When searching for a dream home, we all want to find one we love and can see ourselves making memories, raising our families and living in for years to come. Most buyers begin their home search online and have a pretty good idea of what that dream home looks like and the price range they’re comfortable with.
Oftentimes, however, many buyers have a difficult time reconciling the dream with their finances. I see buyers often frustrated with not finding homes that “check” all of their boxes, so they increase their budgets to find homes that do. That’s when we have to have “the talk”. What can you live without? Do you have to have 5 bathrooms and the marble tub? Or, can you live with less bathrooms to be closer to a better school or work?
The National Association of Realtors posed these questions to homebuyers to find out where compromises had been made on home purchases over the past year. The results, which can be found in NAR’s 2014 Profile of Home Buyer’s and Sellers, showed that while a third of buyers said they did not compromise at all, most let go of something that had been on their wish list.
What was the biggest area of compromise? It was on the price of the home. Almost 1 in 4 respondents negotiated what they ended up spending on a property. Close behind on the list of compromises was the size of the home — 20 percent of buyers reported compromising on size. Other areas noted included lot size, the condition of the home, the commute to work and friends or family, and the quality or age of the neighborhood.
You can start to help your clients adjust their expectations (or their price range) by reminding them that everyone goes through the same process. We start with what we want to invest into a home purchase, we make a wish list of criteria for that next home, and then we have to make adjustments to one or the other. Discover which areas are most negotiable, and you will be able to focus on how to help them achieve their goals more effectively.
- Urban, suburban or rural
- Commute time
- School districts
- Desirable neighborhoods
- Proximity to the airport
- Proximity to restaurants and retail
- Access to major highways and thoroughfares
- Access to public transportation
- Health care facilities
- Parks and recreation
- Length of time you plan to live in the home (Your agent should be knowledgeable about growth trends and projections that could affect your investment.)