By Datta Khalsa, Broker
One of my favorite aspects of helping people buy and sell homes is the collaborative nature of the process to get the best result.
To be sure, as trained agents we are perfectly capable of handling the work, whether it’s to locate a suitable property for our buyers or to get a property ready and bring it to market for our sellers, but I generally find we achieve the most satisfying result when everyone involved actively participates in getting there. And while an agent may be very familiar with what it takes to get you there, it is unlikely that they will be able to determine what will be the right path for your journey without having a clear picture of your wants and needs.
As a buyer, a good first step in the search involves aligning your budget with your preferences for style, size, proximity and setting of your ideal home. Some clients come to us with a clear picture of what this is, while others actively change what they’re looking for after becoming familiar with more possibilities than they were aware of before we started taking them around, and that can be very satisfying in and of itself. It's also crucial for both the agent and buyer to be willing to invest the time and effort in searching and touring to check out the latest homes as they come available, particularly in a market where inventory is sparse.
Similarly, as a seller your levels of satisfaction and stress are closely related to understanding and communicating what is important, and this too can be an internal process of discovery to figure out. For instance, it is good to balance your level of motivation against how much you are willing to disrupt your life with showings, or your need for a quick sale against your need to maximize your proceeds by having your agent help with pre-marketing preparations. Or for that matter, how committed you are to letting go of the home in the first place. All these factors can be addressed as terms to include in a well-thought-out Listing or Purchase Agreement, but your agent won’t know to suggest or include these types of terms without a clear understanding of what is important to you.
Ultimately, you are the author of your own life’s story, so it is healthy to communicate and use feedback throughout the chapters of that story that involve real estate to adjust your level of satisfaction with how things are going. I like to remind my sellers that until the home has sold, it’s still their home and they shouldn’t let the tail wag the dog.
We never know where the search for happiness will take us, and it helps to keep an open mind to all possibilities. On occasion, people find happiness in their own back yard after going through all the steps of getting their home ready for the market and looking for another home eventually leads them to fall back in love with where they already were—kind of like the couple in that “Pina Colada” song from the ‘Seventies.
And if finding happiness is what it’s all about, then that counts as success too.