There are three important mistakes I see buyers making in our market right now that you need to avoid if you’re buying a home.

Before we dive into them, though, I have an important piece of news to share with you. Our second annual diaper drive has begun and will run all the way into February. Our goal is to collect 5,000 diapers this year, and we need your help. This drive will help support the Junior League of Boca Raton’s diaper bank, and all the diapers will be distributed to all the nonprofits throughout Palm Beach and North Broward County.

This drive is especially important this time of year due to Hurricane Irma. The Junior League has also been supporting other areas that have been impacted by the hurricane, including Puerto Rico, and we need to help them fill up their diaper bank. It takes over 100 diapers a week for just one child. Without diapers, these kids can’t go to daycare, which means their parents can’t get jobs.

Think about that—100 diapers a week for one child. That’s the reason we increased our goal this year to support the Junior League’s amazing effort to help us here and in Puerto Rico, where 40% of all residents are still without power.

Moving on to our local real estate market, what are the three mistakes I see buyers making right now?

“Our goal is to collect 5,000 diapers, and we need your help.”

The first is searching for homes on Zillow. A lot of properties don’t hit the market until they’ve been in our multiple listing service for two or three days. If you’re in a hot pocket of inventory, most properties receive multiple offers within that time frame. It’s important that you have an agent working for you who searches through the MLS daily and aggressively and helps you find that right property.

The second mistake is making low offers on homes. Buyers are willing to pay more in these cases, but they make a low offer because they think they’ll get a counteroffer. What they don’t realize, though, is that while their low offer is being negotiated, the property is still being marketed and shown, and other offers can still come. Sellers have no responsibility to finish the negotiation on that first low offer. They can just stop and move onto a higher offer if one comes along. You can lose out on your dream home if you don’t come in with a dream offer to start and lock the home up.

A lot of times, buyers end up offending the seller with an extremely low offer, whereas they would’ve gotten a better counteroffer by offering a strong offer in the first place. Having the right buyer’s agent to counsel you can really help in this situation.

The third mistake is picking the wrong lender. The other day I was working with a client to qualify an offer for their listing that requested a 45-day closing and a 35-day mortgage approval. When I asked the buyer’s agent and their lender why we needed a 45-day closing and a 35-day mortgage approval, they said, “Well, that’s standard.” I thought to myself, “Standard? You’ve got to be kidding!”

Our lenders don’t take that long at all. In fact, over the holiday season, we closed a VA loan deal—which typically takes longer than other loan deals—in just 10 days. It’s definitely possible and normal to have your loan commitment in 15 days. That’s actually one of the tipping points to getting your offer accepted.

If you have any more questions about our diaper drive or you’re looking to buy or sell a home in our market, give us a call or send us an email. We’d be happy to help you.