Homebuying no-nos

Due-diligence hiccups can sour deal quickly

Some buyers hire an agent to represent them in a home purchase or sale because they haven’t the time to deal with the details. They take the "wake me when it’s over" approach. This is a risky strategy.

When you hire a real estate agent, that agent owes you a fiduciary duty to put your needs first, even if the agent’s advice means a transaction won’t close and the agent won’t earn a commission. This is the same relationship you establish when you hire an attorney.

However, this doesn’t mean that you delegate your role as the decision-maker to your agent. You should never abdicate this critical role to anyone. It’s your money at stake. You will be living in the home. If you relinquish your role as decision-maker, you could find out you don’t like the place after you move in and want to sell it and buy another home that better suits your long-term needs.