What to Do and Not Do When Shopping for a Home in Denver

What to Do and Not Do When Shopping for a Home in Denver

The following is a short list of things you should and should not do when buying a home in Denver or Boulder.

 Mistakes to Avoid During Your House Search

#1  Not being prepared to compete in a seller’s market.
The Denver metropolitan area, including Boulder, has been in a hot market for years where housing demand far outstrips supply and all-cash offers are fairly common.  Buyers have to be ready to make fast decisions.

Prior to starting any kind of  search for Denver homes for sale, have a down payment saved (the more, the better), clean up any problems on your credit report, decrease your balances on credit cards, and get pre-approved for a loan.

By doing so, you become a legitimate buyer and the seller will take your offer seriously. Keep in mind, that “some all-cash buyers” actually do end up getting a loan during the buying process. Borrowing money is cheap with the today’s low interest rates. The seller isn’t notified that the buyer is seeking financing until the closing date nears or after the escrow company discloses that the buyer now has a lender.

#2 – Don’t believe the listing agent showing you the home is your honest to goodness new best friend.
Far too often, prospective buyers disclose to the seller’s agent admit they can buy it for as much as $399,000, which means you probably won’t get the house for a penny under $399,000.

Eric Tyson, co-author of “Home Buying for Dummies”, says just like a card game, never show your hand. Treat the seller’s agent as what he or she is: a representative for the current owners. Do you believe everything a used car owner or the dealer tells you about the car? No. You should always verify what is being sold to you.

If the seller’s agent says the schools are top-rated or the home has been maintained flawlessly, verify it. Talk to parents in the neighborhood who have kids. See reviews on Greatschools.org.  Have a professional inspect the home inside and out to confirm the impeccable care that was given.
homebuyer mistakes

#3 – Don’t Agree to Unlikely Closing Dates.
According to the National Association of Realtors, accepting an unrealistic closing date is one of the most common homebuyer mistakes.  While it is true, that if you’re pre-approved and your loan is in the easy peazey category, you probably can close in 30 days, but 45 days is more common. Why do this? The lender may need the appraiser to re-inspect the property because the appraiser missed something. There could be a title issue that needs to be resolved. Ask for 45 but also mention you will close early if items out of your control go as planned.

What You Should Do Before and During Your Home Search

#4 – Do shop lenders including online mortgage brokers.
Even if the lender is out of state, you want the best program that meets your needs. People buy cars and insurance out of state and online. Simply review their credentials, testimonials, and pick the one that makes the most sense as far as affordability, fees, and being confident they can close your loan with minimal issues.

#5 – Do be respectful of the seller’s taste when they or the listing agent are present.
The seller may love how they decorated the home and may actually not accept your offer due to you offending their taste in decor. Any giggling or pointing out inferior designs (examples: dated wallpaper, lime green carpet, or popcorn ceilings) is not recommended. Additionally, the listing agent could be a friend or relative so keep any negative comments to yourselves in private.

#6 – Do have enough savings or reserves set aside.
Many home buyers end up buying a home and only have few months of the mortgage payment in reserves right after closing. Many financial experts say you should really have a year’s worth of the mortgage payment and monthly expenses in case of job loss, medical emergency or  something else unforeseen.

#7 – Make sure your credit report is fre of any errors.
Are you aware that 1 out of 4 people have a credit reporting error on their report? With odds like that, you should make it mandatory to check your credit report 3 months before starting your home search in order to clean up any inaccuracies.