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 or someone in your household is immunocompromised, and you don’t want any additional exposure to strangers now — either in their home (as a prospective Buyer), or coming through yours.

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.

Realtor Advice

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 (and the world!) is already crazy.

Buyer’s Remorse

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?

Of course.

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 (that was before electronic signatures).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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