Why You Need to be Flexible when Buying a Home

by - 6/24/2017 04:14:00 AM

When you’re on the hunt for a new home, it’s easy to forget how many sides there are to the entire process. We often refer to the art of trying to find a new home as “home hunting”. The problem with a lot of our mindsets here is that it actually neglects a very important fact: it’s not just home buyers who are on the hunt, but home sellers. Sellers are on the hunt for a good buyer just as much as a buyer is on the hunt for a good property. You need to be able to put yourself in as good a position as possible to make the purchase; after all, it’s not like the seller has several of the same product to sell to you as the vendor of a regular shop does. There’s competition for each property!

The best way to go about this and put yourself in the best place to get the home you want is to be flexible. Sellers are put off when buyers are very rigid and set a lot of very strict parameters for their purchase. The sorts of parameters prospective buyers set can vary quite wildly, but the most common out there relate to location, finance, and quality. It can be pretty much anything someone would consider when looking for a home, but these are the three that tend to cause the most bother.

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be firm about certain things. Let’s say you’ve set a parameter such as “I need a home with two bedrooms”. You’ll want to be firm with that one, presumably because a home with fewer simply wouldn’t be practical for you. However, if you have a parameter such as “I need an attic with a drop-down staircase or it’s a no-go”, then you might be putting yourself in quite an awkward position! Simply put, you don’t want to be intransigent about things. You should be willing to be flexible about certain things because it’s really very rare that homes are going to fulfill ever criteria you have.

Again, you don’t want to drop all of your standards. You are buying something very expensive which you’re going to have to live inside for quite some time, after all! But don’t let a home that lacks certain qualities blind you to the fact that it may very well be a great home that works out perfectly for you.

We’re going to take a quick look at the areas where flexibility will help you succeed in buying a good home.

Mortgage pre-approval

You’re really trapping yourself in a corner if you haven’t got your mortgage pre-approved. A lot of people make the mistake of looking for a home then setting their heart on something before they’re even sure that they’re going to get the loan they need. The seller will prefer to work with someone who is in a better position to either begin negotiations or buy the place for the upfront cost. If you turn to them and say that you need to go apply for a mortgage, then they’re simply going to keep looking until they find a willing buyer who can pay them sooner. If you don’t have pre-approval, then you’re putting yourself in an incredibly inflexible position.


A lot of people seem to be buying homes without getting them properly inspected first. Perhaps this is their idea of being flexible with what they’re getting! The problem here is that home inspections are essential if you want to ensure you don’t end up buying a home that’s loaded with problems. You should read some property inspection articles if you want to know more about the importance of this process. Having said this, you should be willing to make an offer on a house even if there are problems with it. If you’re too inflexible when it comes to this area, then you may end up never buying a home - simply because there are so many great homes out there that have a problem or two!


And, of course, we come to the part of the process that may require the most flexibility of all - the negotiation of the price. The interesting thing is that you don’t actually want to appear too flexible; otherwise, you may end up getting a bad deal! In a sense, the two of you have opposing goals; the seller wants to sell the property for as much as possible,  and you want to buy the property for as little as possible. However, just remember that you both ultimately want the purchase to go through. Don’t set your heart on a particular price; haggling is tough, and it’s rare that buyers don’t pay more than they initially hoped.

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