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Jonathan Fink's Dos and Dont's for First-Time Buyers

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Jonathan Fink is a real estate consultant with Keller Williams who's seen first-time buyers make their fair share of mistakes. Here are three of the biggest ones:

First time homebuyers can sometimes be so focused on "driving a hard bargain," that they insist on low offers that can have the effect of angering the sellers. They need to understand that a home purchase is a short-term business partnership and at some point during the following 30 to 60 days they may need something from the sellers.

For example, if they have trouble with their financing and need to ask the sellers to extend settlement by three days. This is sometimes true during the home inspection negotiations as well. I sometimes use the saying, "Don't step over dollars to pick up nickels." I do my best to educate buyers on the entire process before we get started to avoid these pitfalls.

Home Depot Syndrome
First-time homebuyers sometimes think that a "fixer upper" will be fun when in fact they are better off buying something that is in turn-key condition.

Playing the Field
First-time homebuyers often bounce around from agent to agent and don't consider signing a Buyer Agency Contract with one agent. This service is free to the buyer and saves them lots of time. Often buyers don't understand the process. This isn't their fault but it can lead to wasted time and transactions that go less than smoothly.