Letting Buyers — and Sellers — Off the Hook
What do you do as a Buyer if you really like the first (or second) house you see, only to be told a couple hours after you went through that it’s in multiple offers, and that you have until 8 p.m. that night to make an offer?
Scenario #2: you need a bigger house, but you’re expecting your first (or another) child imminently.
Last one: you’re about to have back surgery, and will be convalescing for a couple months.
I don’t know about other Realtors, but my advice in such situations is: “the right house at the wrong time . . . equals the wrong house.’
I say that because I know ” better than my clients ” what goes into a home sale and/or purchase.
Namely, half-heartedly prepping a home for sale virtually ensures that it will take longer to sell, fetch a lower price ” or both.
And even though the sales process is front-loaded, once a home is on the market, the owner must still keep their home in tip-top shape, accommodate inconvenient showing requests (occasionally last-minute), and generally adjust to living in a staged home that can feel (and be!) unfamiliar.
Not the sort of thing you want to contend with when your life is already crazy.
The principal risk associated with making a pressured decision as a Buyer is delayed misgivings, a phenomenon commonly known as “Buyer’s remorse.”
In my experience, Buyer’s remorse actually consists of two elements: 1) “Did I/we buy the right house?”; and 2) “Did I/we pay the right amount?”
Question #1 is inherently subjective, and no one except the client can answer that. See, “The Pottery Barn Rule ” Realtor Version.”
While market value is more objective ” and informed by such things as Comp’s, market time, etc. ” it still necessarily falls within a range.
Within that range, how much a given home is worth to any individual Buyer depends on how much they like it relative to other homes they’ve seen.
Which requires that they’ve actually seen other homes ” ideally, at least 10-12 in 2-3 different neighborhoods.
Once Buyers have that context, they’re much better-equipped to make an informed purchase decision . . . and stick with it, with a minimum of second-guessing.
Exceptions to the Rule
Are there exceptions to the above?
I worked with one couple whose home-buying criteria were quite narrow, and had been looking unsuccessfully for a long time.
When the right home ” and the couple’s new baby ” both came “on the market” (so to speak) at the same time, I collected the necessary signatures at the hospital.
At the other extreme, I’ve had clients who needed to sell for health reasons, then experienced faster-than-experienced deterioration in their condition (or their spouse’s).
So, yeah, I’ve also gone to intensive care units and even hospices ” with the family’s assent ” to get signatures as well, albeit discreetly and quickly.
P.S.: As you might imagine, the former scenario is much happier.
As I told my client/new parents, it’s not ambulance chasing if you show up at the hospital at their request.