Couple on a different page
If you're purchasing real estate with your significant other, you'd better get on the same page or you'll end up stretching your wish list -- and that will cost you, Chan says.
For example, one couple Chan represented differed on location. He wanted to be close to work, which meant an affordable neighborhood. She wanted a better school district, which meant spending more. As it turned out, their child was due to graduate next year, which raised a red flag for Chan.
"I told them, if you're staying in this home for a while, why overpay for a one-year advantage?" Chan says. "What they needed to do was discuss their timelines and long-term goals, then go looking for a home."
Chan advises couples to make separate lists of their wants versus needs, then rank them from most to least important, and compare.
"After visiting homes, check back with your lists. You'll be amazed at how malleable they can be, so keep an open mind," he says. "For some buyers there are things that are worth overpaying for, but you need to know what that is for your spouse, and you need to set boundaries so you don't overpay on everything."