted an offer, though, the best thing you can do is wait patiently. Most sellers are generally good at responding and we generally see response times less than 24 hours.
5. Disclosures and home inspections?
Unless you’re buying a brand-new house, the seller is required to provide you with property disclosures about the home’s condition. These documents can be a bit unsettling, as can a home inspection.
But don’t fret: These documents err on the side of too much detail, and often make a problem seem far worse than it really is. Make sure to talk them over with your home inspector so you know what the repair work will truly entail.
6. The disappointment of not getting everything you want
If you’re buying a house, you’d better be prepared to negotiate. When you submit an offer lowing that the asking price on a property, you should expect the seller to make a counteroffer. Both parties may have to make concessions in order to agree on a sales price.
A request for home repairs is another big point of contention. Home inspectors are trained to find every single flaw with a house, no matter how big or small. If the inspection reveals a major issue (e.g., a cracked foundation), that should absolutely be something you discuss with the sellers to see who will pay for repairs. However, you shouldn’t nickel-and-dime the sellers by asking them to fix every minor thing that’s wrong with the house; if you do, the deal could fall through.
7. Getting a hand cramp at closing from signing all those forms
At settlement, home buyers sign a lot of paperwork to make the sale official—meaning your hand will definitely be sore by the time you’re finished writing your John Hancock on the last document. But trust me, it’s all par for the course—and well worth it, as I’ve seen time and again home buyers’ eyes light up once they’re handed the keys.
Ready to brave the emotions and get your home search started? Call us at (281)912-5582 or click here to get started today!