By Erin Heider
I’ve had many buyers ask this question: How will I know when a home is the one?
Here’s my answer: It may take viewing 10 or 100 houses (hopefully the number is closer to 10), but when you know, you’ll know. And I, as the real estate agent, will pick up on signs that let me know you’re certain about a certain property. It’s one of my favorite moments in the home-buying transaction; the special day when I’m able to help find someone a HOME.
What are the clues I pick up on that you’ve found the house that will be your home? Here are three …
- Smiles and fast feet will replace the need for words. Delight will be reflected in a buyer’s eyes as he or she excitedly scampers from one room to the next.
- An obsession with the stats. As a home tour progresses, a buyer who’s found the right home will ask an endless stream of questions, wanting to know about comparable homes in the neighborhood, sold prices, average price per square foot. A buyer is concerned when he or she really cares.
- Buyers will make statements as if the home is already theirs and fantasize about how a family can utilize particular spaces. “Oh look, Johnny can practice hitting in the big basement!” Or, “This finished attic is a perfect reading nook!”
Like anything else, no buyer should be willing to settle for an average home that doesn’t meet his or her needs. Do you settle in your relationships? In your professional career? In whatever it is you do?
Like many things life, there will always be that other home; the one that could work, that has a decent-sized kitchen or makes the most sense but it’s the settling kind of home. A buyer who sees this home has to talk him or herself into it.
And to this settling buyer I say: STOP. Keep looking; this home is not the one. Never feel rushed or guilty for dragging your feet or asking your agent to see a different home. Real estate agents are there for you and the best ones know that representing your needs to the fullest means not stopping until you’re completely happy. Think of a real estate agent like your best friend; would a great best friend be OK with seeing you settle on an average partner just because you’re tired of being alone?
It’s perfectly OK to take time in the home-search process. Do leg work, physically drive by properties, take in what each neighborhood or street has to offer. I even tell my clients to write notes as they tour properties; I suggest rating the house on a scale of 1-10 and then including something that will make them remember it. For instance, a house might be the “Buckeye Home” because it has a man cave with wall-to-wall Ohio State memorabilia.
And to those would-be buyers out there: Remember, some people get lucky and find the perfect home a first trip out but for others it takes time (and 50+ homes to tour). In the end, no matter how long the search, it’s vitally important to be sure you’ve chosen the right house for you … after all, it’s the backdrop to your life and nothing sets the stage for happiness quite like a happy HOME.
ERIN HEIDER is an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty in Beavercreek, OH and a member of the national REthink Council. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.