Keeping Up With the Joneses, A True Life Home Buyer’s Story – Part Three

Keeping Up With the Joneses, A True Life Home Buyer’s Story – Part Three  GET ON THE SAME PAGE!

Make sure your significant other really understands what is the very most important thing about buying a home.  Likewise, make sure you understand what is most important to your significant other.

You will waste a lot of time and even possibly buy something that one of you really do not want to live in if you have not really dug deep to find out what is most important to both of you.

If your real estate agent has not worked really hard to figure this out before you look at homes then you need to sit down with him/her and figure this out.

Experience has taught me that this step is the essential step in really meeting the needs of my buyer clients.

The process I use to help buyer clients find out what they really and truly want in a home.

First – I invite my clients to dinner, a quiet place where we can really enjoy the meal and begin listening to one another.  Some people prefer to meet at my office but I find sharing a meal really helps people begin to get comfortable so that they find it easier to share what is really on their heart.

Second – After warming up a bit I ask permission to ask my buyers some personal questions.  I give them permission of course not to answer.

Thirds – I ask which of the clients would like to be asked the questions first.  I always then smile and start with the one who did not volunteer.  This is most important.  The quiet one has most likely not been very vociferous about what they really want in a home and you need to get them to talk immediately.  If not they are likely to just parrot much of what their partner has already said.  To get the truth start with the quiet person.

Fourth – You will need to ask questions to find out what is the most important reason to buy a home for each of the partners.  This can take a little while.  If your client is rather ambivalent about the whole thing then they are likely hesitant to tell you the truth for some reason.  This is where you find out what kind of trust you have built with your client.  If the buyer really does not seem to care then probably you need to back off and wait a few months to see if anything has change.

Brandy and Nick were quite comfortable and very transparent as I went through the questioning process.  Both of them also had already had a lot of conversation about what they wanted in a house.  They had come to agreement basically but were still also mature enough to take another close look at what they wanted and to make some changes if necessary.  They had already agreed on the location. They did not need a new home but also did not want to buy something that would take a lot of  money and time to repair.   They both agreed that they had to have a garage but had not explored exactly how large a garage.  A dining room was important to Brandy but it did not have to be a formal dining room.  Both Brandy and Nick agreed that they wanted a fenced yard with a little privacy.  However they also agreed that they would like a large fenced yard but the size was not critical.  They both wanted at least two full baths and at least three bedrooms.

After having this very candid conversation we went to my office and set up a search with criteria that matched exactly what they wanted.  There are hundreds of homes for sale in Georgetown.  With the very exact criteria we come up with fewer than ten homes that matched what Brandy and Nick wanted.  We then carefully looked at all of the seller disclosure forms for each home.

The sellers disclosure forms told us a lot.  Some were very detailed and helpful.  Others had question marks in critical information areas.  If the owner has no idea how old the HVAC systems are then it is likely they are the original.  If the owner has made numerous repairs and they are well documented that is actually a very good thing.  Every home needs continual maintenance.  If the Seller’s Disclosure shows no repairs then I assume one of two things.  The seller is clueless about their home or the seller is lying about the repairs.  Either of those two things is not good.  If the buyers insist on looking at the home we will take a view.  Almost always these homes are in need of great repair and it is obvious or it will become obvious after an inspection.

The seller’s diclosure made it really obvious to Nick and Brandy that there were four homes they really wanted to look at closely in Georgetown.  Two days later we made the trip to Georgetown to view these homes.  All four were nice homes in good condition and the prices were all reasonable.  One of these four really was the favorite and Nick and Brandy had me write an offer and begin the process of negotiating for this home.

Part four of “Keeping up With the Joneses” will explore the negotiating process.

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