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How Not to Buy A House -- By Committee

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.  

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
(805) 878-9879 mobile/text

CalBRE #01871795

Comment balloon 75 commentsTni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D. • January 06 2013 02:49PM


Boy I hate committees. I have seen a number of houses get snatched up while the committee was in session....
Posted by John & Irma Nelson, San Antonio Real Estate Agents - San Antonio Homes (San Antonio Real Estate Broker/Agent with Get It Sold Realty) over 6 years ago

So true and suggested. When I bought my homes, I wouldn't let any family members see it until we had already moved in. I didn't need a million opinions.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 6 years ago

John & Irma - You and me both!

Thanks for the suggest Jill!  When the number of those on the committee outnumbers the buyers things can get especially crazy. There was no way this couple could find their way through the noise.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

I'm of the opinion that, if the buyer needs a committee to buy a home, they're not ready for home ownership.

That said, if the family dynamics are such that this is the only way the buyer can buy, best get them in at the beginning than after the offer is made or contract signed.  THAT is a sticky wicket.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Hi Lenn - That's probably true -- they probably aren't ready if they feel they need a committee.  I certainly understand if a person is getting a gift from a family member and they want to show respect.  But a gift is a gift and ultimately the decision is your own.  And yes, a fatal objection after the deal is sealed makes things very sticky indeed.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Tni 'by committee' isn't going to fly in our hot market.  You either make a decision on the spot, write an excellent offer or lose out.  Even if we were not in such a hot market 'by committee' is for buyers that are clearly not sure what to do.  We sometimes have parents involved - and that usually works ok as they know us well and trust that we will guide them. It's the buyers and their 'committees' that have no clue as to how to buy a home, what is going on in the market etc etc that can lead to buyers being very disappointed time after time.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) over 6 years ago

Hi Anna - It doesn't fly in our current market either.  I often see buyers lose out when they take this approach.  Unfortunately for these folks they lost out on a unique home, and nothing else quite compared of course.  The committee approach really cost them.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Tni...after all, the "committee" isn't going to have to live in it...the buyers will!  That said, I have had buyers who bring mom or dad by for the second showing just for a second opinion.  In fact, I think I did tha the first time I bought a house. But we had really made up our minds anyway & not sure we would have changed it if Mom had not liked it.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 6 years ago

Yes, Tni. I have also experienced this with those first time home buyers, who forget that the committee can kill your Dreams, if you are willing to take their advice on everything. Second opinions are okay, but the new home owners do need to be able to make up the own minds, and make that final decision. Why live with regrets when the committee talk you our of your Dreams?

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com) over 6 years ago

Tni - Congratulations on your feature blog. Committee has killed a few deals for a couple of my buyers.  I have learned to ask my buyers during the initial interview..." Who is going to be making the decision?"

Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Realty One Group) over 6 years ago

Tni - I like your description of the committee process, well put. When I see several cars pulling up for a showing, the urge is to run. 

Posted by Olga Simoncelli, CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management (Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Tni, I had to laugh at the whole premise in the story.  I had a similar one last year, and that buyer didn't buy until the committee was busy one day and she found a house. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 6 years ago

Christine - So true!  I think bringing family members in AFTER the fact can work.  At least at that point they know the buyers want that particular home and they may give pause to telling them not to purchase it unless they think there is a real problem.  Involving family in the decision to buy before the home is selected can be a nightmare.  Inevitably some committee members think the buyers shouldn't be buying at all, even though the buyers obviously think they should!

Jerry - I agree.  I have seen too many first time home buyers talked out of a purchase only to regret it later.  This was probably the worst example of that.  I know better now and caution buyers to avoid this trap.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

as I read your blog, I am awaiting word from a family that is meeting by committee to determine whether they are going to complete a short sale. 

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D (TimeshareLawyers.pro) over 6 years ago

Sarah & Les - Thank you!  That is truly a great question to ask.  And now when I see things going in this direction I do ask the buyers that question.

Olga - That's what happened to me here.  The buyers arrived and then more carloads just kept piling in.  I don't think these buyers would do things the same way again.  You live and you learn -- but this is definitely a first time home buyer trap to try to avoid!

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Mike - That is funny.  That is essentially what happened to these folks.  Everyone got bored with their home search so then they were able to make their own decision.  Actually, I think the committee was relieved to be "off duty," because ultimately it is the buyer's decision and they have to live with it.

Paddy - Well at least the house won't get up and walk away while the committee meets.  Or wait, in a short sale isn't that the problem?  LOL.  Good luck with that one.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago
I have had that happen to me, where the full family turned up, but it is something I would discourage wi a discreet conversation pointing out the potential pitfalls.
Posted by Chris Lewis, I want to SELL your home, not LIST it! (Gracious Living Realty) over 6 years ago

This happens so often and no matter how many questions I ask up front about who the decision makers will be or who is doing the heavy lifting of actually paying for the home, every now and then I end up with a committee.  The worst time was when I was showing an almost married couple homes and they also had a committee picking out the wedding gown.  If I had been that bride I would have eloped and bought a home as far away from every one of those people as I could have.

Posted by Marnie Matarese, Showing you the best of Sarasota! (DWELL REAL ESTATE) over 6 years ago

Sometime first time home buyers need their hand held...but it should be limited to parents only..

Posted by Kathy Dowd, Consider it SOLD (RE/MAX Realty Team, 239 220 4133) over 6 years ago

Chris - I think we have all been there.  All we can do is give them advice.  It's up to them to take it.

Marnie - Have you ever seen "Say Yes to the Dress?"  I watched a marathon once while getting my hair braided.  I saw one where a no -frills girl brought her sister, mother and father.  Ultimately, it was her no-frills father who helped her pick the right dress for her.  I kept wondering why did you bring all these OTHER people then?  She didn't trust her sister and mother's opinions -- so why were they there?  If you are in tune with another person, then bring them along, but don't bring a committee, please!

Kathy - And sometimes not them either!

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Tni~You have so perfectly described the committee process. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, as we have all been in that trap. I'm amazed that you stuck with them for two years, though.

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) over 6 years ago

This  perfectly described the committee process. The buyers need to ask if the commitee will be paying the monthly bills?

Posted by Dan McGuire (Coldwell Banker) over 6 years ago

This  perfectly described the committee process. The buyers need to ask if the commitee will be paying the monthly bills?

Posted by Dan McGuire (Coldwell Banker) over 6 years ago

I think this is true with some many things, but you're so right, we see it all the time with first time home buyers. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 6 years ago

Thanks Liz!  It was off and on.  They were a very nice couple and so were the committee members!  They referred me to lots of people so it worked out for me, but the buyer regretted losing out on that house.

Dan - Exactly!

Karen - Yes, first time home buyers fall in to this trap often.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago


"And we ended up looking for homes off and on for another two years. " 

I have some clients like this. It is very frustrating -- an that is an under statement.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 6 years ago

Joan - Hey it happens.  Two years.  I had another couple who looked for two years and then they turned around and bought a FSBO that I showed them when it was listed.   They were just plain ole mean.  These folks were very nice but just made some common mistakes in the buying process. 

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

I have also experienced this with first time home buyers, family comes in and kills the deal.  It is good to ask opinions but the buyer ultimately needs to do what they feel is right for them.

Posted by Sajy Mathew, Making your real estate dreams become a reality! (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Very true!  I was recently working with a engaged couple who were so off track that I had to really spell it out to them.  They were able to finally realize they need to figure out their game plan if they are going to make a smart purchase.  Congrats on your feature!

Posted by Christina Sanchez Hood, #SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living over 6 years ago

Great way to put the "committee" and I'm sure while they were deciding and casting votes an offer from a serious buyer made its way to acceptance. 

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 6 years ago

Sajy - I agree they should buy the home that they want.  Easier to do without so many important voices in the background.

Christina - Glad to hear you were able to pull them back.  This experience taught me a lot as a Realtor. 

Carla - You know it!

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Tni, I couldn't agree with you more.  The only objection I have is that if you ask ten people for their opinions, you will get ELEVEN different opinions...

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) over 6 years ago

I have also seen this happen, well meaning but very difficult for the buyers.  Too much confusion that leads to muddled thinking and decision making.  Great post as always!

Posted by Kathleen Vetrano, Helping YOU Achieve YOUR Dreams (RE/MAX Gateway) over 6 years ago

Tni, reading your post makes me want to scream not like a teenage girl at a Jusin Beiber concert, but in empathy with your frustration.  The committee members think they're protecting the buyer by saying no.  In my market everything looks overpriced to the parents on the committee who remember when the house cost 75% less.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) over 6 years ago

You have hit the nail on the head with this one, Tni.  I remember a buyer I had several years ago, who let a "wise" uncle help him negotiate right out of several great houses.  It was hard for him to accept that sellers don't fall over themselves accepting offers 25% lower than list price.  Finally, he got it, and managed to buy a house.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 6 years ago

Hi Tni.  Getting the husband and wife to agree is hard enough.  Ban the committees:)

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) over 6 years ago

It's definitely like an Act of Congress in many cases.  Sometimes it's cultural, sometimes it's just the fear of making a bad decision.  Sometimes it's just too much HGTV!

Posted by Tamara Inzunza, Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living (RE/MAX Executives) over 6 years ago


I'm sure they did this with the best intentions...but, those intentions were not rooted in a successful strategy. Too bad for the buyers. I hope they don't become part of a committee for someone else in the future.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Tni, I've seen this happen with parents. Sometimes it's hard to get the buyers to come to an agreement much less a committee of ten.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

Good morning Tni. Lanise sent me over and I'm glad she did. This is superb. You have set forth all the reasons Realtors pull their hair out. Great job.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 6 years ago


As long as the committee has a head and a tail, we may get somewhere. Unfortunately these committees have all mouths

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago

Tni I really hate that the buyers lost the first house due to "interferring" albeit well meaning friends and family.  I believe that in impossible situations like this, the buyers always regret the level of participation that they incited via their committee.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 6 years ago

I've also had a situation in which after a long home selection process, the buyer finally appear to commit to a property, and then said -- I've got to have my parents look at it to bless the decision.  they didn't bless the decision and back to square one.  that's always fun!  have a great new year, Eric

Posted by Eric Crane -- Your Full Service, Discount Fee Realtor®, Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona (DPR Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read.  I've experienced the same thing a few times.  The family means well, but they just muck up the process.  Great post.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 6 years ago

Committee ……., a good analogy. I liked your post and the comments as well ……

Posted by Rosalind Nicholas, Toronto Condo Real Estate Agent, Toronto ON (RE/MAX Condos Plus Corporation, Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Tni, a story many first time home buyers can learn from... great observation about committee members ditching all the houses and going back to their homes at the end of the day, when actual buyers go back to their rental, or cramped studio they've outgrown, or - gasp - parent's place...


Posted by Anna Tolstoy (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Good post! I have had so many showings where the prospects come with a carload of friends, unannounced, and they want to ride around with them instead of with me. That limits my ability to point out anything along the way or to have a focused discussion about various properties.

Posted by Leslie Helm, Real Estate For Trail Riders (Tennessee Recreational Properties) over 6 years ago

Glad your buyers were finally able to come to a decision on their own, Tni... I remember when my oldest son was looking for a house with his finance - he wanted me to come along because I'm in a related real estate field.  Fortunately, I was able to keep my opinions to myself as I thought the house they were looking at was way too expensive for their first home.  I just kept asking them - "what do you want to do or how do you feel about it?"  They ultimately decided it was not the "right" one... whew!

Posted by Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc., SF NYC LA (pha logistix inc) over 6 years ago

Gary - You might be right about that!  I've seen one person give three different opinions on the spot!  Folks don't know what they are getting into when they invite others into their home buying!

Thanks Kathleen - Yes, it makes it very difficult for people to know what they are thinking.  If the committee outnumbers the buyers it really gets crazy.  

Lloyd - Exactly.  If you haven't shopped for a home in awhile the prices will probably look not quite right to you (unless of course you want to sell - LOL).  I doubt we will be able to reform the entire system with one purchase.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Myrl - Glad to hear it worked out for him.  Probably after he cut his wise uncle out of the negotiation process!  There is a reason why real estate agents try to work with the most motivated buyers -- they are usually the ones that actually buy houses.  People testing their theory of the market or negotiations often end up with nothing.

Conrad - I agree.  Husband and wives are hard enough!  Increasing the number of decision makers just makes thing more difficult.

Tamara - LOL.  HGTV is a whole other post!  

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Hi Richard - Yes, they did have the best intentions and honestly they couldn't understand why the buyers weren't making a decision among all of this chaos.

Michael - Exactly.  Committees don't work well for the home buying process.  Right now things are moving so fast, they wouldn't work at all.

Thanks Sheila!  And thanks Lanise!

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Charita - These buyers certainly do regret it.  As well as the two additional years of rent they paid while they looked for another house.

Eric - A blessing at the end is better than full participation I think.  I know now when people show up with a committee it is because they feel they can't make a decision on their own.

The Christiansen Team - I agree. They do mean well.  These folks certainly did, but they cost this couple a great house at a great price.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Thanks for stopping by Rosalind!

Anna - Exactly!  These folks continued to pay rent on a small apartment for two more years!   And they never found another house they liked as much as the first one.

Leslie - Yes, the committee usually arrives unannounced!  LOL.  If they told me ahead of time I would've had a whole different approach.  And of course now that I've gone through this experience I probably would pass on the entire experience.

Peggy - Isn't it great when people come to the same conclusion without you having to say a word?  

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago
However in some cultures they wouldn't think about picking a house WITHOUT the whole family. took me awhile to. Understand and embrace this since it's exactly the opposite of my inclinations. the good part is that usually the buyers know whose opinions to disregard. but I do remember one buyer in our area who became sort of notorious because of her father. THE ARCHITECT . he would nitpick everything! She worked with multiple agents and we all had the same experience.
Posted by Kathy Judy (Tri-Cities Real Estate retired) over 6 years ago

Tni, what a great blog.  So on point, as if you "picked" my mind!  The "committee" buying is becoming more of the norm, especially for 1st time home buyers. 



Posted by Pat & Steve Pribisko (Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West) over 6 years ago

Kathy -  I find that when the committee outnumbers the buyers five fold no decision is going to be made!  I understand respect must be shown, or if it is the person giving a gift for the down payment, but the approach will cost you.  Committees can't take advantage of a great deal when it pops up! 

Pat & Steve - Thank you!  Maybe there is a lot of uncertainty out there right now, maybe that is why we are seeing a resurgence of committee style buying?

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago



What a great, sad story! I am so sorry for those buyers and for you, their agent, in regard to the first house – the perfect house – that the committee prevented them from buying.


Yes – THE PREVENTION COMMITTEE. That is what I would call those who will not live in the house but whose advice must be factored into the home buying decision. The Prevention Committee will surely prevent the buyer from getting the house that they should buy. What’s worse – the Prevention Committee will congratulate themselves for a job well done!

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) over 6 years ago

Tni-  Thanks for the great story- Sad but true, and so frustrating when there's not much you can do with so many people giving input. You have great patience to have hung in there for two years !


Posted by Deb Espinoza, GRI, Broker, SRS,ABR ePro, SFR, CNE (Stage Presence Homes, San Diego Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Tni -  I hear you so well.. I kid you not but last year I had a client - we received a bid and then entertained the parents, 2 sets of, the uncle, the brother in law, the contractor..... and they never came  up in price.


Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) over 6 years ago

Oh yes, I am sure we have all had the well meaning father that wants to protect his little girl from ever making a mistake, or the paranoid mother that really does not want her kids to move out of her house, so nothing is good enough.

Posted by Jeanne Kozak, REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA (RE/MAX In Action) over 6 years ago

Hi John - I like that - the prevention committee!  Many times that is what it comes down too, and sadly sometimes even the committee is unaware of their influence.  I felt bad for these buyers, but next time they buy they will know better!

Thanks Debbie - They did eventually buy.  Very nice folks.  Common mistake taken to the extreme I think.  It was also unfortunate that the first house we saw was so great.

Hi Gay! Wow That's a lot of people buying that house.  LOL.  Relatives always want you to get a better deal than they felt they got when they bought.  Sometimes they are living their dreams through (or at the expense of) others.

Jeanne - LOL.  I'm sure some committee member have their own agendas too.  I think I've had the one where the parents didn't want the kid to move out of the house, and I've had the opposite too.  LOL.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Well deserved feature and oh so true.  The worst words possible is "I love this house but I'd like my brother father uncle grandfather who once hammered a nail to come look at it."  Stick a fork in it then, the deal is done.

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) over 6 years ago

Tni:  In some areas of the country, like the Cleveland market that I work in, I can understand how purchasing a home can become a "family affair."  But throw a boatload of friends and acquaintances into the mix... ouch.  That's a very quick way to turn the whole thing into a three-ring circus.

While in many areas of the country, families are so spread out that things like you describe don't happen, Cleveland is still a town where even extended families live in decent proximity (which can be good, but also not-so-good at times)... so when a buyer gets close to finding "the" house... everyone has to put in their two-cents and take a look, and give their approval.  As they say, it comes with the territory, or in this case, it comes with the market.

Posted by Carolyn Kolba, Keller Williams Realty- Mentor, Ohio (Serving Mentor, and all of Lake County, Ohio) over 6 years ago

I've had to deal with committees on several occassions and had some luck with keeping them from killing a deal.  One client kept backing out of deals because friends would bring up issues and doubts that were false or just plan poorly informed.  When possible, I let the buyer know that opinions run a wide range and that they should focus on what feels right for them rather than their friends.

Posted by Bryan Robertson over 6 years ago

Tni-Committee's are great ways to delay decisions and strangle good ideas. Terrible for getting good real estate results.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 6 years ago

Tni, I have not had any success with buyer with committees.  I have worked with them for years and they still can't make a decision.  It is the most frustrating thing, especially when you can see they are getting bad advice. Which often happens.

Posted by Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life (Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com) over 6 years ago

Thanks Mona -- LOL.   Many times that is true!

Carolyn - It can be a tough call on whether to invite so many family members.  I usually tell people, if they must, just invite one person that you trust.  A entire committee will definitely bog things down.   

Bryan - That's good advice indeed.

Wayne - So true.  Waiting for the committee to decide really puts you at a disadvantage when buying a home.

Tanya - I know all you can do is stand back and watch as the trusted advisers kill the buyer's chance of owning a home.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 6 years ago

Great post, Tni! I've also had buyers pass up on a great home because of the opinions of a friend or family member. If it's going to be their home, they need to be the one making the decision. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Posted by Kristen Wahl, CBR (Re/Max Plus) over 6 years ago

Yikes there are way to many decision makers to have a selection. Next.

Posted by Elite Home Sales Team, A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team (Elite Home Sales Team OC) over 6 years ago

When I was new, I had one couple who had two sets of parents to please.  Apparently, the parents didn't get along because anytime they found something they liked, each set of parents would have to come in SEPERATELY and view the home.  Someone - (but mostly one parent) would KILL the deal every single time.  Meanwhile, I had had three showings for no less than seven homes.  Each deal was killed.  My broker was smart and put a stop to the nonsense - told the family in question that they got 2 showings and ALL decision makers had to be present at ALL showings.  Of course the couple never bought anything.  They disappeared when the new rules were put in place.  I've had situations where parents were helpful as well. Everything is case by case.  However, if people are arguing and talking down a property, it is very difficult to get a sale.  If it starts to become a serial property-bashing party at every showing, I set limits. If that doesn't work - I let them go. 

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 6 years ago


It is impossible to reach agreement with the input of too many people.  The buyers should be counseled to view homes on their own without the committee.  The committee can see the house when the sale is completed but not before.  

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 6 years ago

Ouch - too many cooks spoil the pot, don't they? What a shame, they should have cleaned house before buying one.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 6 years ago

What, if any is the liability of the Realtor if the committee breaks something? Should the present this breakage as a possibility to the seller when getting seller's permission for the committee

Posted by Lula Flowers (COMUNNITY REALTY PROPERTY MANAGEMENT INC) over 6 years ago

Tni - Your anecdotal story is valuable amunition for dealing with buyer committees.  That said, it is a buyer's right to buy by committee.  And it is your right to choose your clients.  Use your own ammuntion to turn those current buyers with committees into successful past buyer clients (and future clients, and referral sources.)

Posted by Peter Preston-Thomas (Real Ottawa) over 6 years ago

Nobody needs the cluster....it just leads to negative second guessing.  Wow, I really hate it!

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) over 6 years ago