After months of house hunting and competing in multiple bidding wars,
you’re finally in contract on your dream home.
The sale is a sure thing from here, right?
You may feel safe and sound at this point—and certainly ready to finally close on your new home—but you’re not across the finish line, yet. There are a few problems that could crop up and make your dream house seem…well, less dreamy.
Here are 5 warning signs that suggest you’re negotiating the wrong real estate deal:
1. The appraisal comes in below contract price
Most lenders won’t cover a mortgage worth more than its collateral. While it’s not uncommon in active markets for homes to sell high above appraised values, you’ll need to cough up the difference between what you’re willing to pay and what the lender will loan you. You can ask for a second appraisal from another lender, or try renegotiating the price with the seller—but if you’re up against multiple offers, you may not have much luck. Talk it over with your agent: if it doesn’t make sense to pay more than the appraised value, let this house go.
2. The inspections reveal a multitude of sins
Inspections often uncover serious defects like foundation problems, major plumbing or electrical issues, or damage to the structural framing. If the list is longer or more expensive than you expected, talk to an experienced agent like Julie. A seasoned agent who understands the ins and outs of the local market may counsel you to renegotiate with the seller, or walk away and wait for a better opportunity.
3. You feel like you’re settling
Before you began your home search, you wrote a list of all the features you need in a home, as well as a list of those you want. You went into the process laser-focused on finding the home that ticked off the most boxes in each list.
Well, it’s been a few months now, and you’ve made offer after offer on homes you could imagine living happily in, only to be outbid time and again. You’re tired, frustrated, and you’re starting to lose sight of what will make a house your home. You’re eager to make a deal—any deal—so you can finally move in and start living the life you’ve been dreaming of.
If this is the frame of mind you’re in, it’s time to stop and revisit your goals. While you may have to compromise on some features, if you strip away too many of the core attributes you’re searching for just to grab any old house the market will sell you, that life you’ve been dreaming of could become a nightmare. Sure, you’ll have a house, but if it doesn’t meet any of your criteria, was it worth the effort or expense?
Don’t get stuck in a house that’s the wrong size for your needs, built where 24-hour commercial sounds will interrupt your backyard serenity (or your sleep!), or is located too far away from the amenities that are important to you. If, for any reason, you don’t think you’ll be happy in your new home, it’s time to break ties and keep looking.
4. You’re at the very top of your price range
The Bay Area is a seller’s market, so buying here means frequent competion and bidding wars. Even in less attractive neighborhoods, buyers can quickly find themselves at the peak of their price range, leaving them feeling stressed and financially strapped. When calculating homeownership expenses, remember to factor in property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, repairs, upgrades, utilities, and unexpected damages not covered by insurance. If the total cost causes you to lose sleep at night, it might be time to walk away.
5. You’re buying with another person who isn’t 100% on board
Buying a home is a major financial decision, so all parties involved must be emotionally invested and in agreement. Discuss each person’s impression of the home, and make sure everyone agrees this property is the right one. If either buyer feels uncomfortable with the home, move on.
Ready to buy your next home? Julie can help you navigate the complicated ins and outs of property acquisition in the Bay Area. With her team of qualified project managers—and her vast network of knowledgeable service providers—you’ll be treated to a caring and complete full-service experience.