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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Buyers Beware

By: Christy Brannon, Realtor

Buyers beware sounds kind of scary huh?  Well, it is.  Two things buyers should beware of, in my opinion, are indecision and an uncompromising stance when buying a house.  These two items can make the home buying experience a lesson in futility and frustration for you and your agent.  

Now, I am not talking about compromising when it comes to negotiations or even indecision over items in the inspection report you want fixed by the seller.  I am talking about the beginning of the process, the actual search for your new home.  I have seen too many buyers lose the house they eventually wanted to someone else because they thought they had to see everything out there first or they would not compromise on the little issues until too late.  

You should be very clear with your Realtor on what you are looking for in a home.  She/He will preview homes on the MLS and send you a list of homes that fit most of the criteria you have given them.  From this list, you need to pare it down further to the ones you are most interested in seeing.  The trick is finding what criteria matters most to you.  

My suggestion would be to sit down and write out a list of the items you want in your next home.  Start with the most important item first; the item you are least likely to compromise on, if at all, in your next home.  From there, the list should go in descending order of importance.  This list should not include the price.  The lender and your budget will let you know how much you can spend on a home.  But your Realtor does need to know the maximum amount you can spend on a new home.

I am writing about the items that are essential to you such as a master bedroom on the main floor, basement (finished or unfinished), whether the house should be a one level or multi-level house, pool or no pool (very important item), situated on a big lot or a small lot or the age of the home.  These are the items that should be at the top of your list and are the ones you will not compromise on having in your next home.  Everything after that should be items that you could either live with or change in your next home. 
Yes, it is a Buyer’s Market.  There are a lot of homes but you should not see every single house on the market in your price range.  This will only make the search harder and longer because almost every home you see will have something you want or like for your new home.  The reverse is also true.  Almost every house will have something you dislike or don’t want for your new home.  The only way to get possibly everything you want in a house is to build it yourself and even that is not a guarantee that you will be able to afford all the items you want for your new home.

Remember the saying, “The early bird gets the worm”.  If you are viewing a home and have strong positive feelings about it, make an offer.  If you wait, you may not have that opportunity again.  

Christy Brannon is a licensed Realtor, working with Dwayne Walker Homes, Keller Williams Atlanta Metro East. (In other words, she helps people buy and sell their homes in Snellville and all of Gwinnett County!) You can contact her by email at

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