Jeff Duncan Real Estate
Jeff Duncan
(360) 441-2121(360) 441-2121

The Worst Home Buying Advice and Why it’s Wrong

When you tell your friends and family that you’re looking to buy a house, what’s the first thing that happens? Everyone you know becomes an expert and can’t wait to shower you with their wisdom! Maybe they’ve bought or sold a property or two, so you should trust them, right? Ever wonder if they really know their real estate stuff? After all, they’ve been there, done that. Or they’ve watched a ton of HGTV!

We know they’re trying to be helpful, but just because people have an opinion doesn’t mean they’re savvy. And when it comes to buying a house, that seemingly friendly direction can send you down the wrong path.

So to keep you from jumping into the market armed with half-baked “wisdom,” I’ve gathered the worst home-buying advice people have heard and explain why their sage advice is probably myth rather than reality.

‘Hold off, home prices will go down in fall & winter’

Although there has traditionally been some seasonality to housing prices, we’ve been in a seller’s market in our area for a while now, seeing 30+ percent drops in housing inventory year over year, which translates to steadily rising sale prices.

Why it’s bad advice: We can’t predict the future, but we can absolutely learn from the past. So if you want or need to buy a home, the time isn’t someday—it’s now. And with a lack of inventory and the busiest time of the year approaching, home prices aren’t going down anytime soon.



 ‘Just use the listing agent to represent you’

Listing agents work for the seller, but most would love to help you, too. What’s wrong with that? It seems to cut down on the number of people involved, and after all: why not just go directly to the source?

Why it’s bad advice: You need someone in your corner that represents you and no one else. The listing agent (AKA the seller’s agent) represents the seller. You wouldn’t work directly with your opponent’s attorney in a court case, right? You want someone who has your interests in mind, first and last.


‘Make a lowball offer and negotiate up from there’

Famous last words associated with this advice are “What’s the worst that can happen, they’ll say ‘no’?”. I’ve seen way too many transactions get off on the wrong foot due to this approach, despite the seemingly innocent intentions.

Why it’s bad advice: Making a major lowball offer will almost always start negotiations on a very sour note. Worse, you may end up paying more in the end than you would have if you’d been more reasonable to start with. Serious buyers and sellers know what homes are worth, especially in a hot market. There are plenty of other buyers competing for homes, so you can’t afford to muddy the waters by playing this game. Trust your agent to compare the home to recently sold homes to verify the price is reasonable.


Bottom line: protect yourself from taking wrong turns in the home buying process by working with a buyer’s agent. He or she is trained to give you the best advice and represent your best interests.


Leave a Reply

Community Events

Serious game night: Chaos in the Old World and one other table TBD

Bellingham Board Game Night

• What we'll doThis will be our "serious games" format for game night. We'll play two big games at separate tables. These games are more complicated than usual, and quite lengthy. I'll be playing Chaos in the Old World, which requires four...

Let's talk trading, markets and share a cup of joe!

Bellingham Stock Trading and Investing Forum

Our weekly meetings are a chance to share the highs, lows, successes and trials of our last trading week. What's new in the markets? What new trading ideas do you have? What are you focusing on now? We always welcome new traders and are excited...

LIVING with Chronic Conditions: Embracing the Joy and Sorrow

Center for Mindful Use

Do you live with chronic pain or illness? Do you feel alone or isolated due to your struggles with pain and illness? Do you feel like your friends and family have a hard time understanding your experience? If so, the LIVING group may be just...

Our Coverage Areas