We’ve all been there. You’re looking to buy a house when well-meaning friends and family pop out of the woodwork to offer you guidance. While they’re just trying to be helpful, their advice often can send you down the wrong path. To protect you from jumping into the market armed with ill-conceived knowledge, realtor.com gathered the worst home-buying advice people have heard and explained why these sayings often are incorrect:
Hold off, home prices are going down
Predictions that the housing bubble is going to burst again have persisted for years. No one knows what the future holds, so if you want or need to buy a home, the time to do it is now. With a lack of inventory and the busiest time of the year approaching, home prices aren’t going to decrease anytime soon.
You don’t need to use a real estate agent
In a fast-moving housing market, an experienced real estate agent is indispensable. Your agent not only will know about properties long before you do, he or she also will be able to guide you through all of the paperwork and point out potential problems that could cost you more in the long run. An agent’s knowledge and experience also will help you get the house you want at the best price.
Just use the listing agent to represent you
The seller’s agent represents the seller. You need someone in your own corner who has your interests in mind and is working to get you the best deal.
Make a lowball offer and negotiate up from there
Making a major lowball offer often can start negotiations off on the wrong foot with the seller. You also might wind up paying more in the end than you would have if you had you been more reasonable in the beginning. Serious buyers and sellers know what homes are worth.
Never pay full price
You don’t want to pay full price if a home is overpriced. After you determine whether the house is worth the money after studying the comps your Realtor provides, paying full price may be the only way to get the home in a seller’s market.
Remove contingencies to make your offer stronger
In a competitive market, it’s tempting to let safeguards like home inspections and title clearances slide. While sellers dislike contingencies, they’re designed to protect you against catastrophes—like buying a house with toxic mold or liens that will cost you thousands of dollars.
Don’t bother hiring a home inspector
A home might look fine at an open house, but it could be filled with issues that only a pro can uncover. Saving a few bucks by not hiring an inspector could cost you loads down the line, even with a home warranty from the seller.