Compromise: What homebuyers shouldn’t negotiate on

By Kelly Leighton | Oct. 6, 2017 | 3 min. read

Much has been said about the lack of inventory on the market, and how it has been difficult for some homebuyers to find their dream home within their budget.

Your clients may need to give up some of their wants. But what shouldn’t they compromise on? PAR’s leadership offered their opinions.

“If I’m dealing with an inexperienced buyer, I always warn them not to compromise on the home inspections. There is just too much at stake,” said PAR Treasurer Bill Festa.

Meanwhile, location was not something to negotiate, according to others.

“In real estate, location is everything. The admonition given by everyone from grandparents to real estate instructors is this: What are the three most important factors when it comes to real estate? Location, location, location. The one thing you can’t change about a property is its location. It is an old expression, but still very much holds true today,” said PAR President-elect Todd Umbenhauer. “Be careful of going outside what is the norm for the area in which you are buying. If 90 percent of the homes in the marketplace have basements, not having one will be a problem when the buyer ultimately becomes a seller. After all, it is pretty tough to add a basement to a house. If two-bedroom homes are a rare commodity, one might be wise not to purchase that commodity, if the typical buyer in the market is seeking three bedrooms.”

Umbenhauer also said that buyers should not compromise much on the condition of the home. Thanks to full-time gigs, children’s schedules and the normal busyness of everyday life, it can be tough to find time and money to update a home. “Unless the budget allows for hiring professionals to do the work, consider purchasing a home with a shorter list of projects to be done for you to be happy with the home you have purchased,” he said.

PAR’s First Vice President Bill McFalls said he tells his clients to never comprise on their budget. “The importance of working within their means has long-term consequences, both positive and negative.” McFalls also echoed Umbenhauer’s comments on the importance of location, homes should “not being on a busy road or encumbered by nearby commercial activity, ugly power lines or seepage pits,” said McFalls.

Location was also the top non-negotiable for PAR’s President Kathy McQuilkin. “I advise my buyers that location still be a major consideration in their purchase. They should consider both on the macro scale, with a look at travel time to work, access to transportation, convenience to items important to them and schools. On the micro scale, consider street location, lot size and type, end or interior unit, neighborhood and so forth,” she said.

What do you advise your clients not to compromise on?

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