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Focus With Flexibility

Sunday, October 2, 2011   /   by Ira Miskin

Focus With Flexibility

Buying a home is a journey, not an event. This mantra is repeated to every new Client and over and again as we work with our Clients. Occasionally it is a sprint, but it should never become a marathon. Your Realtor and Team are there to guide you through that journey by helping you focus your wants, wishes and needs, and then as you step through the journey, add clarity to your criteria, but remain flexible enough to adjust when the "perfect home" is found - even though it may not meet 100% of your criteria. Client #1: I love everything about this home, but we will have to paint the dining room and replace the back splash in the kitchen and the master bath wall paper is just ugly. Client #2: The rest of the house is just what we're looking for, but we hate the front porch so much we can't picture ourselves walking past it every day. Client #3: I want to be no more than 20 minutes drive from home to work and I timed the trip, it's 25 minutes away. Yes the house is perfect, but it's too far from my job.No perfect home is truly perfect. It is possible to find a home that meets your criteria, but rarely will it meet every one of your wants, wishes and needs. Client #1 wanted a move-in ready home. They did not want to make changes until they had been in the home long enough to feel comfortable and settled. That was a pretty big "want" on their list. When they reviewed their criteria with their Realtor, and worked through the "inconvenience" of taking on some minor remodeling, they realized they had found a home that met all their major needs and most of their wants and wishes too. The back splash really wasn't that ugly, it would only take a day or two to repaint and change the offensive wallpaper. They focused on their needs and were flexible about a few of their wishes. Offer made, negotiated, accepted... purchase closed... everyone delighted. Client #2 who loved everything else about the home spent an afternoon with their Realtor driving through the neighborhood to see what other similar homes with porches looked like, and what ideas they could come up with about making changes to the look of that offensive porch to make it more pleasing. Other than the dreadful front porch, this home met every one of their very specific criteria. After about two hours of comparing and contrasting porch aesthetics, they actually found the list of things they "sorta liked" about "their" porch was longer than the list of "flaws" they were seeing in the designs of their neighbors' porches. They became more focused on their needs and were flexible about one of their wishes. Offer made, negotiated, accepted... purchase closed... everyone delighted. Client #3 really felt the home fit all their needs. It had a pleasing floor plan, needed relatively little clean-up and fix-up even though it was an foreclosed property, it was in the right school district, in a well maintained sub division. Everything about it was right. It met nearly all their criteria except it was 5 minutes too far! Offer made... offer withdrawn. This is the 6th home they made on offer on, and the 6th home not purchased. Focused but inflexible... everyone disappointed... again. Work with your Realtor early in the journey to develop your list of criteria with four separate categories. Category 1 is your needs list: I need a basement for storage and expansion. I need at least 4 bedrooms. I need to be in the Pope High School District. I need the price to be no more than $275,000. Your needs are the things that are the "musts" in order to fit your family, space, location and price minimums. This is your primary list of needs criteria in your search. Category 2: is your wants list: I want to be within 10 minutes of I-75 to make travel to work reasonably easy. I want an oversized garage. I want a level driveway. These are musts also, but musts that can be somewhat flexible. 10 minutes to I-75 is great but I can manage 15 minutes. I can swap out the oversized garage for a level driveway. Your ideas about perfection will change as you view homes in your search. Category 3: is your wish list. I want a nice rear deck but a screened porch would be wonderful. I was hoping for all stainless appliances, but these black-front appliances are all new. I pictured my perfect home with a big shade tree out in the front. But I can plant my own tree and watch it grow over time. This is how you balance your needs with your wants in your selection process. Category 4: is your Flexibility list. This is your list of wants and wishes that become apparent as you focus your search. It lets you decide what can be flexible about in order to not let peripheral details dissuade you from buying a home that, given a small amount of elbow grease or a few minor adjustments truly does meet your most important needs, wants and wishes. This is, perhaps, your most important list... it is the list that will help you make the best decision and be happy with that decision long after you close the sale. Because selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can email us at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net and ask for the SPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS, the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks. Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net