“Don’t worry. There will be other houses, and you’re going to end up with one you like even better than this one. Things will work out”.

Have you heard these words when you just lost your dream house in a multiple offer bidding war?  It is hard to hear when your heart has just been broken, and it sounds like your Realtor or your best friend is mouthing some meaningless pleasantry offered to make you, a disappointed buyer, feel better.

As a Realtor with 27 years experience, including a few deals that didn’t come together and others that fell apart, I have to confess that, indeed, things almost always work out. And no matter how in love my buyers were with a particular home, they invariably found something that’s an equal or even better fit. In my experience, that’s true even in vastly different market conditions.  The overwhelming majority do find a home they love.

I am sure you are thinking – I am just saying that to make the buyers’ settling easier, but that is not so. I get to know my clients pretty well, and I think I would know if they were kidding themselves and me. And I am watching for that, because I don’t want my clients to just settle for any house.)

And that brings up some interesting questions:

How many potentially “perfect homes” are there out there for my buyers? Beyond the physical requirements – looking at something that speaks to buyers emotionally – why should a buyer assume there is only one best fit? Should you really use the singular in phrasing your search – why not look for “perfect homes”, plural? If you did that, how might it change your expectations? How should we best manage that change?

As adults, we know that, for most buyers, compromise is a necessary part of the buying process – few of us can have everything we want in a home.

As a buyer you should divide your search criteria into must haves and wish list.  The location or school district may seem like a must have – but is that elementary school the only one that scores a ten on the Greatschools.org website? Probably not.  There are several great communities – not just one – near the metro, the Dulles Access road, the ICC or the Beltway that will fit your commuting pattern.  Look at options for your must haves. Chances are there is more than one community that will fulfill your must haves.

Look at your other “must haves.”  Are they features that can be added later? If you really want granite and stainless, hardwood floors, a deck, or a soaking tub, price them out at Home Depot.  Maybe that dream house carries a price tag that is greater than the cost of installing the “must have” amenities in an older house.

Keep your eyes and your heart open as you look at homes this spring. Chances are there are more “perfect” homes out there than you realize!

If you want help finding a great home, give the Lise Howe Group a call at 240-401-5577 or email us at lise@lisehowe.com.  We look at over 100 homes a week. Chances are we already saw your perfect home!