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Buying or selling in 2016? 4 crucial mistakes to avoid

Posted on 10 October 2016

Sometimes, it's just how you look at things. When it comes to buying or selling a home, it can be argued that it is harder than ever in 2016 - or perhaps it's easier.

Prices are at fingertip-reach at best for many millennials, and there is now so much information and analysis within reach too, which can make buying confusing. All of that makes it hard for sellers, too.

So as you look to buy or sell a home, make sure you avoid 4 of the top mistakes that can turn the real estate market into truly troubled waters.

Mistake #1 - Don't be out of date

Especially for newcomers to the market, the tried and tested buying and selling methods may now be out of date. You could be getting advice from parents, but things have changed, and not just for the worst.

You might think the only way is to put your fate into the hands of a real estate agent, but don't write yourself off - the very fact that you are reading this article means that there is so much more information available today than in the past. Much of the legwork that needs to be done can be done by you, which can arm you with vital knowledge and save you money.

That's not to write real estate agents off completely, as they are highly experienced. But it puts you in a great position to negotiate lower commissions, because there is plenty of market research, internet listings, and even negotiating with buyers and sellers that you can do yourself.

Mistake #2 - Not doing your homework

Mistake #1 leads nicely into Mistake #2: if you are not using the incredible power of the internet to help you, you are simply neglecting what will undoubtedly be the biggest financial decision you are likely to make in your life.

These days, resources on the internet can help you determine pricing, market movements and trends, property sale history - the lot. Never used the CoreLogic website? Get to it: it's only the start.

The sky may not be the limit, but your willingness to get deep into research is. The traditional methods of arming yourself with knowledge are also still valid, which means buying the local newspapers and visiting lots of open inspections, and not necessarily the ones you're interested in buying. The goal is to become powerful with knowledge.

Mistake #3 - Not negotiating

In an up and down property market full of savvy buyers and sellers, remember this: the price is not the price.

It's a fact that most people either don't enjoy or are not good at negotiating, so this is where the experience of real estate agents can really help. But if you haven't skipped #1 and #2 above and are now a smart buyer or seller, you will know that you don't necessarily buy at the asking price, and you don't necessarily accept the first offer you get - even if it's a decent one.

Remember, if you're armed with enough knowledge, negotiating shouldn't even be that difficult, because you already basically know what the property is worth. The risk of falling in love and paying too much therefore reduces, as does the risk that you think you should accept a 'ballpark' offer because there might not be a better buyer. The two golden rules of real estate negotiating are set your lower and upper limits, and be both inwardly and outwardly confident.

Mistake #4 - Lacking confidence

As was just mentioned, lacking confidence can leave you badly exposed when it comes to negotiating. But the truth is, it's all too easy to become overwhelmed with the entire real estate buying and selling process - huge amounts of (usually borrowed) money are at stake, and there is so much to know.

But if you arm yourself with up-to-date knowledge, as advised in the article above, confidence should logically follow. With the right knowledge, and the savvy and selected use of some expert help, you can not only save yourself a lot of money in the buying and selling process, but make all the wiser choices that will keep paying off long into the future.

The key, of course, is avoiding mistakes, so if you're really thinking about a total 'DIY' approach to buying, make sure to read our blog article here.



By Darel McBride


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