Let’s face the facts: Buying a home in St Pete can be an amazing experience, whether you are wanting views of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, be on the bay overlooking the water, or just be minutes from Downtown St Pete, but it can also be quite complicated. With emotions running high, it’s all too easy for home-buyers to skip over crucial steps and make mistakes. But don’t worry! I’ve laid out some of the biggest mistakes that home-buyers make below so you will know to avoid them.

Low-balling the seller

If you find a house that you absolutely love, don’t play games: work with your agent to come up with a reasonable offer based on the sales of comparable properties in the area, which we can provide for you. Some buyers seem to think that taking their time and making a seller “sweat” is a good strategy for getting the best price possible. Don’t fall into this trap! In the current St Pete market you will never be the only one interested in buying a particular home, and houses go under contract in days of being on the market, so if you find one that you love, get it before it’s gone. Don’t kill the deal by making too low of an offer, waiting too long, or by making excessive requests for repairs.

Not reading contracts

When you sign a real estate contract, you’re entering into a huge financial obligation. And while it seems like common sense that you should always read (and understand) all of the terms and conditions, many home-buyers do not. A good idea is to have your agent go over your contracts with you, section by section. Because contracts are legally binding, it’s crucial that you discover any issues before you sign. We make it a point to really help you understand the whole process, which will keep expectations accurate, and mitigate the impact of surprises.

Spending too much

Your pre-approval amount should act as a guide, showing you what you could pay for a home if you maxed out your finances. Your pre-approval amount should not, however, be the price that you buy at. Buying at the absolute limit of your price range will likely leave you “house poor,” which means you’ll be able to make the mortgage payment and cover recurring expenses, but then you’ll have little or nothing left for recreation or other projects. So instead of buying at the top of your approval level, buy within your comfort level: a level where you’ll still have sufficient money left over for other things.

Check out these other St Pete real estate tips and be sure to contact me for one-on-one guidance throughout the home-buying process, or if you would like our list of preferred lenders to start your pre-approval.