Don't make these home-buying mistakes

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PHOENIX -- The housing market is slowly improving, which is great news for sellers and buyers. It's also good news for Valley real estate agents like Eddie Martinez, who works for Keller Williams Realty.

"You have to make a decision now because there are multiple offers going on at one time," Martinez said.

But, if you're diving into the market for the first time, or even if you're a victim to the housing crisis who wants to get back in, don't make mistakes that could throw you off track.

Mistake #1: Failing to find financing first. Martinez said you shouldn't waste your time looking for a home if your credit isn't what you think.

"You just want to make sure there is nothing wrong with your credit and that you qualify for the house that you want to get," he said.

Mistake #2: Making a lowball offer. It may be a good idea to offer a little less than the asking price, but a ridiculously low offer could turn the seller off.

"In this market, don't even waste your time putting in a lowball offer," Martinez said. "You're wasting your time and everyone else's time."

Mistake #3: Not getting an inspection. Martinez said never submit an offer without putting in a time period to have the house professionally inspected.

"This gives you a report of everything that is wrong with the house, so you can decide if you want to go through with the deal or move on," he said.

Mistake #4: Failing to have "outs" in the contract. Martinez said you have to have an escape plan in case something happens. A good escape? You want out because the inspection results did not meet your satisfaction.

"Some of the outs are the inspection contingency, the appraisal contingency and loan contingency, just to name a few," Martinez said.

Martinez also said don't give up. Make sure you have an experienced real estate agent willing to look out for you and only you.