Saturday, August 12, 2006

Try Talking Them Out of Buying That House

We’ve all had this happen. We work with someone for a while, showing them houses that we think are right, or that they want to see. One day they say, "This is the one – I want this house."

Instead of whipping out a contract offer and saying "Sign here," try asking a few questions first. I did this recently and helped someone avoid what could have been a mistake…but I didn’t tell her, she came to the conclusion on her own.

I asked, "What do you like so much about this house?" She answered with the obvious things – the land around it, the building that would house her office, a wonderful updated kitchen. Those are the tangibles, the things that are easy to identify. It’s the intangibles, though, that make a home. It’s the intangibles that make you feel safe, happy, and relaxed when you walk into the right home. Or uneasy, annoyed, and ill at ease when it’s not right.

In this case, the house was older, had small rooms and low ceilings; these folks were moving from a newer home with high ceilings. When I asked how she would feel walking into the master bedroom, her first response was about the low ceilings.

Before long the rosy picture she had painted for herself – she really wanted to like this house – began to change in the light of reality. We didn’t make an offer on that house.

Try talking them out of buying that house. If you can, it wasn't right for them in the first place. I passed up a sale that day, and solidified a relationship that will carry years beyond this one transaction.


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