Chicago First-Time Buyers: Tips for Navigating Real Estate Transactions

The process of buying or selling a home is never easy and can be quite overwhelming at times, especially for those entering into a transaction for the first time.  That’s why you should educate yourself as much as possible about the process before you get into the thick of it. And, we’re not just talking about the act of searching and filling out paperwork – we’re talking about the emotional and mental preparations that you need to be prepared for.

So, let’s take a look at some of these hurdles that you’ll need to wrap your head around in order to go into a real estate transaction with a clear mind set for sound decision making.  These expert tips will help prepare you for the process that lies before you:

  • Be flexible with timing – Many buyers and sellers make the mistake of setting deadlines for themselves.  Whether simply due to moving date preference or as an attempt to anticipate the movement of the market to better time your purchase or listing, this is a mistake, and a stressful one at that.  You can’t enter into the market or a transaction obsessing about timing. That’s how you push too far and make careless mistakes. The reality is that you should buy or sell only when you’re absolutely ready to buy or sell.  This is a big decision that can’t be dictated by a circled date on a calendar (assuming you have a choice in your move date, that is). Instead, you should focus on making sure that you’re ready.
  • Curb expectations away from others’– Unfortunately, popular house hunting shows as well the stories from others’ home buying or selling experiences influence our expectations about the process.  But, when it comes to real estate transactions, everyone’s experience is and will be different due to your unique circumstance. So, keep your expectations in check and based on the reality of your situation and what’s directly in front of you.  By learning more about the process and the state of the market before entering into a transaction you’ll be able to go in with actual information that will help you set realistic expectations.
  • Keep emotions in check – Buying or selling a home is a huge investment that most people will make a few times in their lives.  It’s also a time when people tend to put a ton of extra pressure on themselves to find the perfect home that meets all of their criteria.  It can be a deeply emotional journey, as you’re putting a lot of time and energy into making a place your own, or are in the process of letting one go along with all of the memories.  And, when emotions are involved, it’s easy to make impulsive decisions. So, try to remain focused and calm to stay in control of the process.
  • Research – Before you even throw your hat into the ring, do your due diligence.  If you’re thinking about buying, take the time to properly check out the neighborhoods or area in which you want to live.  Also, take into consideration how long you plan to live there as well as all of your must-haves and deal breakers. On the other hand, if you’re thinking of selling, talk to professionals who can help you best position your home to sell in your local market.  

Your real estate journey may be unique, but you’re not alone.  Seek out help, ask questions, and do your research. Having the right information in-hand will help guide you through the process and equip you with all that you need for a successful transaction.  

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