to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes
and options for representation before you start your home search.
your agent carefully. Trust your instincts.
If what he’s saying doesn’t ring true, it may not
be. Require that he sign a buyer agency agreement with you that
spells out his obligations, if he tells you he’s representing
sure the Buyer Agency Agreement
that you sign has a termination clause so you can be released
from that agreement if the agent isn’t doing his job.
pre-qualified with a good lender at the start.
You’ll be like a cash buyer when you find the property
you want to buy.
your agent make the calls and
take you to see FSBOs (unlisted properties for sale by the owners).
You’ll need a professional involved – the seller
seldom knows what to do next once he’s gotten you in the
sure your agent goes with you
to visit builders' model homes. Some builders won’t share
commission to have your agent involved if he is not with you
the first time. You’ll probably pay the same for the house
regardless - the builder anticipates that a percentage of the
buyers buying his houses will have representation, and rolls
those costs into the house prices he offers to everyone, agent
or not. A home builder is like a FSBO times 10 – once
you step inside that sales office, everyone you encounter, except
your own agent, will be working for the seller. Don’t
a copy of the soils report for the subdivision
and for the lot you’re considering building on. If your
agent is not sure, it’s a good idea to call the engineering
firm for clarification of the type of soil on your lot. Be sure
your foundation is being constructed according to the engineer’s
specifications for that particular lot.
the best inspector you can find. It’s
almost a sure thing that he’ll save you more than he costs.
If you’re buying a new home, make sure your purchase contract
allows for you to have your own inspector before drywall, and
again, at or before the final walk through before Closing.
a copy of the final CO (Certificate of Occupancy)
at Closing. Builders must comply with local building codes and
pass a final inspection by the local building department in
order to get a CO when the house is finished so that it can
the builder is offering a structural warranty
to be provided by an outside warranty company, be sure to get
a signed copy of the promise for the structural warranty at
Closing (the structural warranty itself is usually sent to you
a signed copy
of the builder’s own warranty at Closing. There are laws
requiring a builder to warrant the house for defects in materials
and workmanship for a period of time after Closing. The warranty
should spell out what that means and for how long.
a signed list (from the builder) of repairs
not completed before Closing. Be sure it specifies when those
repairs will be done. It’s a good idea to anticipate this
happening, and making sure your purchase contract deals with
just how that will be handled.
best advice: be certain that your purchase contract
specifies what you expect to be done, no matter what it is.
If it’s not in writing, you’ll have a hard time
holding anyone to it. An experienced buyer agent will be able
to help you accomplish that.