Why does finding the right home take so long? (18+ months for the average buyer)
Most buyers aren’t sure exactly what they want in a home, they have a clear idea of how they want to live their life, but don’t know how to align their lives with their home shopping list…or budget.
That’s one of the places a career buyers agent excels, by working almost exclusively with buyers over the years they have developed a knack for anticipating and understanding buyers needs. So I sat down with HomeTeamOttawa.com ‘s own Keith Bray to chat about what buyers need to know before they start to shop for a home.
According to Keith there are four major factors to finding the right home, PRICE, PHYSICAL NEEDS, and LOCATION.
In passed blogs we’ve talked about what you can afford when buying a home, but one of the most frequently asked questions a buyers agent like Keith get’s asked is “What is this home worth?” (Really the question asked is What should I offer, but we paraphrased). A home is one of the most expensive purchases an ordinary person will make and a lot of time they really aren’t sure exactly what it’s worth. Now Keith solves this dilemma by showing people comparable homes int he area that have recently sold, and what they sold for. This gives buyers a solid idea of what homes in an area are worth, an educated buyer simple takes this theory to the next level. When they identify what areas they are interested in Keith set them up on his Exclusive Instant Notification System that keeps them up to date on market activity in the those areas.
Physical Needs, boils down to simple the space you need for yourself and your family (if they are invited). Is it going to be a one bedroom, or three, are the kids going to bunk up or each have their own room. Seems pretty simple, so why isn’t it?
A lot of people confuse Style with Physical Needs, one of the most common occurrence Keith runs into is when complaining the list of needs and want for a client they will describe a style requirement that really hides a life style need. For example, someone might list an “Open Concept” kitchen, living room, dining room combo as one of their top five needs for a home, but as Keith digs a little deeper he discovers that the underlying need is to have a space where the kids can play/do homework that is visible from the kitchen, so they are not isolated or out of view while diner is being prepared. Suddenly a whole new gambit of options open up and Keith shows this family a number of homes with off kitchen family rooms. A lot of the time Keith asks “Why?” when meeting with buyers, “Why is this important to you, Why do you want that area, Why do you need that feature…” to really understand what it it that someone wants and whether there is an alternative.
What about location? As they say in Real Estate it’s all that matters. Just like wants and needs there may be alternative options to location. I’m interested in such and such an area can also mean, I like the proximity to my work, I like the style of the neighbourhood, or I just like the zip code. More often that not PRICE is tied to a neighbourhoods stigma, put it doesn’t mean someone has to be priced out of their wants. REALTOR(c)s like Keith know there are little pockets all over town that match some of the larger neighbourhoods features, most school zones dip in and out of a postal code, and travelling to work can sometimes be quicker on the road less travelled.
So when you are getting ready to buy a home, it’s important to know how much you can afford and how the buying process works, but it’s equally important to know how much a home is worth, how you want to live your life in that home, and what really matters about where it is, not just the neighbourhood name.
Other Articles in the Owning a Home Series:
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©Dave Williams -2012-