Sure, compromise between the buyer and seller is part of the game when getting to closing. But there are some things buyers should never acquiesce—or they’ll likely regret their home purchase. Realtor.com® recently asked real estate professionals to weigh in on some of the top items their clients regret about the home they bought.
Read more: How to Prevent Buyer’s Remorse
1. The floor plan. It’s difficult and expensive to reconfigure a home’s floor plan. Sarah Garza, MRP, a real estate pro with Trident Homes Realty in Arnold, Md., suggests that if a home does not fit your buyers’ minimum criteria in terms of number of rooms and the flow of the main living areas, they should cross it off their list. “You can change a layout to make it an open floor plan, but it’s a lot more difficult to change the bedroom and bathroom count,” she says. “In the long run, you could end up having a lot of problems and taking on a really big financial undertaking.”
2. The school district. Even buyers who don’t have children—but wish to one day—should carefully consider their neighborhood’s school district. Encourage buyers to visit the school district’s website to get a map of its exact boundaries. “Often, agents will advertise a property as being near such-and-such school area but not necessarily specify the district, which can be very confusing,” says Tina Maraj, SFR, e-PRO, an agent with RE/MAX of North Orange County in Fullerton, Calif. “It can be a real eye-opener if a buyer closes, and they’re on one side of a main street that is the dividing line between the top-rated and the lowest-rate high schools.”
3. The neighbors. Buyers should be cognizant of the condition of neighboring homes, as it can affect their future resale value. “You can’t change the house in front of you or to the side of you,” Maraj warns. “And if there’s a barking dog every time you’re viewing the property, that’s another thing that you absolutely cannot change.”
4. The budget. Tell your clients to consider the expenses beyond just the list price. For example, they’ll want to factor in monthly mortgage payments, potential homeowner association dues, utility costs, and real estate taxes. A lender’s pre-approval will tell buyers how much house they can afford, but there other factors determine whether they’ll be financially comfortable. “I try to do a lot of pre-planning with clients about what they can really afford, as opposed to what the bank tells you,” says Mike Kessler, a broker with TSG Residential in Davidson, N.C. “You never want to be house poor.”
5. The commute. Buyers should make sure they are comfortable with the time it takes to get to work. They should drive the route between the home and their office at the time they’ll be commuting. “Sometimes, buyers fall in love with all the shiny bells and whistles of a house that’s an hour away from work,” Garza says. “I tell them, ‘I know it doesn’t matter right now because you really love this house, but that’s two hours every day that you’ll be sitting in the car and not enjoying your house. Is that worth it to you?’”
Source: “Don’t Budge: 7 Compromises You Should Never Make When Buying a Home,” realtor.com® (Sept. 21, 2017)