Every once in awhile, I write a post that I regret.
This is probably going to be one of them!
Here’s the thing.
Pretty much everyone I work with, all my clients, are prepared and ready to buy. They may be first-time homebuyers looking to find a home, they may be relocating from another city, they may be empty-nesters coming in from the suburbs. But, what most, if not all of them, share, is the desire to buy a home, now. Now, meaning sometime in the foreseeable future, say six weeks to three months from now.
They may not have an urgency, but most of the time, they are focused on getting this thing done, now.
I think it’s different, for other agents. They may have clients who are less sure of when they plan on buying. The date may be “sometime in the future”, not “by September 1”, or “before the first snow flies”.
I realize I have it pretty good that way. My clients don’t feel any pressure from me to find a home right away, it’s just that they tend to be on the same schedule as I am.
The way I work is, I am contacted by a prospective (perspective?) client, almost always by email. We chat back and forth by email, perhaps by phone, but we get to know one another without actually meeting, face-to-face.
After a week or two, we usually meet up to see a bunch of properties, all at once, either by making our way through a full-day’s worth of Sunday open houses, or by me setting up individual appointments with listing agents – we may see as many as 15 properties, in one day. We may do this twice, or three times.
The purpose of this is to build a base of knowledge. We aren’t looking for “the perfect” home, we’re looking to see what’s out there that fits some or all of my client’s criteria. We want to see what things cost, today, what’s being offered. And, my client starts to narrow down his or her criteria – into “must-haves” and “want-to-haves”.
After we’ve seen everything that’s out there, we focus on seeing homes that my client may be interested in buying. As new listings come on the market, we may go out and see them, one at a time.
Again, my clients are usually ready to buy, so the process is usually pretty quick. I’d say three months is the limit. I’d certainly be willing to work with clients who don’t work this quickly, it just doesn’t happen too often (maybe my blog gives readers a good idea of how I work, and those who want to buy in a more “relaxed” manner, never contact me?).
I mean, the goal is, after all, to buy a home.
On occasion, I’ve realized my client just isn’t ready to buy.
He or she is just ready to look.
Many times, these clients never buy.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
Here’s a blog entry from a “homebuyer”.
This past weekend, our long-suffering broker informed us that we were about to visit our 50th house with him. It’s an absurd number, on the face of it. But this is Greater Boston – an absurd homebuying market.
… [W]hy has it been so hard to find a decent midrange single-family house?
… [U]ntil someone blinks, I fear we’ll keep visiting dream homes with, sadly, dream prices. Sigh.
This was on June 20th.
It’s now July 20th.
This person still hasn’t found a home, even though he has continued to look.
I’m going to make a prediction.
On August 20th, he’ll still be looking.
Then, by September 20th, he’ll have decided to “just hold things off for a bit,” while he thinks about things.
Next spring, perhaps he’ll start again.
To save everyone a lot of time and effort, this guy’s agent should pull him aside, now, to say, “Look, Eric, I enjoy working with you, even though you are kind of a stickler about things, but let’s face facts. You’ve seen just about every property out there, yet you keep finding things wrong with them, and/or you keep saying they aren’t worth what the sellers have them listed for. I think we both need to agree – you aren’t going to be able to find the perfect house at the perfect price, at least not right now. I hope we can work together, sometime soon. Keep in touch.”
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Read on: Boston Real Estate Now – By Eric Helmuth, “Homebuyer”