Maybe your current home sold way faster than you thought it would, or your one-bedroom apartment is now infuriatingly too small. Or maybe the house you’re looking at is exactly what you want, and you desperately want to close on it.
Or then again it could be that you’re worn down by the whole process and just want to get it over. Whatever the reason, it could be that you’ve reached a point where you feel like giving in and conceding almost anything the seller wants.
But before you do, consider these 5 deals you shouldn’t make with the seller when buying a house in Los Angeles.
5 Deals You Shouldn’t Make With the Seller When Buying a House in Los Angeles
1. Paying Too Much for Desired Features
Granite countertops, a wrap-around porch, a huge fireplace – you’ve always dreamed of owning a home with these features. And, besides, what’s another $15,000 or so added to the already-big price of the home. You need to tread with caution here, though.
Among the deals, you shouldn’t make with the seller when buying a house in Los Angeles is one that busts your budget. You may really, really want those features – and the seller has added them in at an attractive price – but make sure you can afford them. You need to set your mortgage payments such that you can still meet the obligation even if, say, you have to change jobs and take a cut in pay.
2. Buying Anyway When You Plan to Move Soon
Paying rent is like putting a match to your money every month, right? So you’re eager to get out from under rent payments, buy a home, and start building up some equity. But if you don’t intend to stay in that home for several years, this could be a mistake.
In addition, the seller is likely to sense your eagerness to buy. She will use that (and probably sweeten the deal in some way) to get you to buy when you really shouldn’t.
3. Ignoring Added Costs to Get What You Want
Buying a home involves a lot more than just replacing your monthly rent payment with a mortgage payment. There will be added (and sometimes hidden) costs – for example, maintenance costs, higher utilities, property taxes. With these costs factored in, the average monthly expenditure for the home may actually be out of your reach.
So if a seller glosses over these added costs to get you to make a deal, beware. If the seller offers to replace the roof and pay all closing costs, it still may not be a deal you should make. Run all the numbers first.
4. Skipping the Inspection to Speed Up Closing
This usually doesn’t happen when a mortgage lender is involved, but most often with cash deals. A seller may try to convince you to skip the inspection by pointing out the seemingly good condition of the home and offering an almost irresistibly low price.
But if the home really is in good condition with no major problems, then the seller won’t mind having an inspection done. Skipping the inspection to secure a low sale price could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.
5. Agreeing to Buy Without Getting Everything in Writing
You just love the appliances in the kitchen of the home you’re about to close on. And you assume they go with the home because nothing has been said otherwise. You may, however, show up to take possession and find an empty kitchen.
So don’t operate on assumptions – get everything in writing. A desperate seller may allow you to assume quite a lot in order to get you to make a deal. So go through the contract carefully, making sure everything you want is there.
Even if you’re desperate to move or eager to close on what looks like your dream home, you still need to keep in mind these 5 deals you shouldn’t make with the seller when buying a house in Los Angeles. And there are some surefire ways to avoid these buyer pitfalls altogether.