Real Estate in Raleigh

8 Simple Secrets to Avoid Costly Mistakes Buying Your Dream Home

8 Simple Secrets to Avoid Costly Mistakes Buying Your Dream Home

So you’ve finally decided to buy your next home. Problem is while you were making up your mind, other fence sitters jumped into the home market too. Now you may be facing some competition for the best properties. What to do? Just because there are other buyers in the market doesn’t mean you can’t come away with your dream house. But to be a successful buyer in today’s real estate market you’re going to need help.

Your first best move is to know a few inside tricks. As experienced real estate professionals we have many more than eight ways to increase your chances of landing a prize property despite heavy competition. The following tested tips will increase your market savvy and sharpen your competitive position. Then you’ll be ready to act quickly the minute you see that perfect house.

Step 1: Get Pre-Approved

To be pre-approved for a mortgage loan is your first step. You will go through what amounts to a mini-application process (paperwork, credit check, etc.) prior to shopping for a house. Pre-approval is more effective than pre-qualification, which only gives you a rough idea of the amount a lender will lend you—assuming no hang-ups in the credit and income checking process. When you are pre-approved, it’s like carrying around a suitcase full of money. In the eyes of the seller, pre-approval makes you a very desirable “cash” buyer. That’s a real advantage over another buyer whose financing is uncertain.

Beat the Competition to the Newest Listings

Once you know your specific price range, your real estate agent can regularly do a computerized market sweep for new listings. You should receive a hot list of attractive properties as they come on the market. This will give you a head start on other buyers because you will get the listings before they are advertised. Timing can be a vital part of your home buying experience.

Do Your Research

Make yourself a “value expert” by investigating local properties to get an idea of price points, listing-to-sale-price ratios, hottest areas, and best places for a bargain. Once you know what your money will buy, your real estate agent can add up-to-the-minute knowledge of what comparable properties sell for in specific neighbourhoods and what impact specific features have on price. Working with a good agent will guarantee you the best price and terms.

Have your Agent Present the Offer in Person

Nobody wants their offer lingering on a fax machine in the listing agent’s office while other buyers are putting offers on the seller’s kitchen table. When the situation calls for that personal touch, you’ll gain an advantage by having your agent present your offer in person. He or she may pick up critical intelligence on any competing offers by being on the scene.

Prove you Mean Business

An excellent way of showing the seller you are serious about buying the house is to include a good faith deposit along with the offer you make. This deposit could be as much as 5% of the bid price and surely will attract the seller’s attention.

Stay Cool

When deciding on your dream home you do not have to over pay to get it. Sure, you may have to offer something other than the asking price, such as paying some or all points, inspections, closing costs, or offering a settlement date that fits the seller’s timetable. If you over pay now and have to sell your house in the future it will be harder for you to get back equal value.

Keep It Simple And Clean

You want to make sure that your contract isn’t sloppy or cluttered with contingencies such as repairs. Keep contingencies to a minimum. Even better, offer to be helpful, take care of repairs, order an inspection in 48 hours, or be willing to take care of any required local certificates such as smoke detectors and water safety. Be open and flexible to try to help accommodate the needs of the seller.

Don’t be a Lone Wolf

What you need most in today’s market is experienced professional guidance. As your neighbourhood real estate specialists we can help you get pre-approved, find a prize property, and negotiate the best deal on your next home no matter how heated the competition. Call us today. We’ll help you be a cool customer.


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  1. Photo of 608 W Godwin Street, Dunn, NC 28334 (MLS # 2362064)
    30
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,316 sqft   lot 7,492 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listed with Ann Milton Realty
    MLS 2362064
  2. Photo of 10529 Sablewood Drive , 215, Raleigh, NC 27617 (MLS # 2362058)
    27
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,093 sqft  
    Walk Score® 59
    Listed with Allen Tate/Raleigh-Falls Neuse
    MLS 2362058
  3. Photo of 7 Virginia Avenue, Benson, NC 27504 (MLS # 2362056)
    7
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,737 sqft   lot 11,326 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listed with Re/Max Signature Realty
    MLS 2362056
  4. Photo of 7247 Galon Glen Road, Raleigh, NC 27613 (MLS # 2362045)
    21
    2 beds,  2 full, 2 half baths
    1,904 sqft   lot 1,742 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listed with KW Realty Platinum
    MLS 2362045
  5. Photo of 1530 Sablewood Drive , 109, Raleigh, NC 27617 (MLS # 2362044)
    12
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,116 sqft  
    Walk Score® 60
    Listed with Toll Brothers, Inc.
    MLS 2362044
  6. Photo of 64 Aylebury Ridge, Zebulon, NC 27597 (MLS # 2362043)
    2
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,275 sqft   lot 20,909 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Gray Wolf Homes
    MLS 2362043
  7. Photo of 54 Aylebury Ridge, Zebulon, NC 27597 (MLS # 2362042)
    2
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,509 sqft   lot 20,473 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Gray Wolf Homes
    MLS 2362042
  8. Photo of 72 Aylebury Ridge, Zebulon, NC 27597 (MLS # 2362041)
    2
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,386 sqft   lot 20,909 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Gray Wolf Homes
    MLS 2362041
  9. Photo of 82 Aylebury Ridge, Zebulon, NC 27597 (MLS # 2362040)
    2
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,971 sqft   lot 21,344 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Gray Wolf Homes
    MLS 2362040
  10. Photo of 45 Anstridge Lane, Zebulon, NC 27597 (MLS # 2362039)
    2
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,480 sqft   lot 20,038 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Gray Wolf Homes
    MLS 2362039
  11. Photo of 37 Anstridge Lane, Zebulon, NC 27597 (MLS # 2362038)
    2
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,809 sqft   lot 20,038 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Gray Wolf Homes
    MLS 2362038
  12. Photo of 1140 Dexter Ridge Drive, Holly Springs, NC 27540 (MLS # 2362037)
    10
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,600 sqft   lot 10,019 sqft
    Walk Score® 1
    Listed with Gala Realty
    MLS 2362037
  13. Photo of 27 Anstridge Lane, Zebulon, NC 27597 (MLS # 2362036)
    2
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,202 sqft   lot 20,473 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Gray Wolf Homes
    MLS 2362036
  14. Photo of 8109 Curina Lane , Lot 553, Wake Forest, NC 27587 (MLS # 2362032)
    12
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    3,486 sqft   lot 15,682 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Fonville Morisey & Barefoot/Hasentree/Mungo Homes
    MLS 2362032
  15. 2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,440 sqft  
    Walk Score® 21
    Listed with Broker/ REALTOR Group, Inc.
    MLS 2362031
  16. Photo of 2643 University Drive, Durham, NC 27707 (MLS # 2362030)
    26
    3 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,622 sqft   lot 13,939 sqft
    Walk Score® 53
    Listed with Fonville Morisey/Durham Sales Office
    MLS 2362030
  17. Photo of 111 Sugar Lane, Knightdale, NC 27545 (MLS # 2362026)
    30
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,802 sqft   lot 1.25 ac
    Walk Score® 24
    Listed with Dallas Pearce Realty
    MLS 2362026
  18. Photo of 850 Bish Road, Staley, NC 27355 (MLS # 2362024)
    30
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    2,372 sqft   lot 10.73 ac
    Walk Score® 1
    Listed with Chatham Homes Realty
    MLS 2362024
  19. Photo of 921 Providence Glen Drive , 102, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (MLS # 2362019)
    30
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,216 sqft  
    Walk Score® 25
    Listed with Re/Max Performance
    MLS 2362019
  20. Photo of 32600 Archdale, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 (MLS # 2362013)
    28
    4 beds,  4 full, 1 half baths
    6,828 sqft   lot 2.60 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with EXP Realty
    MLS 2362013
  21. Photo of 1007 Fly Catcher Court , Lot 20 - Sawyer, Durham, NC 27707 (MLS # 2362012)
    16
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,910 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listed with SM North Carolina Brokerage
    MLS 2362012
  22. Photo of 2209 Banks Hill Row, Raleigh, NC 27614 (MLS # 2362011)
    15
    2 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,441 sqft   lot 1,742 sqft
    Walk Score® 9
    Listed with Allen Tate/Raleigh-Falls Neuse
    MLS 2362011
  23. Photo of 201 Savannah Ridge Road , 201, Holly Springs, NC 27540 (MLS # 2362003)
    29
    1 bed,  1 full, 1 half baths
    792 sqft   lot 436 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listed with Weichert REALTORS-Triangle
    MLS 2362003
  24. Photo of 3306 Cedarbird Way , Lot 5-Edison, Durham, NC 27707 (MLS # 2362008)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    3,141 sqft   lot 5,227 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listed with SM North Carolina Brokerage
    MLS 2362008
  25. Photo of 3820 Lochnora Parkway, Durham, NC 27705 (MLS # 2362006)
    29
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,284 sqft   lot 19,994 sqft
    Walk Score® 8
    Listed with Nest Realty of the Triangle
    MLS 2362006
  26. Photo of 208 Pace Street, Smithfield, NC 27577 (MLS # 2362002)
    10
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    960 sqft   lot 13,504 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listed with Parrish Realty Company of Knig
    MLS 2362002
  27. Photo of 169 Weatherstone Lane, Zebulon, NC 27597 (MLS # 2361997)
    27
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,164 sqft   lot 32,452 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with D.R. Horton, Inc.
    MLS 2361997
  28. Photo of 5657 Red Hill Church Road, Coats, NC 27521 (MLS # 2361993)
    30
    3 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    4,741 sqft   lot 35,284 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Fathom Realty NC, LLC
    MLS 2361993
  29. Photo of 910 Sunstone Drive, Durham, NC 27712 (MLS # 2361988)
    26
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,610 sqft   lot 1.04 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Berkshire Hathaway HomeService
    MLS 2361988
  30. Photo of 12907 Morehead, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 (MLS # 2361987)
    30
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    3,433 sqft   lot 36,590 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Governors Club Realty, LLC
    MLS 2361987
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Listings marked with an icon are provided courtesy of the Triangle MLS, Inc. of North Carolina, Internet Data Exchange Database.

Closed (sold) listings may have been listed and/or sold by a real estate firm other than the firm(s) featured on this website. Closed data is not available until the sale of the property is recorded in the MLS. Home sale data is not an appraisal, CMA, competitive or comparative market analysis, or home valuation of any property

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Data last updated: 1/16/21 6:58 PM PST.