Shopping for myself

It’s one thing to be a buyer’s agent and shop for the “home of their dreams,” but it gets a lot stickier when trying to shop for your own “perfect” home. In this transaction I am essentially my wife’s agent – this is not an easy task! Have you heard the adage, “If you want to remain married, don’t remodel your home”? Perhaps there is some crossover wisdom in is by not being the adgent for your own home as well?

[back to the story]
Just picture me, my wife, my 2 year old son (Drew), and our 6 week old (Luke) driving around looking out houses… I’ve now trained Drew to find the lockbox – he jumps out of the car yelling, “Key, key, key….,” as he searches the perimeter of the home. I’ve been impressed to see how he now starts looking at the door, then proceeds to the gas meter – smart kid! One of the last homes we toured, Luke (the newborn) started crying uncontrollably for mama’s milk. While I had my goal of visiting at least 4 homes on our outing, the mid-tour feeding cut things short.

After seeing about 100+ homes online and touring at least 30 we made an offer. In my gut I knew we were biting off more than we could chew – bottom line, we could afford the payments, but we’d have no money to fix it up. When we recieved the counter offer I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that this was our escape hatch. However, my wife had already decorated the home in her mind and envisioned our kids growing up in this home!

Besides the emotion roller coaster of falling in and out of love with homes, there are always at least two opinions on all of the home buying factors (price, size, amenities, location, location, location, etc.). You might be asking, “Why are there more than two opinions between two people?” Friends, the vasilation of opionions flourish in the setting I’m describing. And I’m only talking about my own, let alone my wife’s and all those that you let in on your journey. Oh the pressure!

Rule number one with buyers: Before you do anything, have a consultation. This is where you find out their needs and expectation, as well as you communicating your role and the relationship you will have with them as their agent. Most all disappointed revolve around unmet expectations. The “Buyers Consultation” is a must. So why is it such a knee jerk reaction for an agent to want to hop in the car and start driving the prospect around, not even knowing what the buyer is looking for – except that it must have four walls and maybe a roof? Ring the bell of house shopping and we all start salivating. Let’s all just control our appetite and do our job – serve the client. Meet and exceed their expectations.

Now if this is rule #1, why did I think that I should do anything else, even with my own family? Note to self:
1) Next time schedule a family meeting and do a self-imposed needs analysis before jumping into the car.
2) While I know what I want, this does not mean that it necessarily correlates with what my family wants OR needs. (e.g., 3 car garage with tool shop in any old neighborhood isn’t a turn on to my wife).

Maybe there is a parallel to my family-home-buying adventure? Perhaps I can learn an even greater patience with the buyer, with the biggest crucible being my own family? If you haven’t figured it out, one well-served client produces a career of referals! I’m learning that my wife and family are my #1 client and much, much more. How priceless it is to serve them and exceed their expectations!

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