A while ago I got a call from a couple interested in buying their first home. I suggested that we meet and talk about what they were looking for and to get to know them better. Towards the end of our meeting the husband said that he was looking forward to working with me. I was thrilled to help them with their search. However, it was quite some time before I heard back from them again. In this case I knew I hadn’t been ghosted, because we were in contact with one another. Still, the home search was sort of stopped after we’d met. I’ve seen this before and I think I know some of the reasons it happens.
- A home purchase is a big decision and everyone has to focus. Think about it. When you go to the grocery store, you have no issues buying fruits or vegetables, but houses, that’s quite another thing altogether. Because of this, couples have to focus. They can’t just go out to the store one day and get the home of their dreams
- Unless the buyers are paying in cash, financing needs to be obtained. If a couple is getting a mortgage, they need financial records, tax records, employment records, and it can be a pain. I know you might think that it’s not that difficult to put your financial records in order, but it can be a stumbling block in the search for a new home.
- The Zillow effect. When buyers start their search these days, it’s usually online through Zillow or Realtor.com. They see thousands of homes available and any given asking price without any sort of context. I’ve written that maybe Zillow isn’t the best way to start a home search, and I still think that way.
- Calling the real estate agent is a great first step, but the ultimate responsibility to get in your new home is on you. I look at our jobs in real estate as facilitators, maybe navigators. For example, you could probably go out today and buy a house without using a real estate agent. It’s also a horrible idea if you don’t have any expertise in the area of buying homes. As real estate agents, we sort of guide you down the path of the new home purchase. There are bumps along the way that we’ve seen before, and we also know spots along that path to avoid if at all possible. At the end of the day though, the buyers have to be committed to buying a house, and that includes actively keeping up with paperwork and the home search.
I do believe there is momentum involved in the search for a new home. I’ve preached patience over the long term, and I do think that is the best way to look at a home search. Unfortunately, you have to get off the couch and actually look at homes. I know that we are working with buyers who have momentum because they have their financing in place, they are actively asking to look at new homes to market, and they might have even put offers in on properties.
Lost Home Buying Momentum
You can also see when momentum is lost, just like after the first or second contact. As an agent, I keep all of the listings I send on my computer. When I see a house that really makes sense for my buyers, I’ll usually call or email. During times of lost momentum, the buyers will have to go to an event, but they don’t schedule a showing for the property. They sort of leave it out there to be sold to someone else. Also, when home buyers have that momentum, they are usually texting me links and pictures of houses they want to see. That doesn’t happen when momentum is lost. Here are some of the things I recommend to get the momentum going again.
- Physically go look at a house, even if it doesn’t look perfect online. I think this is the easiest thing to do. If you want to buy a home, you are going to have to physically go see it. Sometimes, we get tricked by the photos , and that’s OK. However, waiting for that perfect house without getting out there is a sure recipe for failure.
- Take some time off. This is so counterintuitive in the home search. If you’ve been out there week after week and you’ve gotten discouraged, maybe take the week or weekend off. Go do something you enjoy. There will always be homes available for sale, and you can come back to the search after you are re-charged.
- Refresh your list of needs and wants. It’s possible you’ve become discouraged because you are looking in the wrong part of town, or looking for something that isn’t exactly what you want. As an example, I once showed many homes for sale in Clayton, but there was never a time that we were close to putting in an offer to buy a home. We talked about it one day and I told them I think we should narrow the search to homes for sale in Webster Groves. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with Clayton, it’s just that these buyers seemed to always enjoy looking at homes in Webster Groves, and they never had that energy in Clayton.
Persistence Is Key
Finding the home you want is going to take some persistence. If you get tripped up after your first or second contact with your agent, it’s probably a sign that you aren’t quite ready to buy a home. If feel like you have lost your momentum in the search for a new home, give us a call. I’ve see this happen and I know that we can get you back in the game.