Top 10 Mistakes Buyers Make

California Association of Realtors has made a very nice graphic about their list of buyers' top 10 mistakes in a transaction.  Since they have the experience of hearing from many agents all over the state, they would be in a position to hear the most common complaints.

Personally, I haven't had equal experience with every single one of these items when working with a buyer, but when I think about, I can come close.
Item 1:  In every market, there seems to be a certain buyer who makes a below market offer (possibly known as "lowball") and wonders why the seller didn't respond with a counteroffer, or at least hear from the listing agent. Buyers, if you are this type of offeree, please know the seller is not ever required to respond (although it's nice of them to do so) if they don't like your offer.  Even if you are totally right about the price, and sometimes you are, it doesn't matter. Because the seller has a different perception, and does not agree with yours, even if you are right. Which leads to an important point: a good contract agreement reflects a meeting of the minds. Buyers, sometimes you have to either move on, or wait and see.  

And then there's the frustration of Item 2, where the seller accepts another buyer's offer. That other buyer perhaps had no contingency to sell, offered more down payment, offered more deposit money, and also offered . . .  a higher price.  The higher price will still have to be scrutinized by an appraiser, of course, but an all cash offer will simply not have to worry if that other buyer decides the market value is there and it's worth it to them.  So writing offers with as few contingencies as possible, a strong down payment, pricing, time in which to close escrow which also works for the seller--these are not everything, but are the usual things that get a seller's attention. Actually, sellers have been known to accept offers that  are not the highest price, because other parts of the offer show a very motivated and sincere buyer.

And the seller can pretty much tell all (Item 3) unless the buyer got an agreement from the seller to not speak about the buyer's terms.  In the local market, confidentiality agreements are not common at average market prices, and obtaining one from a seller would be unusual, so the terms of your offer could be revealed to another buyer if the seller chooses.  So although the seller might be present when you see the home and really want to engage you in conversation while you're looking because they are eager to sell, a buyer should still keep their comments and conversation restricted, if at all.  Because if you make an offer, the seller may have already learned much about you through your comments, i.e., your motivation, your reactions, your feelings about the home, things that may influence seller acceptance, counteroffer, or rejection of your offer.  It's usually better to let your agent do the talking, and let your motivation show through the strength of your offer and possibly a cover letter to the seller submitted via your agent.

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