Main Content

Five Things I Would NEVER Do After Nearly 20 Years in Real Estate

If you’re on social media at all, you’ve probably seen someone do this trend, “Five Things I’d Never Do As A…”

Well, I definitely have thoughts on this, and while there are probably more, these are either the top 5, or the first 5 that come to mind, I’m not sure which. (If I think too hard about it, I’d probably have 50.)

Anyway, without further ado, here they are:

1- I would NEVER start looking at homes without talking to a lender first.

Knowing your numbers- not only what you qualify for, but also what your downpayment options are, your closing costs, and your monthly payment will be is invaluable info. I cannot stress enough how often people guess incorrectly at this and fall in love with a house that’s more than they can (or want to) swing, or start looking at homes and get exhausted because they can’t find what they want, and they can actually afford me. (I mean, my clients don’t, because I don’t show anyone homes before they’re preapproved.)

2- I would NEVER assume that Zestimate is accurately valuing my house.

These automated estimates are based on an algorithm, so obviously they’ve not been in your home. Renovated kitchen? They have no idea. No updates at all? Still, they have no idea. It’s simply based on the amount of similarly sized homes in the area that have sold recently. That’s it. No homes like yours have sold? The more opportunity for it being incorrect. There is no replacement for having a real, live Realtor® walk through and do a thorough assessment and comparative market analysis.

3- I would NEVER buy the most improved house in the neighborhood.

Yep. If it’s between the $500,000 turn key, HGTV “big reveal” style home, or the “needs a little love” home down the block that is $400,000 (caveat- I’m assuming that the homes in the neighborhood trend closer to that $400k range) I’m picking the $400k home and putting in the work. It will be what I want, probably not cost me $100k, AND give me some instant equity.

4- I would never RELY on a home warranty to cover me for everything.

I’m not bashing home warranties (although I could- that’s another post entirely), and I do think in some circumstances, they provide a bit of a safety net. But, having had lots of experiences with these, in most cases, you can get the small things done for the same price (or a bit more) with SO MUCH less hassle by just calling someone who does that work. Will they replace your heat pump if it conks out? Yes, but with lots of hoops for you to jump through.

5- I would NEVER expect the inspector on my listing or home to find nothing.

There is literally ALWAYS something, and they are paid to find it. I can almost guarantee, too, that if you have one inspector over today, and they give a list of things to fix (and you fix them all), you can have another over the next day, and they’ll find a whole new list. Do the best to get your repairs done, but don’t expect nothing.

And if you’re buying? Remember- everything can be fixed. It’s just a matter of what needs to be done, how much it will cost, and who pays for it.

Did any of these surprise you? I’d love to hear something you’d never do after buying or selling one (or 100) homes!