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 405 Coral Creek Lane, Morrisville, NC 27560 (MLS # 2298485)
    28
    3 beds,  2 full, 2 half baths
    3,960 sqft   lot 43,560 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listed with Keller Williams Elite Realty
    MLS 2298485
  2. Photo of 111 Hayes Street, Oxford, NC 27565 (MLS # 2298483)
    25
    3 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,747 sqft   lot 4,530 sqft
    Listed with Granville Properties
    MLS 2298483
  3. Photo of 821 Buckner Court, Fuquay Varina, NC 27526 (MLS # 2298480)
    30
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,902 sqft   lot 7,492 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Mattamy Homes LLC
    MLS 2298480
  4. Photo of 1412 Queen Trigger Drive, Fuquay Varina, NC 27526 (MLS # 2298478)
    2
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    2,255 sqft   lot 7,013 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Caruso Homes Realty NC, LLC
    MLS 2298478
  5. Photo of 1353 Joe Brown Road, Bear Creek, NC 27207 (MLS # 2298477)
    16
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,064 sqft   lot 39,640 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Realty World Carolina Properties
    MLS 2298477
  6. Photo of 124 Teaser Drive, Fuquay Varina, NC 27526 (MLS # 2298474)
    2
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,466 sqft   lot 8,015 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Caruso Homes Realty NC, LLC
    MLS 2298474
  7. Photo of 3805 Chimney Ridge Place , 108, Durham, NC 27713 (MLS # 2298469)
    24
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    818 sqft  
    Walk Score® 3
    Listed with eXp Realty LLC
    MLS 2298469
  8. Photo of 8509 Alden Lane, Wake Forest, NC 27587 (MLS # 2298467)
    30
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    3,275 sqft   lot 30,928 sqft
    Walk Score® 1
    Listed with Howard Perry & Walston Realtor
    MLS 2298467
  9. Photo of 806 Faircloth Drive, Raleigh, NC 27607 (MLS # 2298466)
    18
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,687 sqft   lot 11,761 sqft
    Walk Score® 67
    Listed with Fathom Realty NC, LLC
    MLS 2298466
  10. Photo of 2316 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27704 (MLS # 2298465)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,400 sqft   lot 9,409 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listed with West and Woodall Real Estate
    MLS 2298465
  11. Photo of 802 Meadow Lane, Henderson, NC 27536 (MLS # 2298463)
    27
    4 beds,  4 full baths
    3,074 sqft   lot 33,062 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listed with Coldwell Banker Advantage
    MLS 2298463
  12. Photo of 79 S Old Lantern Road, Timberlake, NC 27583 (MLS # 2298472)
    30
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,336 sqft   lot 40,511 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Fathom Realty NC, LLC
    MLS 2298472
  13. Photo of 65 Turnipseed Road, Louisburg, NC 27549 (MLS # 2298470)
    12
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,136 sqft   lot 3.35 ac
    Walk Score® 4
    Listed with Rochelle Moon Realty
    MLS 2298470
  14. Photo of 129 E Park Street, Cary, NC 27511 (MLS # 2298459)
    9
    3 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,471 sqft   lot 1,307 sqft
    Walk Score® 61
    Listed with Howard Perry & Walston Realtor
    MLS 2298459
  15. Photo of 1616 Dail Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603 (MLS # 2298458)
    12
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    3,233 sqft   lot 31,363 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Van Horn Realty Group
    MLS 2298458
  16. Photo of 5625 Satinwood Drive , Gavin 5, Clayton, NC 27520 (MLS # 2298451)
    26
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,255 sqft   lot 17,206 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Avant Realty/Brookside
    MLS 2298451
  17. Photo of 604 Rookwood Court, Wake Forest, NC 27587 (MLS # 2298450)
    7
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,202 sqft   lot 7,841 sqft
    Walk Score® 14
    Listed with Van Horn Realty Group
    MLS 2298450
  18. Photo of 500 Old Spring Hill Lane, Fuquay Varina, NC 27526 (MLS # 2298447)
    4
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    894 sqft   lot 1,307 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listed with eXp Realty LLC
    MLS 2298447
  19. Photo of 410 Lionel Street, Durham, NC 27705 (MLS # 2298445)
    10
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,732 sqft   lot 1,307 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Eastwood Construction LLC
    MLS 2298445
  20. Photo of 140 Cinder Cross Way, Garner, NC 27529 (MLS # 2298442)
    14
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,231 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listed with First Place Real Estate Group
    MLS 2298442
  21. Photo of 412 Lionel Street, Durham, NC 27705 (MLS # 2298441)
    13
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,957 sqft   lot 2,178 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Eastwood Construction LLC
    MLS 2298441
  22. Photo of 129 Deacon Ridge Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587-2873 (MLS # 2298439)
    28
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,008 sqft   lot 1,742 sqft
    Walk Score® 51
    Listed with New Native Realty
    MLS 2298439
  23. Photo of 3205 Cotton Grove Run, Raleigh, NC 27610 (MLS # 2298438)
    27
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,775 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listed with Howard Perry & Walston Realtor
    MLS 2298438
  24. Photo of 225 Masden Road , Lot 331, Holly Springs, NC 27540 (MLS # 2298429)
    11
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,671 sqft   lot 7,492 sqft
    Walk Score® 8
    Listed with Lennar Carolinas LLC
    MLS 2298429
  25. Photo of 143 Rockwater Way, Zebulon, NC 27597 (MLS # 2298427)
    28
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,231 sqft   lot 24,394 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with D.R. Horton, Inc.
    MLS 2298427
  26. Photo of 5716 Brookshadow Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610-6314 (MLS # 2298424)
    7
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,700 sqft   lot 7,405 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listed with Fonville Morisey/Midtown Sales Office
    MLS 2298424
  27. Photo of 138 Shallow Falls Lane, Benson, NC 27504 (MLS # 2298421)
    2
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,613 sqft   lot 31,799 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listed with HomeTowne Realty
    MLS 2298421
  28. Photo of 262 Summit Overlook Drive, Clayton, NC 27527 (MLS # 2298420)
    2
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,833 sqft   lot 22,651 sqft
    Walk Score® 6
    Listed with HomeTowne Realty
    MLS 2298420
  29. Photo of 2112 Winslowe Farm Drive, Zebulon, NC 27587 (MLS # 2298419)
    30
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,300 sqft   lot 35,284 sqft
    Walk Score® 1
    Listed with Coldwell Banker Advantage
    MLS 2298419
  30. Photo of 613 Meyers Place Lane, Holly Springs, NC 27540 (MLS # 2298416)
    9
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    3,057 sqft   lot 32,234 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Chase Properties, Inc.
    MLS 2298416
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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: 1/27/20 7:30 AM PST.