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 5416 Downton Grove Court, Fuquay Varina, NC 27526 (MLS # 2168467)
    24
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    3,162 sqft   lot 24,829 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listed with Howard Perry & Walston Realtor
    MLS 2168467
  2. Photo of 2552 Winding Branch Trail, Apex, NC 27523 (MLS # 2168466)
    21
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,642 sqft   lot 5,576 sqft
    Listed with Taylor Morrison of Carolinas, Inc.
    MLS 2168466
  3. 4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,558 sqft   lot 29,185 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listed with Fathom Realty NC, LLC
    MLS 2168465
  4. Photo of 1004 Heydon Court, Raleigh, NC 27614 (MLS # 2168464)
    25
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    4,665 sqft   lot 40,511 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Spencer Enterprises
    MLS 2168464
  5. Photo of 6655 NC 210 Highway, Smithfield, NC 27577 (MLS # 2168458)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,563 sqft   lot 14.07 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Veneta Ford Group, Inc.
    MLS 2168458
  6. Photo of 117 Topeka Lane, Willow Spring(s), NC 27592 (MLS # 2168457)
    25
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,205 sqft   lot 1.90 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Re/Max Southland Realty II
    MLS 2168457
  7. Photo of 18 S Waterloo Drive, Clayton, NC 27520 (MLS # 2168450)
    25
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,596 sqft   lot 24,829 sqft
    Listed with HomeTowne Realty
    MLS 2168450
  8. Photo of 6012 Jones Farm Road, Wake Forest, NC 27587 (MLS # 2168449)
    10
    5 beds,  4 full baths
    4,584 sqft   lot 8,712 sqft
    Listed with Home Coach of the Triangle
    MLS 2168449
  9. Photo of 200 Deebeau Lane, Selma, NC 27576 (MLS # 2168448)
    25
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,300 sqft   lot 6,970 sqft
    Listed with Howard Perry & Walston Realtor
    MLS 2168448
  10. 5 beds,  4 full, 2 half baths
    4,176 sqft   lot 15,682 sqft
    Listed with Re/Max One Realty
    MLS 2168447
  11. Photo of 2600 Winding Branch Trail , Homesite 215, Apex, NC 27523 (MLS # 2168446)
    20
    5 beds,  4 full, 1 half baths
    3,784 sqft   lot 9,932 sqft
    Listed with Taylor Morrison of Carolinas, Inc.
    MLS 2168446
  12. Photo of 712 Rushing Falls Place, Fuquay Varina, NC 27526 (MLS # 2168443)
    25
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    3,059 sqft   lot 13,939 sqft
    Listed with Legacy Partners Realty, LLC
    MLS 2168443
  13. Photo of 719 Clarion Drive, Durham, NC 27705 (MLS # 2168442)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,961 sqft   lot 19,428 sqft
    Listed with 501 Realty
    MLS 2168442
  14. Photo of 408 Holden Forest Drive , Sanctuary Plan-Lot 142, Youngsville, NC 27596 (MLS # 2168439)
    9
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,580 sqft  
    Walk Score® 16
    Listed with Fonville Morisey & Barefoot/Holden Creek Preserve - AV
    MLS 2168439
  15. 3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,350 sqft   lot 37,897 sqft
    Walk Score® 46
    Listed with Brokers United Realty
    MLS 2168406
  16. Photo of 4822 North Hills Drive, Raleigh, NC 27612 (MLS # 2168437)
    3
    5 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,808 sqft   lot 16,553 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listed with Allen Tate Company/Raleigh-Falls Neuse
    MLS 2168437
  17. Photo of 138 W Wellesley Drive, Clayton, NC 27520 (MLS # 2168436)
    25
    5 beds,  4 full baths
    3,295 sqft   lot 1.06 ac
    Walk Score® 1
    Listed with HomeTowne Realty
    MLS 2168436
  18. Photo of 2556 Winding Branch Trail , Homesite 155, Apex, NC 27523 (MLS # 2168435)
    7
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,713 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Listed with Taylor Morrison of Carolinas, Inc.
    MLS 2168435
  19. Photo of 167 Fairview Street, Clayton, NC 27520 (MLS # 2168434)
    25
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,260 sqft   lot 7,710 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with HomeTowne Realty
    MLS 2168434
  20. Photo of 401 Polly Drive, Oxford, NC 27565 (MLS # 2168433)
    23
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,437 sqft   lot 13,504 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listed with Movil Realty
    MLS 2168433
  21. Photo of 150 Quail Croft Drive, Goldsboro, NC 27534 (MLS # 2168432)
    23
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,845 sqft   lot 43,560 sqft
    Walk Score® 1
    Listed with Re/Max Southland Realty II
    MLS 2168432
  22. Photo of 120 Felicia Court, Clayton, NC 27520 (MLS # 2168431)
    24
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,391 sqft   lot 40,075 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with HomeTowne Realty
    MLS 2168431
  23. Photo of 5005 Bridgewood Drive, Durham, NC 27713-8128 (MLS # 2168429)
    18
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,986 sqft   lot 7,405 sqft
    Walk Score® 8
    Listed with Highgarden Real Estate North Carolina
    MLS 2168429
  24. Photo of 202 N State Street, Raleigh, NC 27601 (MLS # 2168428)
    23
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    769 sqft   lot 3,049 sqft
    Walk Score® 63
    Listed with Chappell Residential
    MLS 2168428
  25. Photo of 705 E Hargett Street, Raleigh, NC 27610 (MLS # 2168424)
    16
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,458 sqft   lot 9,148 sqft
    Walk Score® 67
    Listed with Howard Perry & Walston Realtor
    MLS 2168424
  26. Photo of 135 Fairview Street, Clayton, NC 27520 (MLS # 2168423)
    25
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,190 sqft   lot 7,492 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with HomeTowne Realty
    MLS 2168423
  27. Photo of 140 Old Terrell Road, Semora, NC 27343 (MLS # 2168416)
    25
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,887 sqft   lot 40.17 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Keller Williams Realty United
    MLS 2168416
  28. Photo of 1107 Midtowne Way, Durham, NC 27713 (MLS # 2168415)
    18
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,456 sqft   lot 1,307 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listed with Chanticleer Properties LLC
    MLS 2168415
  29. Photo of 22 Paul Alston Drive, Siler City, NC 27344 (MLS # 2168413)
    8
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,130 sqft   lot 2.35 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with WhistleStop Realty, LLC
    MLS 2168413
  30. Photo of 729 Thrush Drive, Vass, NC 28394 (MLS # 2168412)
    9
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,026 sqft   lot 10,890 sqft
    Walk Score® 8
    Listed with WhistleStop Realty, LLC
    MLS 2168412
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Information Not Guaranteed.

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: 1/18/18 3:21 AM PST.