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Three Mistakes

Ok, So let’s think about this.  Everyone who buys Real Estate expects it to go up in value, right?  I would have to concur but much like we all learned in high school, as soon as you put the word always or never into the statement you have automatically made it false.  I have seen people buy properties knowing that they would probably go down in value but they were still good with making the purchase anyway.  As one might imagine they were high rollers so they could afford to take the hit but let’s look at some other aspects of a transaction that might not give you the optimum results.

Mistake number 1:  Using an attorney who does not meet the following criteria.  They have to be good at what they do, have to be local, and they have to be Real Estate Attorneys.  You can have the best criminal attorney in the world and they will certainly be able to figure out your simple Real Estate contract,  But like most professions, there are specialties.  Real Estate attorneys know the short hand that is required for a speedy closing.  Likewise, having an attorney who practices locally will also save your chestnuts,  This is especially true in Western New York. I have seen too many transactions get totally screwed up when the attorney was a labor lawyer from out of town.  There are a number of quirks here that an out of the area lawyer will not pick up on, and it could cost you serious dollars you weren’t expecting. To further illustrate this point, my own daughter is an attorney in 716land.  She is a litigator for a large firm and she has told me specifically that I should never even think of sending a Real Estate transaction to her.  She will not handle it. She doesn’t want to handle it, and she is smart enough to hire an attorney who specializes in Real Estate if she gets a client needing these services.

Mistake Number 2:  If you are a seller, not insisting on a larger escrow deposit.  If you are a buyer, you should be smart enough to understand that a large escrow (earnest money, good faith deposit) can be the difference to getting an offer accepted or not.  It tells the seller you are willing to “put up or shut up.”  The message is clear. I am buying this property!  This is as opposed to the buyer who wants to put a farthing down and simply feel you out to see how negotiable you are.

Mistake Number 3:  This one sounds totally self serving. But here’s the deal. Use a broker if you are buying or selling Real Estate. I have been a broker for a long time and I see the value they bring to the table.  Some consumers think they are smarter than us and maybe some are.  When I have done buyer/seller seminars before I would always ask the following simple question.

     “How many of you have installed your own toilet?”

On some rare occasions a few hands would go up. but by and large, most of the time there was silence. I would love it when someone would raise their hand. If they did, my follow up question was always the same.

     “Would you do it again?”

Immediately they would break into laughter. They would always and I mean always say no.  They would tell me it was a mess, if you didn’t get that wax seal just right, you would have a leaky mess on your hands and invariably they wound up calling a plumber anyway to fix the original problem.  Don’t be like the guy who wanted to be his own plumber and fix his own toilet. If you are buying or selling a house, get yourself a good agent (broker.)  You will save yourself a lot of grief and you will get it done right the first time, and it will cost you a lot less in the long run.

Got it. It’s not a hard concept.

Hey, I wrote the book on Real Estate, literally.”

Author Brendan J. Cunningham is a New York Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, lead of the Platinum Team at HusVar Real Estate, as well as an accomplished writer, Shakespearean trained professional actor, and podcaster.

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