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 14 Bywood Court, Greensboro, NC 27405 (MLS # 2215634)
    15
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,200 sqft   lot 12,197 sqft
    Walk Score® 34
    Listed with Blue Moon Properties
    MLS 2215634
  2. Photo of 6404 Willake Court, Holly Springs, NC 27540 (MLS # 2215633)
    20
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,465 sqft   lot 38,768 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listed with Ann Milton Realty
    MLS 2215633
  3. Photo of 4831 Latimer Road, Raleigh, NC 27609-5364 (MLS # 2215632)
    22
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,110 sqft   lot 11,326 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listed with Re/Max United
    MLS 2215632
  4. Photo of 7040 Sandy Forks Road , 106, Raleigh, NC 27615 (MLS # 2215631)
    13
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,438 sqft  
    Walk Score® 70
    Listed with iSave Realty
    MLS 2215631
  5. Photo of 2816 Crowders Ridge Lane, Apex, NC 27502 (MLS # 2215630)
    25
    3 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,529 sqft   lot 3,920 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Fathom Realty NC, LLC/Next Stage Realty, LLC
    MLS 2215630
  6. Photo of 2716 Amery Lane, Raleigh, NC 27616 (MLS # 2215629)
    25
    5 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,860 sqft   lot 10,019 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listed with Movil Realty
    MLS 2215629
  7. Photo of 176 Solstice Drive, Haw River, NC 27258 (MLS # 2215626)
    20
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,550 sqft   lot 10,019 sqft
    Walk Score® 1
    Listed with Howard Perry & Walston Realtor
    MLS 2215626
  8. Photo of 2004 Bartlett Circle, Hillsborough, NC 27278 (MLS # 2215625)
    25
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,010 sqft   lot 1,742 sqft
    Walk Score® 32
    Listed with Realty Southern Style, Inc.
    MLS 2215625
  9. Photo of 1520 Carr Street, Raleigh, NC 27608 (MLS # 2215624)
    3
    5 beds,  5 full, 2 half baths
    5,700 sqft   lot 12,197 sqft
    Walk Score® 61
    Listed with Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 2215624
  10. Photo of 2508 Environ Way , 2508, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 (MLS # 2215623)
    25
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,150 sqft  
    Walk Score® 59
    Listed with Fonville Morisey/Chapel Hill Sales Office
    MLS 2215623
  11. 3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,685 sqft   lot 871 sqft
    Walk Score® 41
    Listed with Premier Properties of the Tria
    MLS 2215622
  12. Photo of 104 Pine Street, Carrboro, NC 27510-1342 (MLS # 2215621)
    25
    3 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,427 sqft   lot 17,860 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listed with Fonville Morisey/Stonehenge Sales Office
    MLS 2215621
  13. Photo of 13 Lawrence Court, Smithfield, NC 27577 (MLS # 2215619)
    22
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,300 sqft   lot 23,958 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with HomeTowne Realty
    MLS 2215619
  14. Photo of 4825 Morecambe Way, Apex, NC 27539 (MLS # 2215618)
    16
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,258 sqft   lot 10,019 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Stonedale Realty Group LLC
    MLS 2215618
  15. Photo of 1094 Lake Ridge Drive, Creedmoor, NC 27522 (MLS # 2215617)
    25
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,390 sqft   lot 40,511 sqft
    Walk Score® 3
    Listed with Nest Realty
    MLS 2215617
  16. Photo of 2701 Newbold Street, Raleigh, NC 27603 (MLS # 2215616)
    13
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    779 sqft   lot 13,504 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listed with Fonville Morisey/Lochmere Sales Office
    MLS 2215616
  17. Photo of 211 Marilyn Circle, Cary, NC 27513 (MLS # 2215613)
    20
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,959 sqft   lot 20,038 sqft
    Walk Score® 35
    Listed with Northside Realty Inc.
    MLS 2215613
  18. Photo of 3416 Opequon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610-6918 (MLS # 2215612)
    25
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,908 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 1
    Listed with Allen Tate/Cary-Searstone
    MLS 2215612
  19. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,431 sqft   lot 15,246 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listed with Northside Realty Inc.
    MLS 2215611
  20. Photo of 600 Brighton Road, Durham, NC 27707 (MLS # 2215610)
    23
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,646 sqft   lot 11,326 sqft
    Walk Score® 14
    Listed with Northside Realty Inc.
    MLS 2215610
  21. 3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,024 sqft   lot 6,970 sqft
    Walk Score® 25
    Listed with Northside Realty Inc.
    MLS 2215609
  22. 3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,684 sqft   lot 24,829 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Northside Realty Inc.
    MLS 2215608
  23. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,397 sqft   lot 10,019 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listed with Northside Realty Inc.
    MLS 2215607
  24. 3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,560 sqft   lot 4,356 sqft
    Walk Score® 1
    Listed with Keller Williams Elite Realty
    MLS 2215605
  25. Photo of 3924 Song Sparrow Drive, Wake Forest, NC 27587 (MLS # 2215602)
    20
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,850 sqft   lot 6,970 sqft
    Walk Score® 11
    Listed with Howard Perry & Walston Realtor
    MLS 2215602
  26. Photo of 295 Barrette Lane, Wendell, NC 27591 (MLS # 2215601)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,100 sqft   lot 30,492 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Parrish Realty Co. Wendell
    MLS 2215601
  27. Photo of 141 Fort Jackson Road, Morrisville, NC 27560 (MLS # 2215600)
    25
    3 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,399 sqft   lot 6,534 sqft
    Walk Score® 34
    Listed with RB Real Estate Agency
    MLS 2215600
  28. Photo of 1271 Tarbert Drive, Cary, NC 27511 (MLS # 2215598)
    10
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,819 sqft   lot 13,068 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listed with Realty Raleigh
    MLS 2215598
  29. Photo of 331 Brookstone Way, Angier, NC 27501 (MLS # 2215595)
    25
    Open House
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    3,449 sqft   lot 31,799 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Be Home Realty
    MLS 2215595
  30. Photo of 3404 Redwood Road, Durham, NC 27704 (MLS # 2215594)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,430 sqft   lot 1.01 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listed with Northside Realty Inc.
    MLS 2215594
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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

Copyright 2018 Triangle MLS, Inc. of North Carolina. All rights reserved.

Data last updated: 9/21/18 4:50 AM PDT.