Top 5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Searching for a Home – Part 3

This is the third post in a series called Top 5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Searching for a Home. See Buyer Mistake #2 here.

Opera House By variationblogr on Flickr

Buyer Home Search Mistake #3: Using Search Criteria that is Too Restrictive

Thank goodness for modern technology, computers, auto-searches and databases. When the market was seller centric… meaning there were more buyers than houses on the market, it was easy for Realtors to keep track of the houses in certain neighborhoods and cities.

In the current market there are more houses listed than people to purchase them. Databases allow us to automatically match buyers to the hundreds of listings currently offered for sale. We search through those homes based on the criteria you provided to us. Agents also keep your needs in mind while showing other clients or previewing homes but for the purpose of today’s information, I’m only referring to the auto-searches.

Database searches are huge time savers but they aren’t able to see “exceptions to the rule.” Often clients say they want 4 bedrooms, but they might consider a house with three bedrooms upstairs and a den in the walkout basement. Or they say they must have a basement which excludes that slab home with twice the average square footage and tons of storage.

When you talk with your agent, discuss what you want in a house, but also consider where you are willing to make trade offs if the house has another feature that is exceptional.

Recommended Procedure for a Successful Home Search:

  1. Provide your list of “ideal features” to your agent
  2. Have your agent set up a search
  3. If you get many choices with homes that might be the perfect match, leave the search criteria as is
  4. If you get hundreds of choices, consider adding additional criteria to get a closer match to your needs
  5. If you are hardly getting any homes to choose from, consider loosening up your search parameters to see if there are homes that have other features you’d consider instead.
  6. Take into consideration how much time you have. If you’re not in a rush to buy, then you can afford to wait to for that perfect home to come on the market.

Up Next – Buyer Home Search Mistake #4: Exclusively Searching Foreclosures Because You Assume They are the Best Deals

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