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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Too Many Choices

The glut of houses on the market currently has had a secondary negative affect - it provides too many choices. I've been involved with quite a few buyers this year and almost all of them are overwhelmed by the amount of homes that are on the market and the human nature tendency to try to see them all before making a choice. I try to advise buyers to do more homework before we go out and to even do drive-bys to check out the houses and the neighborhoods before we start making appointments; however, there seems to be a strong "shopper's" desire to see them all.

Home buyers seem to be afraid that they'll somehow miss the "perfect house" for them, if they don't look at everything on the market. That has led to prolonged house hunting times and delayed decision making. It's not unusual for home shoppers to have to renew their mortgage pre-approval several times before actually using it to buy a house, since the "rate lock" on a pre-approval is normally only good for 30-60 days.

I also try to get home shoppers to take the time to make a list of the things that are really important to them. See my Web site under the FAQ Sectiojn for Buyers for a good home shopping list and advice on how to prioritize that list. The worst case scenario from a Realtor's perspective is the home shopper who tells you up front. "Oh, I'll know it when I see it." That means they have no idea (or can't figure out how to verbalize what ideas they may have) about what they want in a home. That's the start of a long, although not always satisfactory relationship. It's worth the time to sit with your Realtor, before you spend too much time wandering around looking at houses and let him/her help you figure out what you really are looking for in a new home; otherwise your head will end up spinning with the co-mingled details of too many house.

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