When starting your search for the perfect home, it's crucial to give yourself as much time as possible. You never know what kind of crisis will pop up and delay the process.
"While your realtor will do everything to make sure you have a smooth transaction, buyers should know the transaction will likely have a few speed bumps that may delay closing or require some additional negotiation," says James McGrath, co-founder of the New York real estate brokerage Yoreevo. "Maybe the seller is traveling and can't be reached, or the inspection comes back with a few contentious items. Whatever the issue, you should never plan on a perfect timeline — always bake in some cushion."
McGrath says that, while the delays typically won't destroy the deal on your dream home, they could become a bigger issue if you had counted on that date. For example, give yourself some overlap on when your current lease ends and when you need to move into your new place. And don't schedule painters for the day after closing in case the process takes longer. On that same note, hit your deadlines as a buyer to avoid unnecessary stress on the seller and the realtor.
"While this is partially advice for realtors to coach their clients, it is always good to put yourself in the seller's shoes. They don't have perfect transparency into your side of the transaction, so there will be a certain amount of skepticism when you say you're doing your best to get a contract signed or get the commitment letter," McGrath says. "Sometimes, buyers take it personally and think the seller views them as untrustworthy."