When you come across a house in a neighborhood you have always admired, it’s tempting to move fast and lock in a deal, but don’t do it.
According to real estate agent DC, home purchase transactions involve large amounts of money that attract scammers. To avoid losing your money, proceed with caution. When buying a new home, follow these tips:
View the house first
It might sound absurd that a person can buy a house without viewing it first, but it’s possible. Imagine this. You come across a house seller, and they tell you that you need to make a down payment immediately to secure the house.
The sellers will come with a photo and show it to you and tell you that they are in urgent need of the money. They will even go ahead and sign an agreement with you and promise to show you the house later on.
When you come across these kinds of sellers, you should run as they are often out to rip you off.
Never buy a house without first viewing it. Even if the seller is in dire need of the money, tell them to give you time.
Verify property ownership
This brings us to the next point. Even if you see the house, don’t buy it without verifying the ownership. Is the person selling the house the homeowner? You might ask how someone can sell a house that’s not theirs, right?
It’s not uncommon for people to ask friends or relatives to stay in their homes. So in some cases, the person asked to live in the house might decide to be clever and try to rip you off.
To avoid this, always ask the seller about the proof of the mortgage statement. Carefully go through it to confirm that it’s genuine. You can also use a title company to find out the real house owner before you part with your money.
Inspect the house
You have confirmed the person selling you the house is the real owner, but does this mean that you are in the green to purchase the house? Absolutely Not!
The house might seem attractive on the outside, but it might be harboring mold or any other dangerous materials. In other cases, the house might require expensive repairs that might see you spending a lot of money.
To avoid this, always take your time to inspect the house before parting with your money. Hire a contractor to go through all the areas of the house and give you a confirmation whether you are safe to occupy the home.
If you don’t have the money to hire an inspection professional, ask the seller for the certificate of occupancy. This certificate certifies that your home is habitable.
You should note that if the seller doesn’t have the certificate, you may have to shell out thousands of dollars to bring the house up to habitable standards.
Work with a reputable real estate agent.
It’s always wise not to go house hunting on your own—you should have an agent by your side. In addition to the agents making it easy to find the house of your dreams, they also protect you from getting scammed as they know the reputable house sellers.
The agents will also help you with house price negotiations.
While this is the case, you shouldn’t hire just any agent. Take time to find a reputable buyer’s agent DC that is authorized to work in your local area. You can find the agent from referrals from your friends and family.
You can also visit a respected real estate firm in your local area and hire one from there.