10 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Los Angeles Home

Now is the time to be on the top of your game when buying a Los Angeles home.  As I have reiterated in many posts, Los Angeles is a sellers’ market.

Avoid these mistakes and you may end up the lucky owner of a new home:

  1. Do not start searching for a home without knowing how much you can afford.  You are going to waste a lot of time and energy, and you will save a lot of heartache if you focus on a realistic goal.
  2. Do not establish any new credit or in any way do anything that will affect your credit (closing accounts, etc) until you have bought your home.  Many a buyer has been denied a loan at the last minute because their credit score changed.
  3. Do not think about trying to do this on your own.  It costs you nothing to use the services of  your own Los Angeles real estate agent. As I mentioned in point one, it can save you a lot of time and energy.
  4. Do not, I repeat do not, approach the listing agent of a property directly. You may think the listing agent is going to accept your offer because he or she does not have to share the commission, and that you are going to get a deal.  Remember who pays the commission and who the listing agent, whether they try to remain neutral or not, is going to favor.  You will not be represented in the way you should be, and would be if you use your own agent.
  5. Do not procrastinate.  In this market he who hesitates is totally lost.  Anything good that comes on the market is receiving multiple offers and going over asking.  You can be sure that if you like something so do a host of other buyers.
  6. Do not for one minute think you can lowball an offer in this market.  You can certainly try a reasonably flower figure, but not so low that you are not going to receive a counter.  You can be sure you will not.  But in multiple offer situations asking price would be the way to go. And be ready with your best offer when that counter comes.
  7. Do not ask for the moon in your offer.  There are standard contingency periods in the contract that, if you can you might want to shorten.  You may waive the home warranty, be creative and make a clean offer.
  8. Do not, after your have had your inspection and received the report, ask for every single item on the list to be taken care of.  If there is something major, then by all means ask; all they can do is refuse.  But if it is all minor and is not going to cost much, then you may want to remove the contingency at that point.
  9. Do not take a 3 week vacation while you are in the escrow period.  There is going to be a pile of documentation you will need to approve and sign and you want nothing to delay the process moving forward smoothly.
  10. Above all, do not panic. Your agent will guide you through the process of buying a home every step of the way.  Just avoid these 10 mistakes and you will be well ahead of many other Los Angeles home buyers.


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