3 Home-Buying Techniques That Could Backfire

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on May 26, 2021

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A young man and woman speaking with their realtor who's holding a tablet in an open house.

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Try any one of these home-buying techniques, and you may miss out on the house of your dreams.

Buying a home isn't always an easy thing to do. It takes some planning to find the right property at the best price so you end up living with an affordable mortgage. That means you need to be smart about the way you approach the purchasing process.

Unfortunately, there are some home-buying techniques that you may think could help you save money or land the home of your dreams. But if you're not careful, they could actually end up having the opposite effect.

Here are three home-buying strategies that you may want to avoid because they could backfire on you.

1. Making an offer that's too low

If you want to save money when purchasing a property, you may be tempted to come in with a lowball offer just to see if the seller is willing to accept it or perhaps make a counter offer at a lower amount.

Unfortunately, the seller may just be offended by your offer. If that happens, they may decide not to engage with you at all. Or the seller may receive other higher offers during that period and accept them before you have the chance to up your price.

When you make an offer on a house, don't just submit a very low price. Do some research. Look at what comparable properties have sold for and consider whether it's a buyer or seller's market in your area. If homes are selling quickly for the asking price or close to it, then it's especially crucial to make a solid offer based on the realistic value of the property.

2. Trying to get a bunch of money off for minor flaws after an inspection

Most home buyers make their offer contingent on two clauses: a satisfactory inspection and a home appraisal. When it comes to the home inspection, it's important that the outcome meets your approval in order for you to go forward with the sale. And if you aren't satisfied with the results of that home inspection, you'll be able to get your deposit back and walk away.

Most home inspections turn up at least some issues, as very few houses are 100% perfect. And when this happens, it may be tempting to ask the seller for some money off of the asking price.

While this technique makes sense if there are major problems with the home that require expensive repairs, it can backfire if you get greedy and ask for a lot of money just because of a little issue.

The seller will almost assuredly refuse to give you any further discount. And if you try to play hardball and won't move forward without seller concessions, this could lead to cancellation of the sales contract.

3. Forgoing an inspection to try to get your offer accepted

While you don't want to use an inspection as negotiating leverage if minor issues arise, you also shouldn't forgo the inspection entirely.

It may be tempting to do just that if you're in a hot market and sellers are getting multiple offers. But you could really regret this decision if you end up buying a property with serious flaws you were unaware of.

To make sure your transaction goes as smoothly as possible, offer a fair price for the home, ask for an inspection, and then agree to move forward with no further concessions from the seller unless major problems arise during the inspection process. Doing these things could be the difference between landing the home of your dreams or being forced to continue searching for a place to live.

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