How to avoid being the homebuyer from heck

Bottom Line Realty
Published on June 22, 2022

How to avoid being the homebuyer from heck

A homeowner whose home is on the market has given up a lot of privacy. It is almost guaranteed that buyers will open drawers, peek inside cabinets and touch items that are obviously personal and not included in the sale.

Coming home from work to find that the impeccably-made bed they left in the morning is now covered in a ball of linens is annoying.

These are just a few examples of nightmare homebuyers behaving badly. Read on to learn how to not turn off the seller of your dream home.

Don’t be a time bandit

Savvy home sellers spend a great deal of time ensuring that the home is presentable during the marketing period. They clean, de-clutter and then inconvenience themselves by skedaddling before the potential buyers show up.

Therefore, buyers that cancel appointments at the last minute, or just don’t bother showing up, are behaving quite badly.

Unless an emergency came up and there was no time to call your agent, try to provide your agent with at least several hours’ notice that you won’t be touring the home. It’s the polite thing to do and it just might save the seller from needlessly preparing for your arrival.

“Time is of the essence” is a term you’ll see in most real estate purchase contracts. What it means is that all specified deadlines in the agreement are mandatory — sort of. Yes, you can request an extension of a date and it will most likely be granted, if the reason for the request is compelling enough.

Frivolous requests, however, or those made repeatedly, are time stealers.

Sellers are frequently on a tight schedule to get the transaction to the closing table. Just as you are excited to get into your new home, the seller has plans as well. Keeping contract deadline extension requests to a minimum is one way you can contribute to a smooth transaction.

Then there is the homebuyer that, once the ink dries on the contract, treats the home as if it’s unoccupied and equipped with a revolving door. One week it’s their interior decorator that needs access to take measurement, perhaps the next week it will be their architect.

Many buyers want to show family members their new home – before it is actually their new home.

The seller, in the meantime is packing for the move, having repairs completed, accommodating the appraiser and inspectors all while attempting to live a normal life. Additional home tours are more than an inconvenience, they are time stealers.

If you must gain access to the home, ask your agent to find out when the inspector or appraiser will be in the home and arrange to be there at the same time.

The Nit-Picker

Nit picking is neither a price-reduction nor negotiating strategy, as those buyers who have tried it can attest. Bankrate.com’s Dana Gratch calls these buyers “gladiator wannabes,” who, after they’ve agreed to purchase the home, come in with a long list of things that are wrong with it or a list of concessions.

The art of negotiating depends on give and take, not a barrage of one-sided demands. Let your real estate agent do the negotiating. If you truly feel that what is wrong with the house commands a price reduction, your agent should be able to justify it with a list of comparables and reasons why the seller’s home doesn’t stack up.

The Unprepared

There are several reasons a real estate agent suggests that a buyer get fully approved for a loan before submitting an offer to purchase. Buyers that don’t take this important step run the risk of derailing the entire transaction.

Even a pre-approval commitment from a lender isn’t firm. Once the loan application is in the hands of the underwriter, anything can happen. Many times, the buyer will receive a letter from the bank – in the middle of the transaction — listing all the conditions that must be met before the loan is approved.

Satisfying these conditions not only takes time, but, depending on the conditions, may result in a cancelled sale.

Take the time to work with your lender to ensure that you will get the loan before committing to purchase a home. Don’t make any major purchases until the home closes escrow.

Entering into the process knowing that you’ll get the loan is not only a courtesy to the seller but the peace of mind it gives you is priceless.

Both parties to a real estate transaction have schedules that need to be accommodated during the purchase process and, yes, sellers can behave badly as well (we’ll take a look at that in a future blog post). Respecting one another’s needs helps make the transaction run smoother and more comfortably for all concerned.