Taking advice form friends who have NEVER even owned a home.
Searching fro properties on REALTOR.COM, instead of allowing ther agent to search for homes for them
Kawain Payne, Realtor
1. It may seem very simplistic, but before you even feel you're ready to buy a house, check your credit report to see if there's anything that could cause an obstacle when you're expecting to close the transaction. I can't imagine anything being as discouraging as jumping through all the hoops of making an offer, being in a bidding war, getting the inspection done, and then only a few days before the expected closing, you find out there was something on your credit report that's coming back to haunt you, and is now preventing you from closing.
2. Maintain good communication with your lender, as well as your agent, to hopefully ward off any unnecessary closing delays. Sometimes, for numerous reasons, the communication breaks down. You're then expecting to sign documents any day, only to learn some kind of error was made during the lending process that may possibly delay closing. And when you are communicating with your lender, don't just say, "Is everything okay for closing?" Ask questions that require more than just a 'yes' or 'no' answer, such as "When will the documents be ready for closing?"
3. This problem has really been covered by many of the fine answers already give, but in this market, it can't be emphasized enough. Please realize that once you're ready to look at homes that really interest you, TIME really is of the essence - both in viewing the homes and in making a decision whether or not to make an offer. You may also likely need to have the mindset that it's possible you will need to make your absolute best offer if it comes to a bidding war. So do your homework and KNOW in advance whether you'll be willing to do that; and, if so, know your numbers. Know what will be the absolute most you'll be willing to offer.
With all that said, it really is possible to find homes. But instead of finding a 'turn-key' home, you may have to resort to more creative ways of finding a home.
I wish all home buyers success with their search.
The other common mistake is being too slow. Buying a home is a BIG decision. Do your homework. Become educated about the market. Then when the right property comes along....be fast...make a good strong offer quickly. Many times, you can be the competition to the plate by having the deal wrapped up before they finished "thinking about it."
We represent you - work on your behalf - and our (my) goal is to make sure you have the information you need to make the best decision. Be willing to ask for more information if you don't feel you have enough.
That said, the buyer does have responsibility to do some homework - due diligence, follow up on personal concerns (safety, schools).