Remember Murphy’s Law when purchasing a home

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Though there are many versions of it, we have all heard this phrase many times. “If anything can go wrong, it will.” It is known as Murphy’s Law. Real estate transactions are not immune to this rule. It happens.

It’s hard to find any two buyers that purchase a product or service the same exact way. It’s hard to say one way is incorrect, but it is easy to say that some just do it way better. There are many buying habits that give you an edge if you use them correctly. There’s even a name for it. It called good old-fashioned horse-trading — just without the horses. Whether you’re buying a home or a used push mower in someone’s yard, there are some things to practice that will give you that edge and have a victorious transaction.

● Have reasonable expectations. You won’t find everything on your wish list in a home. The perfect home does not exist. Studies show if you can get 80 percent of all your wants, you’re doing well.

● Go home and sleeping on it? In today’s market, that’s a risky thing to do. There was a day when this was wise, just not today. I have a sign behind my desk that reads,” The home you looked at today and will come back and buy tomorrow, just could be the same home someone looked at yesterday and will come back today and buy.”

● Be careful about talking inside the home. While you’re inside the home with your realtor you will want to discuss the home. The good points and the bad. Assume you’re being recorded. It’s not that uncommon.

● Failing to realize you can find your home the first time out. It does happen. Think about it this way. If you lose your car keys and later find them, do you keep looking?

● Believing all you see on HGTV. While some of it may be true; the people are actors and the lines are scripted for ratings.

● Letting several lenders obtain a credit report. Each time an inquiry is ran on your credit, it will affect your score. Now, a couple times will not hurt a thing, but several could lower it just enough so as you may not qualify for a home loan.

● Be careful not to make any major purchases after your loan is approved. As the closing date gets closer, most lenders will run one last credit report. This is done just to be sure there have not been any changes since the process has started. I am reminded of a story I was told a while back. This young couple was so excited about their new home. The closing date and time were set. Their dream was very close to becoming a reality. To celebrate they went out and bought all new furniture for the house. As per the lender’s requirements, a final credit report was pulled the day before closing. The new debt put them over budget to qualify for the loan. The lender had no choice but to deny the loan and the closing was canceled. Very sad, but a true story.

Though the outcome can be fantastic and life-changing, it can be a long, painful process. Remember Murphy’s Law? At some point, you will become very frustrated about delays and the unforeseen things that happen. Irritating last-minute requests for more paperwork, the closing date changes, you may not even know how much money you will need until the day of closing. The sellers may want to change the possession date and the list could go on.

Over the years I have seen folks at their very worst — frustrated beyond words. At the same time, others somehow seemed to make it through the entire process unscathed. Either way, the result is the same. The transaction gets completed. Is it worth what some may endure? For most of the good and wonderful things we have, didn’t we have to struggle a bit to get them?

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler Contributing columnist Butler Contributing columnist