5 Boston Area Home Buying Fears

Whether it’s the fear of the unknown or the fear of discovering a problem, some Boston area home buying prospects are hesitant to enter the market. Sometimes the fears are justified, and when they are there are steps you can take to alleviate them.

Facing Boston Area Home Buying Fears Head On

Boston area home buying fears include learning you have a cracked foundation in the home you are buying

Fear of a cracked foundation, leaky roof or dry rot problem. Unless you’re an avid “do-it-yourselfer” most buyers don’t relish fixing problems. Although most every home needs routine maintenance or minor repairs, much of the Boston area home buying public fears home inspection results. It’s important to remember, however, a home inspector merely raises awareness on issues with the house. Not everything on the inspector’s checklist is of immediate concern. If you need reassurance, ask the inspector to rank the importance of the issues and estimate the timetable for replacement or repair. If there are repairs that need to be made immediately then — and only then — should it become a “deal-breaker.” Even then it could be something you can negotiate with the seller to repair or give you credit for in the sales price.

Fear of losing the earnest money deposit. Most every real estate contract requires a certain amount of earnest money to be deposited when the agreement is signed. By law, the deposit is required to be held in escrow until the sale is consummated. Boston area home buying professionals say it’s highly unlikely a buyer would lose his deposit. Make sure your contract with the home seller includes certain requirements like a home inspection, disclosure review and a financing contingency. You may also make your purchase contingent upon the home appraising for at least the sales price, and if your situation warrants, contingent on the sale of your current home.

Fear of losing the house you want. In a seller’s market, it’s important to act quickly but efficiently. Once you see a listing for a home you’re interested in, contact your real estate agent immediately to view the home. Ask your agent to determine from the seller or their agent how they will entertain forthcoming offers. While motivated sellers often may accept the first good offer, they are more likely to set a date to assess multiple offers to determine which one best meets their needs — including not only the sales price but how quickly the buyers want to close the deal. Either way, it’s important to stay in contact with your agent on at least a daily basis to ensure your interests are being communicated and acted upon.

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Fear that your agent isn’t doing everything you expect. Boston area home buying clients sometimes forget their agents are in the business to do one thing — sell real estate. While it may appear from time to time the search for the “perfect home” has lost momentum or stalled, a good agent is constantly working behind the scenes to find the listings which fit their client’s price range, desired location and home style. To ensure you and your prospective agent start off on the right foot, meet with them and discuss your housing needs and desires. In the process, if you feel you and your agent aren’t on the “same page” or don’t “click” keep looking.

Fear of finding a home in a certain time frame. It’s human nature to want to find a home and move in prior to some self-imposed deadline like the start of a school year, Christmas, or spring. Experts caution, however, that your Boston area home buying decision shouldn’t be hurried. If a deadline is fast approaching, consider a contingency plan. If you’re renting and your lease is up soon, for example, look into a short-term alternative if you haven’t found a house by then. This will relieve the pressure you face in potentially making a decision you may later regret because you were rushed.

In summary, most fears can be alleviated with good planning. It could mean the difference between a satisfied Boston area home buying experience and one you’d just as soon forget.