The Challenge of Finding “The One”


I came across a great blog post this morning from my Coldwell Banker colleague Sean Carpenter, and wanted to share his words:

I don’t hate it,” said my client, with a sense of hesitancy in her voice. We were looking at a house that had just hit the market and she was really trying to like it. I could tell the search for a home was transitioning from the fun, “I wonder what we’ll see today” into the weary, “will we ever find a home that is close to what we are looking for?” phase. Almost every buyer has been through that cycle which usually occurs about the 3rd or 4th time one of the ones they find online is already in contract or sold.

I don’t want to find you a home that you ‘don’t hate,’ I want to find you a home that you really, really like,” I said to my young buyer.  “Maybe if we are lucky, you’ll find one you love?

As a Realtor, we all have experienced that feeling when a buyer walks in and just knows this is the one. It’s a magical moment in the home search and it’s hard to say when it will happen or what will set off those proverbial bells and whistles inside the hearts and minds of a client, but when it happens, things usually just seem to fall into place. It happened to me in the house I still live it today. I joke with my students that I knew I was going to buy my house after just three steps into the foyer. That’s because two steps into the foyer my wife slapped me on the arm and said “I love it. Let’s get it!”

It doesn’t always happen that way though, as in today’s fast-paced market, where homes are selling in a multiple offer feeding frenzy. It’s common today for offers to go sailing past the asking price the way a teenage driver sails past the police officer with the radar gun. The excitement hit you and before you know it, you’re paying more than you wanted. Sometimes buyers might have felt it was “the one” but another buyer, probably still smarting from losing their “one” last week, comes in higher and better and beats them out. And back to the search, you go…

“Hello, Zillow my old friend…I’ve come to search with you again.”

Buying a home isn’t like buying a pair of shoes on Zappos. It’s not easy to return it if it doesn’t fit. Sadly people do sometimes “settle” on a house because they get tired of looking, or they figure they will grow into it, or maybe they can justify they won’t be there very long, so living with small bedrooms or a busy street or lack of this or lack of that just won’t be a big deal for long. “It’s only a few years” they silently negotiate with themselves…until you, as their Realtor, point out that “a few years” could be over 1,000 days and nights living in a house because you…don’t hate it? Imagine being on a week vacation with one of your friends or co-workers who does that thing that drives you crazy? You know the one I’m talking about. You don’t hate them, it just drives you crazy when they do that one thing. Now imagine living with that “thing” for 1,000 days or more.

I’m not saying it’s smart to wait for the “perfect house” to come along because those visions we have in our daydreams don’t usually have a budget involved. But somewhere between “not hating it” and “I’m never leaving this Oasis” lies your next home. Chance is you’ll find it, so have patience. Be open and honest with your Realtor and tell them what you like and don’t like about every house. I promise you won’t hurt our feelings. It will help us start narrowing down the search (or expanding the search) if need be so we can find you one you love…instead of settling for one you don’t hate.

Have a great week ahead. Go out and build relationships, solve problems and have fun.

There are lots more great articles on Sean’s Carp’s Corner blog.


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