We recently started watching some TV programs we normally don’t watch. W Network was at the top of the list with Property Brothers.
It was interesting watching from the outside in as, couple after couple, buyer after buyer, gave their list of "needs" to their REALTOR®, and then became incredulous if the REALTOR® showed them everything they asked for in a house — well outside of their budget. We consistently heard "I can't believe the REALTOR® showed us something so far over our budget." Often times, this is an eye-opener and a learning process for new(er) buyers.
When all was done, of course a house would be found that the buyer(s) could be very happy with. Watching the process of finding a home was quite interesting, and that indeed is what it is: a process.
To simplify things for you and your REALTOR®, create three lists:
- Needs: An important list of the things, features, locations, etc. that you feel you require to make the purchase positive. These are different for everyone, but they have to be features you feel are needed to enjoy the home.
- Wants: A "nice to have" wish list of things you would like. This list is likely longer than the needs list, but is full of items that are not as critical to you when it comes down to decision-making time.
- Brick Wall Items: These are the things similar to the needs list, but are critical to have or not have. These are things that you cannot bend on and, in fact, are so important that they will create a wall you cannot overcome. They are also things that the home/property cannot overcome.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, these three lists are a critical part of the process in finding a home you will be happy with. Knowing what is a need vs. merely a want vs. an absolute Brick Wall will make the process so much more enjoyable.
Taking these three lists into account and being open with your REALTOR® about what is truly on each list, combined with a realistic budget, is what it will take to find the "right" next home for you. It is a learning process for you and your REALTOR®, but letting your REALTOR® in on your lists will make the search for your home easier.