If you're shopping for real estate near Kennewick, Pasco, Richland or the surrounding Mid-Columbia area, don't make the mistake of writing off a home for the wrong reason.Having sold real estate in Tri-Cities since 2006, I've found that agents must be amateur decorators, contractors and mortgage experts! Legally, we can’t make a loan, help with remodels or take out that burnt orange shag carpet (which is making a HUGE comeback, by the way), but we do try to answer a lot of questions that keep someone from seeing a home's potential. Here are 6 BIG questions that block a buyer from making an offer on a house.

No. 1 Mistake: You can't imagine your stuff in the space

Answer: bring a tape measure

Will Grandma’s antique table fit in this dining room? Believe it or not buyers want the space that they are looking at to be exactly what they are in now! Maybe a nook or hallway is throwing you off.

No. 2 Mistake: You can't imagine using a space

Answer: Think outside the box

If a home's floor plan is throwing you off, start thinking of all the fun things you could do with spaces your old home didn't have. I always try to get buyers to think outside the box (or whatever shape). Sometimes I give them ideas from other similar rooms I have seen.

No. 3 Mistake: Getting hung up on the seller's decorating tastes

Answer: Use an app to imagine different-colored walls, drapes and carpet.

What were they thinking with these walls? Uh… it’s still the sellers house. I have virtual paint on my phone as an app so we can look at different wall colors. I have also done many sales were wallpaper or paint color had to be changed. No. 1 thing you have to remember as a buyer is it’s not your house…yet.

No. 4 Mistake: Judging the neighborhood too quickly

Answer: Find out what's nearby and study maps

I make it a point to always check out shopping in and around neighborhoods. If I am out on Road 68 and we are looking at homes off of Sandifur Parkway I point out all the restaurants, grocery stores, clinics and shops. Every neighborhood is different so I try to be as knowledgeable as possible. If all else fails I break out my Trulia real estate app. It tells me everything!

No. 5 Mistake: Thinking you can't afford it

Answer: Break down the price into monthly payments

What will our mortgage be on this place? More times than not it’s all about the payment. I have a mortgage app on my smart device and I stay in contact with a local mortgage lender to see what the current rates are. I don’t make my clients to run numbers. I can do it on the spot.

No. 6 Mistake: Thinking the negotiating process is difficult

Answer: Allow technology to do ALL the work

Can we make an offer? Cue the band! Break out the Champagne! There are some great apps to make the signing of documents so much easier. Just this week I wrote an offer on a home in Pasco and the seller was on vacation in Hawaii. I was able to send the documents to the seller, have them electronically signed and back to me, and we didn’t kill a single tree. We didn’t have to mail anything and the seller didn’t have to go anywhere special to sign. They accepted the offer and signed from the Lanai at their hotel in Kona!

Feel free to ask me questions. Find me at Everstar Realty at (509) 308-1141 or shoot me an email at barry@everstarrealty.com.