Seven Mistakes Smart Buyer’s Make

Not Knowing About Schools

Most public school systems in major areas have a contact person who is more than willing to meet with parents and explain all the options of their particular district. There are plenty of options available that our diverse culture offers. From special education to advanced placement, cluster groups to traditional schools and magnet schools, understanding all of the choices a student and parent may make are crucial. Private and parochial schools are also very anxious to help. Ask for literature and visit the schools for tours and added information. CHECK THEM OUT!! Visit our School Page for information on Charleston area schools.

Choosing the Wrong Realtor

You have an idea about the style and prices of the home that you want. Discuss with prospective Realtors how they will go about finding the right property for you. Make sure you understand for whom the Realtor is working, the seller, the buyer, or is he/she a dual agent. You must feel confident that the Realtor has your best interest in mind at all times on all properties. The Realtor coordinates the home finding experience and may, if he/she works for you exclusively, give you advice and counsel.

Not Understanding Agency

Who represents you in a real estate transaction? A few years ago, The national Association of Realtors (NAR) had a policy called sub-agency under which Realtors worked. Simply put, Sub-agency states that the Realtor taking you to a property listed with another agent is really representing the seller, not the buyer. They may not have explained it that way, but legally that’s how sub-agency worked. Fortunately, NAR has released Realtors from sub-agency and there are a variety of ways you can be represented. You have Buyer’s Agents, Seller’s Agents and Dual Agents in South Carolina. Discuss agency with your Realtor. Understand what circumstances create certain representations. Make sure your agent can and will represent you exclusively, 100% of the time and on every property.

Not Having a Home Inspection

Are home inspections necessary? What about new home inspections? Whether new or existing, pay the freight for a top-flight home inspection. It is cheap insurance. The inspection is designed to cover the five major components of a home: structural integrity, roof, electrical, plumbing, and heating & air-conditioning. New homes can have as many problems as old properties. How would you know if the builder failed to use ply chips for the roof sheathing or that the gas valve on the furnace was malfunctioning? Also, home inspections provide valuable information on maintenance tips. For the best results, be at the inspection. Ask your Realtor for a list of inspectors and the Realtors’ help in selecting one.

Not Purchasing Title Insurance and a Staking Survey

Title insurance is a no brainier. Don’t ask, just do it! A courthouse title exam is only guaranteed to the extent of what is recorded at the courthouse. Liens, mortgages, heirs, etc. not found by the exam can cause big problems later. It’s a one time premium, paid at closing, which protects your money. A staked survey is not a required item to purchase a home. The lender only requires a mortgage inspection survey, which is not guaranteed for accuracy. For additional cost, it is worth it to have maximum title insurance protection and it is nice to know where your property corners really are located. With a new location, different laws and customs may be a factor, buy both!

Choosing the Wrong Lender

All mortgages are not created equal! Lending options are numerous and need to be thought through. The duration of time you plan to spend in your new home should be a consideration on whether you buy down the percentage rate at the beginning of the loan, or take a higher interest rate with no discount points. Interest rates and closing cost will vary between banks and mortgage brokers, and should be compared. Service and availability of the loan processor is also a consideration. There is nothing worse than poor communications to foul up a potentially smooth process.

Choosing the Wrong Moving Company

There are an abundance of horror stories concerning moving companies. Several well-known examples are: lost, broken, and stolen items; late delivery; not enough help or experienced personnel; lack of promptness in addressing concerns. Ask around to people who have moved recently. Fellow employees, neighbors and relocation departments can be a credible source for a competent and trust worthy moving company.

You may also download the PDF here.


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