New Jersey Five Star award winner

Five Common Homebuyer Mistakes You Should Avoid



Buying a home is often a very exciting time, as it represents a significant life achievement and financial success. However, new homebuyers can overlook some important considerations in all of the excitement, leading them to make potentially costly mistakes. The best way to avoid these mistakes is to be aware of them right from the beginning. If you are looking to buy a home, here are some common homebuyer mistakes to avoid:

1) Getting a home at the top of your budget

When buying a home — especially your first home — it may be tempting to go all out and get your dream house. You will start rationalizing more expensive properties to yourself because you fall in love with them, even if they are over your budget. Breaking your budget is a bad idea, and the best way to keep yourself from doing so is to get preapproved for a mortgage first. Even then you should strive to come in at least 15-20 percent under your preapproved amount. Just because you can afford something right now doesn’t mean that your financial situation might not change in the future. It is always better to play it safe.

2) Forgetting about additional homeownership costs

One of the main reasons why you should always stay within your budget is that homeownership comes with many hidden costs which can really add up. You need to be aware of the property taxes, utility costs, insurance and maintenance costs that are going to come with your new home. If you don’t take these costs into account when coming up with your budget, you will have a difficult time making all of your monthly payments on the house.

3) Forgoing a professional inspection

The importance of getting a professional inspection before finalizing a sale on a home cannot be overstated, as it can save you from unexpected costs in the future. A house may look like it is in great shape and worth every penny, but a professional inspector can tell you if you will be looking at needing to make major and costly repairs after your purchase. This information can help you back out of a bad deal in time, or, if you’re willing to make the repairs, negotiate the price of the home.

4) Not considering the resale value of your home

When in the processes of buying a new home, one of the last things you are probably going to consider is the home’s potential resale value. If you love the home and you plan to stay there forever, then why give any thought to selling it one day? Any number of life changes could mean needing to move again in the future. The time may come when you will want or need to sell the house, so ensuring that it has good resale value before you buy may help you out immensely in the future.

5) Relying on verbal agreements

When buying a new home, you should never rely solely on verbal agreements. It is in your best interest to get everything in writing before agreeing to the sale. Failing to get a seller to agree to your offer in writing can also open the door for another buyer to come in with a lower offer at the last minute and steal the property out from under you! Getting everything in writing is a must. Review the contract carefully with your real estate agent. Homebuyers are sometimes shocked to walk into their new home only to find that there are no kitchen appliances or light fixtures, for example.


Buying: Working With A Realtor

There are thousands of real estate agents in your area. Some may be part time; others may be inactive or have been inactive for some time, and thereby not be as familiar with market trends and how they might impact your purchase. Some may be affiliated with agencies offering little inventory from which to choose a home. The first rule of choosing an agent is to use a professional that is an expert on the neighborhood in which you are buying or selling. What makes a real estate agent an expert (not all of them are ) is their knowledge of current and past trends on the sale and purchase of all different types of homes (condos, townhouses, single family) in a given community, in addition to knowing all the local facts relevant to your home sale or home selection.

Good agents also have knowledge of the home market in the community. The key to an expert agent being able to service you well is their communication skills. Agents should do a lot of listening and ask a few key questions.

An effective agent needs to understand your current financial situation, your needs for purchasing a home or your needs for selling a home.

It is important to remember that good communication is a two-way street. You need to be open and honest with an agent to save both of you time and effort. You will be surprised at how innovative an agent can be in helping you find solutions to your problems.

A key criteria for an expert agent is his/her ability to use technology to help you with your home sale or home search.

The final criteria of having an expert work for you is integrity. How honest is an agent in dealing with you?

Choosing the right Realtor before purchasing a home
Is your agent ranked among the top ten local agents?
Has your agent been practicing real estate for at least 10 years?
Does the agent have a user friendly website – one that provides you with instant access to search for homes for sale?
Does your agent’s website allow you to search homes that are listed on the local MLS, not just the agent’s listings?
What is the agent’s total career sales volume?
Can your agent provide you with past client testimonials of very satisfied buyers?
Does your agent have a stellar reputation not only for finding his/her buyers the right home, but for honesty and integrity in the industry?
Does your agent have a team or staff that can follow up with your transaction when your agent might be showing other houses?
Is your agent a quality negotiator with a good tract record?
Does your agent have access to other agency’s exclusive listings so that you can have access to all the available homes for sale in your marketplace?


Moving from Europe to Summit, NJ should have been extremely stressful, but CAROLANN CLYNES provided all of the help we needed - from finding the perfect neighborhood to locating a great house. Her professionalism and industry prowess made all of the difference in our search.... Read More
Constance Guindo / The Guindo Family

Thank you for your friendship, support and encouragement over the many long months of my transition. I hope that our friendship will continue beyond the recent real estate transactions.
Adele Vespa, Corporate Counsel to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

We want to heartily thank you for your assistance and help through this transaction. As you know, I was quite skeptical at the beginning because of the overall market conditions. I have to give full credit to you for making this possible.
Sandro LaRosa125 Blackburn Road , Summit , New Jersey

We could not have asked for a better agent than Carolann Clynes. She is extremely knowledgeable, particularly about the area we were looking in, professional, always diligently protected our interests, patient, and never pushy or overbearing. She is very personable and her warm personality made it a delight to work with her.
Dan Thorn-Leeson

As an attorney representing executors and families in the settlement of estates... I am pleased to recommend Carolann Clynes with the highest praise. Her judgement and experience in advising executors as to the marketing of real property held in an estate and in formulating and implementing strategies is invaluable.
Joseph E. Imbriaco, Esq.

It is no wonder why I hold you in such high regard. YOU ARE THE BEST!
Judy Maloney

We felt Carolann was the consummate professional. She patiently explained the process in terms we could understand. At each decision level she explained our choices and what benefits or failings each choice would bring. Her community contacts helped us fix & prepare our home for sale in record time.
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Thomas and Karen Devine

...Carolann is fabulous. I told her she was my Realtor for life. Carolann: you have been wonderful. You are my realtor for life and I will recommend you to the world.
Sandra Sauls

I will always be grateful to you for facilitating that blessing in our lives. I am keenly aware of how hard you worked on my behalf and I am very thankful for your efforts.
Leslie Tunstall

In the constellation overlooking my father's world, you have been one of the brightest stars; thank you for your help and friendship. I could not have made it without you.
Rich Little

Selling in this market is a real challenge. Carolann is a go-getter that goes above and beyond to ensure her clients get the best deal. We had a particularly challenging transaction and if it had not been for Carolann, it never would have happened. I have seen her in action for many years on many deals. She is an A+.
Michael & Joanne Vernotico

Dear Carolann,
Thank you for the countless things you did to help ensure the sale of my Aunt’s home. I have great respect and appreciation for all you do and how you do it. You are a gift to me and I treasure your friendship. Enjoy this gift and have fun.... Read More
Judy Maloney

...the deal actually closed, you are remarkable. I can see why you are so successful. No matter what was thrown at you there was a great response. Thank you for all your skill and effort.
Paul Allen

Carolann Clynes did a tremendous job supporting us through a very difficult closing process. She also foresaw potential issues throughout the process and took preventative action early. It was comforting to know she was on top of issues.
Joseph Musumeci

We worked with Carolann for an extended period of time due to market conditions. In this overall challenging environment, we were very fortunate to have such a professional on our side when we were selling and also when we were buying. Carolann guided us through every step of the way with her experience and elegance. ... Read More
Louisa Li

Fast, speed, moving, angling...results. Effort is for 12 year olds. You deliver results. That's the difference. That's what you're about Carolann. Love it.
Mark Gall

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