Charles Buck
Portland Area Realtor®
T: 503.799.1742

Top 5 Mistakes Buyers Make


  1. Being ill-prepared and not educated enough:

There is much to know in the world of real estate and you can never have too much information. Technical aspects, processes, protocol, legalities, coordination and time lines. Your Realtor is a professional in this field should help you navigate through it all.

Begin the home buying process by getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan at a reputable lender. Without this, Buyers have no idea how much they qualify for or even if they do qualify for a loan. Guesstimating is the worst, and even the use of online loan calculators provide only a rough indication of how much you can afford. The value of a knowledgeable and competent mortgage broker cannot be overemphasized.

  1. Using the “scattergun” approach:

Spraying a wide area with bullets and pray you hit something is not the way you should be searching for your new home. Find some areas you like, visit those – as well as stores and businesses if you can, do web research on schools, crime rates, or anything else that is important to you and then select specific target areas. Now clearly list and think your parameters through. Try not to be too restrictive in the beginning though. It is better to begin wider and then narrowing it down than vice versa. It is much smarter to view a number of targeted homes which each have a high rate of probability than to view 50 homes which are all over the board!

  1.  Focusing on the wrong things:

Stay focused on your requirements and needs and do not let charm or desperation cloud your judgment.  Focusing on the house and ignoring the ‘hood’ is probably not focusing at all.

Do not get hung up by wall colors, floor coverings and other things which can easily and economically be changed. At the same time, look out for cheaply on incorrectly done fixes and upgrades. You will end up paying three times for those – firstly when you purchase the home, secondly to have it removed and thirdly to have it redone correctly.

 When you find that perfect house, don’t assume you can lob a lowball offer or make unreasonable demands. Although an overpriced house deserves to wither on the market, a reasonably-priced home will sell – if not to you, then to somebody else.

  1. Lack of teamwork:

By not keeping your Realtor informed about your changing situation or changing parameters, you lessen you chances dramatically of finding the “right” home at the “right” time at the “right” price! Buyers should clearly align their objectives and communicate clearly with each other and their agent throughout the whole buying process. Home buying is supposed to be fun!

  1. Choosing the wrong agent or (gasp), no agent:

You should trust your Realtor fully and you will be well advised to like your Realtor. You are going to work closely together and compatibility is extremely important. Trying to “go it alone” is probably not the wisest move to make either. Managing the nuances of offers, inspections, financing and all the other pivotal steps to buying a home are all best handled by a professional and will ultimately greatly be to your benefit and chances of success. Stepping into an open house and then use the listing Realtor to buy your dream home is not a very smart idea either. Although Oregon law allows dual representation, think about it as you and your feuding neighbor using the same attorney…