How Not to Buy A House -- By Committee
One of the common mistakes I see first time home buyers make is involving too many people in their decision making. Well meaning family, friends, and co-workers can give advice that interferes with the home buying process. I experienced the worst example of this with a couple who insisted on having their entire extended family and friends view homes with them. The first house I selected met all their criteria and more. At the time, I had no idea that this home would have to please everyone in their social circle. This particular home was unique because of its location, size, amenities and price. Unfortunately, the "buying committee" all had differing points of view.
Some of the committee members felt that the home needed too much repair, others thought that the buyers needed to look at a lot more homes before deciding to buy any home, others felt this home was great but surely something better would appear, and still others wanted them to continue to hunt for the best “deal.” Of course, it’s easy to shop and shop and shop for a home, when you have a home to go back to at the end of the day. As such, the committee was essentially a pool of very unmotivated buyers. And any real estate agent worth their salt knows that an unmotivated buyer, is a terrible decision maker.
Further, if you ask 10 different people, you are going to get 10 different answers. Turning your home purchase into the equivalent of an “Act of Congress” is not really a great idea. And, unless your local real estate market is moving at glacial speed, it will cost you. The buyers clearly wanted this first home, however, pleasing the committee predictably proved to be an impossible task. I tried to point out the unique nature of the home, but I’m sure my advice sounded like the scream of a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert -- indiscernible.
The end result? They missed out on a great house (which time proved was in fact a tremendous deal!), and we ended up looking for homes off and on for another two years. Eventually the committee members tired of looking at houses with the buyers, after all, they couldn’t seem to make a decision. I wonder why? The buyers did eventually make a decision (without committee input), but later confided that they still drove by that first house that got away -- the one that died in committee.
Tni LeBlancis an independent Real Estate Broker, Attorney, and Short Sale Agent. She is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) and Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS) serving California’s Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.
She has successfully completed short sales with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, CHASE , GMAC, Seterus, IndyMac, CitiMortgage, Green Tree Servicing, Specialized Loan Servicing, HomEq Servicing, Wachovia, Coast Hills Federal Credit Union, Select Portfolio Servicing, and others.
* Nothing in this article is intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker. This article offers no legal or tax advice. Those considering a short sale are advised to consult with their own attorney for legal advice, and their tax professional for tax advice prior to entering into a short sale listing agreement.
Copyright© 2013 Tni LeBlanc *How Not to Buy A House -- By Committee*
Tni LeBlanc, Broker
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