Most of my topics for this column are inspired by recent experiences with one of my clients and this one is no different. How many homes do you need to see before deciding to make an offer? Even though they have typically spent hours perusing the Internet before actually seeing a potential new home in person, many buyers seem to want to look at more homes before buying than they did ten years ago.
This has caused a more unusual statement to be heard from many of today’s buyers. “I love this home; I could live in this home, but do you know of any other homes coming on the market that you can show me?”
Even though a buyer sees a home that is extremely appealing, he or she often wants to keep looking with the thought that something better may come along. Of course, this sometimes happens, but not very often. Here are some of the problems inherent with this mindset.
CONFUSION SETS IN – It’s a good idea to see a number of homes, but you can overdo it. A danger of seeing too many homes is the possibility of the buyer becoming helplessly confused. I have seen this happen many times over the years. A buyer begins looking at homes with definite ideas about the features they want in their next home. After seeing too many homes, they don’t know what they want anymore. They just tried to absorb too much information.
YOU LOSE THE RIGHT HOME FOR YOU – It is not unusual to pass up the right home while satisfying yourself that you have seen everything. When you finally complete your search and return to the home that you really want, it could have been sold to someone else in the meantime. This is not an uncommon occurrence, especially in the “seller’s market” that we had been experiencing these past couple of years. The irony here is that sometimes the buyer will be angry with their Realtor for not persuading them to buy the right house when they first saw it.
YOUR TIMING COULD BE COSTLY – When buying or selling a home, timing is everything. If the market is quite strong when you are looking, you can’t hesitate when the right one comes along. Likewise, you may spend too much time looking and miss the most opportune time to put your existing home on the market.
ADVICE: Believe enough in yourself to rely on your own instincts. If the house feels right for you, buy it. Also, don’t hesitate to rely on your Realtor’s advice. He or she knows the market. Also take stock in something that my Realtor told me when I purchased my first home many years ago; “The house you saw today and want to think about until tomorrow is the same house that someone else saw yesterday and wanted to think about until today!”