Ever heard the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”? Well, sometimes the people you can’t help teach you more than those you do. I recently had such an experience and wanted to share what I learned from it…
We had a client moving to LoCo from out of the area and to say they were experiencing sticker shock would be an understatement. Unless you are coming from California or New York City that’s pretty much the case for everyone. I’m not sure if there is a more stressful process than moving your entire family to an area you don’t know. It’s even worse when one spouse has to do all the legwork because the rest of the family can’t join them yet.
We’ve had enough experience with past clients to overcome that hurdle, normally it just takes an adjustment of expectations after seeing a few homes. The decision boils down to location versus size, the further west you go the more house you can get for your money. Where it get’s tricky is when expectations don’t match up with the reality. You want a brand new, 4,000 square foot home in Ashburn for $350,000. That just doesn’t exist!
It gets worse, all of a sudden their co-worker is a real estate expert and says they should check out this neighborhood or that one. And then their spouse finds the perfect home on Trulia or Zillow. Why hasn’t Mike told you about these places? Does he know what he’s doing? Yes, I know what I’m doing. The neighborhood your co-worker told you about is $100,000 over your budget, and that home on Trulia sold 6 months ago. Don’t get me wrong, Trulia and Zillow are great for what they are. Third party aggregating sites who make the home shopping process fun. But they don’t get the data straight from the brokers like every Realtor does.
Remember those listings I’ve been sending your for the last month? Every home available that might work was included. I know that because we had a thorough conversation about where you want to live, how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, how may square feet it has to have, and what your max price is. I have absolutely no reason to hold back information, if for no other reason than I don’t earn a dollar until you close on your home. If we aren’t finding what you are looking for it’s because it isn’t there. Nothing says the perfect home HAS to be out there right now.
Sometimes people just don’t get it and that’s okay, we move on. In this particular case, I’m not sure I could have done anything differently. What I did learn is that I need to be clearer on setting expectations and I have an idea on how to do it going forward. We like to watch Love it or List It and I just saw a recent episode where David ran in to the same type of situation. He showed them a home with everything they wanted, where they wanted, and it turned out to be $100,000 over their budget. It was a shock to the buyers but it made them realize their expectations were out of whack.
The 2nd or 3rd Realtor these people work with will eventually find them a home. It’s likely to be very similar to the options the I showed them, too bad they didn’t trust me to do the work for them.
Have a great weekend, looks like the best weather on tap so far this year.