Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fear of Buying?

I remember reading Erica Jong's book "Fear of Flying" many moons ago which had to do with people's fear of sexual intimacy. Many people are just afraid of commitments and the intimacy they entail. When it comes to big commitments, home buying nears the top of the list. No matter how much certain people say they want to buy a home, when it gets right down to it they back off and create reasons not to buy. I'll give you an example, a little while ago I was working w/a couple who seemed to really want to buy a home soon. In the process of showing them homes they suddenly decided that every town that had homes in it that they could afford were suddenly not good enough. I would probe them for reasons that made these towns unsuitable and they would just say that they didn't like them. I asked them if they would like to see other towns that were a little more expensive but were still affordable enough and they said 'No, we want to stay in the previous price range'. This couple had been looking for homes off and on for the past 3 years and still couldn't commit to buying. They used excuses as to why certain homes and areas were unsuitable. They refused to look in other areas that may have been more suitable using finances as an excuse. They could afford more home than they were looking for but kept putting artificial obstacles in their path. I really believe that potential home buyers could use the benefit of an impartial real estate consultant to help them through their fears, real and/or imagined. I know I have been able to provide low cost real estate consulting services for those buyers who realized they needed some outside assistance. It's like buying an insurance policy you hope you'll never need. It gives you peace of mind and helps you sleep at night. Sooner or later we all have to commit to one thing or another :)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Flash or Substance?

Working with Buyer clients can be quite challenging and very rewarding but sometimes they need some serious hand holding and some serious advice. Just recently we began working with a couple who had been looking at homes with a traditional real estate agent. Over the course of several months they had seen numerous homes and even made an offer on one of them. I asked them if they still wished to purchase the home they had made the offer on and they seemed ambivalent. I probed a little deeper to find out what they had liked about that particular house and it seemed the answer was "the price". I kept asking what else they liked about the house and they really couldn't say all that much except that it was in decent condition. So the following day I presented them with a list of homes that fit their price range and looked like they had far more amenities than the house they had previously made an offer on. They were excited and so appointments were made for them to visit several more houses. The one house that they liked the most happened to be the smallest but was in pristine condition. In our opinion the home was too small for their needs and so we told them so. They seemed disappointed in our assessment of the home but called back the following day to express their gratitude that a real estate agent would actually go out on a limb and suggest that a home wasn't right for them. The moral to this story is that it is easy to be swayed by either good looks or a low price but ultimately that is not all the buyer should be searching for. They should be searching for a home that will really suit their needs for the amount of time that they will be living there. A good looking home in a poor location will lose it's charm real fast and a poorly built home that sells for a cheap price will soon cost the buyer more money and lots of aggravation. Two bedroom homes are really not that suitable for families, even if they are in great condition they will still be too small. When picking the right home for your family make sure to choose substance over flash. As a buyer's agent we will always guide you appropriately.

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