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How To Avoid Home Buying Mistakes 

1. Not doing your homework. Enter the market well-prepared by researching location, school district, deed restrictions and taxes.

2. Trying to make a shrewd investment. Focus on finding the best place for you and your family to live rather than trying to predict the real estate market.

3. Choosing a poor location. Consider what part of town you would like to live in and avoid homes located on busy streets.

4. Overlooking an inferior floor plan for an attractive exterior. Choose a great floor plan over a great exterior because you'll spend far more time inside the house than outside.

5. Overlooking how the home will function for your family. Consider features that are most important to your family and choose a home that will meet those needs.

6. Not having the home properly inspected when buying a resale. Hire a state-licensed, professional inspector to evaluate the home's true condition, which could save you thousands of dollars in repairs and maintenance.

7. Not having the home properly inspected when buying a new home. Research the number of homes sold, homeowner satisfaction, years in business, industry recognition and warranties offered.

8. Not getting what you want because you're impatient. If it's a used home, allow time to negotiate and get the best deal possible. Refusing to rush the process could save you $5,000 on the purchase price.

9. Waiting for a better time to buy based on the market and interest rates. History shows that those who purchased homes and kept them for three to five years or more did better than those who didn't. Waiting is one of the biggest mistakes a home buyer can make.

10. The biggest home buying mistake is not buying at all. Buying a home will give you a place to call your own and allow you to take advantage of tax breaks and build equity.

Avoiding common mistakes can make the home buying process simpler and less stressful.

For Sale By Owners: Worth the hassle?

For-sale-by-owner residential transactions are less than 15% of all home listings nationwide. According to a 2008 survey of homebuyers and sellers, 68% of respondents sold their homes through a real estate professional. Of that percentage, 8% tried unsuccessfully to sell on their own. Only 13% of respondents sold their own homes.

Further, the research shows that 50% of those homeowners who did successfully sell their homes without a real estate professional's help vowed never to do it again, because of the complexities and hassles associated with the transaction.

Among the major problems cited:

Holding open houses
Arranging for appraisals and inspections
Understanding and filing paperwork
Helping buyers obtain financing 
Having time to do it all                                                                                                FREE MLS HOMES SEARCH

True, some homeowners may be able to save commission costs by selling on their own or using discount firms. However, people who try to sell their own homes deny themselves the benefit of a real estate professional who is trained to sell real estate on the terms most advantageous to their clients.

An experienced Real Estate Professional can provide up-to-date reports, and has a clear understanding of local housing market and financing options. Brokers can provide more exposure, via multiple listing services, than most homeowners can obtain on their own.

In the vast majority of cases, it takes less time (and earns the homeowner more profit) to use a licensed real estate professional when selling a home.

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