Buying a home, open houses, & ‘what ifs’

by | Feb 15, 2015 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Upcoming free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Education Classes:

Saturday, 2/21   /15, from 12pm-3pm  
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA

Saturday, 3/7  /15, from 9am-12pm  
Marshall Community Center, upstairs conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver Wa (kitty corner from Clark College)

Thursday, 3/12 /15, from 5pm-8pm
Marshall Community Center, upstairs conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver Wa (kitty corner from Clark College)

…if these dates/times don’t work for you, we have others. Check out the website for more class dates, times, and locations. PLEASE always check  the web site for any changes regarding the classes!

Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner!  🙂
Happy Valentines Day~

…and the weather is gorgeous!!  🙂  I hope you are out enjoying it too.  Today, my family went to an open house for a home.  As a real estate broker, open houses are something I check out occasionally…no big deal, and yes, sometimes I have a kid with me…and sometimes…my husband comes along.  So why is this open house so different?  Because this time, we looked at it as a consideration for a home we might want to buy.

Now, one thing you need to know about Open Houses is that 99% of the time it has nothing to do about the house, it is all about marketing.  No, really it is for an agent.  This is the way it goes…
We walked into the open house, and the agent there says, “Hi!  I am Ruby Realtor, and you are?”
To this you respond with your name, and the agents asks if she can sign you in.  What’s your phone number, and/or your email address, and here is the question Ruby has been leading up to… “are you working with a realtor?”

Now, if you say that you are, then Ruby is going to ask for your realtors name.  This will save you (usually) from future calls or emails.  An unethical agent will still be contacting you though….be warned.
If you say that you aren’t working with an agent…well, you just opened flood gates and Ruby Realtor will start marketing…hard…to you.

Want to look at open houses & not want to be bugged?  Tell the agent there that you are working with an an agent, and feel free to give that person my name.  It does not commit you to working with me, but it will give you some breathing room from the marketing script.  🙂 Now you know the dirty secret about open houses….  and what to do, or not to do in them.

At this open house, we walked in, and I have worked with the sellers agent before so she knew who I was.  Funny thing though is that my oldest daughter and her boyfriend were walking around outside and when they walked in the door, the script began,  My oldest daughter has been raised in real estate though and said, “I’m Tracie’s daughter, and he is with me”.  🙂  It was a busy open house as the sun was shining though so I was able to see this same scenario play over and over again.  The sellers agent at this open house confided to me that she was going to do something else and have a new agent work the open house, but because of all the calls that she has received on this home, she decided to ‘work’ it herself.  Yep, there is the other dirty secret about open houses, many of them are being ‘worked’ by new agents as a way to try to get clients.  An open house really isn’t about the house, but used as a way to market the agent, and to get YOUR information as a potential client.

Looking at homes is a big deal for everyone, and it is for us too…  We still live in our first home that we bought in 2001.  It is a 2 story home which was great….at the time.  A couple of spills down the stairs later and it is definitely time for a one story…either that or someone needs to help me be more graceful.  I tell you that the stairs are out to get me!!  Since we have been considering buying a different home, we sat down and considered our top 3 things we want in a home… a one story home that fits our family now, but will also fit us when they all leave (*sob*…it will happen someday), one that has some space from the neighbors & room for the dogs to run, and one that has an office for me (I have LOTS of paperwork, books, and yarn), & room for the hubby to have some space for his tools.  Ok…so that is kind of 4 , but the last one is a two-fer, right?  🙂  This is a tough find in our current market with our price range.  Yes, just like everyone else I have a price range that we have to work with…and yes, just like everyone else it is a popular price range for what we want.  😀  Just because I am a realtor, it doesn’t make it any easier…in some ways it actually makes it harder.  I can see the possibilities of a home, and some updating doesn’t scare me because I know what value that would put into it.  What does worry me though, are the same things that worry everyone else….  what happens if a ‘better’ home comes on the market later?  What if I move in, and I hate it?  Can I actually afford this payment?  What if I don’t move and the market keeps going up?  (I know that it is going up too, and that puts even more pressure on us)  What if we don’t make a move on it, and we don’t find anything we like better?  I hate change…are we sure we aren’t happy where we are at?  What if there are multiple offers?  What if there is another downturn in the market?  What if, what if, what if…there are always going to be ‘what ifs’…

As a real estate agent, I can assure that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ home.  That is like looking for Bigfoot, a mermaid, or a unicorn….we are all (ok, most of us) are fairly certain they exist, but…. So, the biggest question comes down to pros/cons, and are the con(s) something you can live with day in, and day out.  The biggest two cons for our current home are still something that I hate…almost 14 years later.  One of those cons became even worse when they (the city) took out the field next to our home, put in a road & more houses since our yard has NO privacy, and now the neighbors park along the side of my house when they have large gatherings.  My bedroom windows border both the front & the side street, and it bugs me.  The biggest con for the home we looked at today is that there is a very busy road that runs next to the lot……VERY busy and LOUD!  Our current neighborhood is pretty quiet.  There is a main road that isn’t too far away, but we are about 4 houses and a corner away from it so it is a low background noise.  That wouldn’t be the case at this house we looked at…it is so loud that you wouldn’t be able to go into your backyard and meditate.  There are some great pros…and that really BIG con.  The other cons are something that can be fixed, and that once fixed, would add value so they’re really pretty cosmetic. If this home were even ONE house more into this small country neighborhood I think we would have made an offer last night.  I am not sure why one more house in makes such a difference, but for us…it really does.  Location, location, location, right???

Buying a home is exciting, stressful, and full of ‘what ifs….and it is still true…even if you are a real estate agent!  😀  When you are buying a home, you can lean on your buyers agent for help, advice, and guidance…it is what we’re here for.  So what happens if you happen to be the real estate agent?  Just like you, I ask friends and family what THEY think!  I know a lot of agents tell you ‘too many voices drowns out your own’, and in some aspect, that is true.  However, if you already have doubt…sometimes they can help you see an aspect of the home, or situation that you might not have thought of, and sometimes they can make your doubt worse.  If in that much doubt….don’t.  There won’t be another house ‘just’ like that one, but there is almost another house that works for you…in just a different way.  If the house goes pending to someone else, and you kick yourself for not moving on it, well….now you know for next time.  There was a house we looked at that was amazing inside & out last year for *gulp* less money…sigh… It was gorgeous, and the right size of yard/property too.  So, why didn’t we move on it?  My husband didn’t like how close it was to a busy road, and that it faced that busy road.   The house we looked at today has a MUCH busier road next to it, but it doesn’t face it and it is set a bit further back from that road…to him..that makes a difference.  He also didn’t like the ‘feel’ of that house last year.  Yes, this is a thing!  If you see a house that you thought you would like, and you walk in, and *on paper*, it has everything you want…but if feels ‘wrong’….go with that gut instinct….EVERY time!  You are never just buying a house…you are buying a home, and the ‘feel’ of that home.  Can you imagine yourself living in that home?  Your furniture in that home?  Coming home to that house every day?  Walking the neighborhood?

How does that home ‘feel’ to you?  Welcoming?  Or is it, “well, I like the home”?  There is always going to be some doubt…buying a home is a HUGE step (even if you already have a home), and there is always going to be some worry about whether or not you are making the right choice.  The difference is that there should always be some excitement and planning for that home in your mind along with the ‘what ifs’.  You should be thinking about paint, where you are going to put the furniture, what you want to do to the house to make it ‘your’ home, excitement about making the offer, that hope that YOURS will be the offer that gets accepted.  It should be happy fear…not dread.

Buying a home is exciting, scary, stressful, and yes, full of ‘what ifs’.  I wish I had a magic ball to share with you, but sadly, my request for one seems to keep getting put on hold.  So, this weeks blog, is more to let you know that what you are feeling is normal, and that EVERYONE feels this way…even your agent when she is looking for a home for her family. 🙂  The hardest thing for me is that I see homes almost every day.  Some I LOVE, some I like, and some…some that are stories that I talk about in the classes.  🙂  I can count on one hand how many homes I have seen in 13 years of real estate that I thought to myself, “I could live here”.  Is this one of those homes?  Honestly, I don’t know…  it isn’t that easy…. I like it and I love the land.  The house could definitely work, and I could picture us there…if it weren’t for that BUSY country highway right next to the house.

Does that kill it for me??  UGH… I know that the sellers are going to look at all offers tomorrow night so I have at least 24 more hours to agonize over it.  The fact that I am not rushing to make an offer now though does make me suspect that the busy road next door is more of a deal killer for me.  Now…to talk with my husband about it…again.  🙂  So, today, I think YOU have helped me more than I might have helped you.  Thank you for that!  😀

Never feel alone when buying a home.  You are not.  You have many people who are there to help you, and please remember this… your buyers agent is NOT a salesperson!  Your buyers agent is guidance, help, and assistance.  If you feel like your agent is *selling* to you or *selling* you on a home…maybe you don’t have the right agent.  As a buyers agent, we are here to help you with your home buying adventure.  I really want you to be happy in your home.  When you are ready to sell that home, and get your next home, I want you to have been happy in it.  This is YOUR home, and YOU are driving the bus….remember…your agent & lender are here as GPS.  Talk to them, be honest with them, and ask for their feedback.  Pros?  Cons?  If you have any doubts, speak up.  As always…we are here to help!

Information is power, and I hope that I am help you!  Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.  
As always….this is just a quick overview…. please remember that your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your homebuying adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.

If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your homebuying adventure, please call, email,  text, or facebook me anytime.  I am, as always, happy to help!

Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.

. ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…

Next Week:   Closing costs…what are these & options for them?

 Last Week:   Sellers Agency & Dual Agency….What it really is & what it means for you.
      Buyers Agency….what it is & questions to ask
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA

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