Family Buy-in When Purchasing a Home

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Purchasing a home is a family decision - yea or nay? I’m sure many of you have found yourselves in this situation. You and your spouse or partner are in the quest for a home and have seen countless properties during the process. Now you’ve found one that you both agree could be your next dream home. This begs the next question - how do you feel about family buy-in on the purchase of the home. Should this important decision include the opinions of your kids, parents and/or in-laws, for example. Are they entitled to a vote and/or to weigh in on the decision? Hmmmm….

The kids - If the kids are young, the answer is fairly straightforward. All things being equal, they should see the property - and will likely love it if you do - but they don’t need to be decision makers in the process. It becomes a bit more complicated as the kids age. Their opinions do matter. They should 100% see the house and be asked their opinion. But should they be decisions makers? For example, if your 16-year-old son doesn’t like the house or want to move, should that prevent you from pursuing your dream home?

Parents and In-Laws - The same holds true with parents and in-laws - at least as I see it. You’d like their opinion, but if it’s a “no-go, should that effect your decision? To make matters more complicated, what if they are investing in the potential property? And what if your parents or in-laws live with you and/or take care of your children while you work? Perhaps they feel your potential dream house is too remote. They want a location that is walk-to-town so they can go on fun adventures with your kids during the day, and you prefer a peaceful, serene setting that is a 15 minute drive to shops, restaurants and public transportation. This is getting more difficult by the second….

My final thoughts - and the bottom line from my perspective - are that while you’d like to have buy-in and a thumbs-up vote from your children, parents and in-laws about your next potential home, it really comes down to you and your spouse or partner. A family member’s financial investment in the new home complicates matters and should be seriously considered and evaluated, but at the end of the day, this is a decision for you and your partner.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you found yourself in a similar scenario - where you and your spouse loved your next potential dream home and certain family members didn’t? How did you handle the situation? I can’t wait to hear…..

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.


5 Things to Remember in a Bidding War

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The dreaded bidding war. You’ve found your dream home but so have 10 other buyers. Your first thought is probably #$%&@! But don’t despair…. Before you feverishly start putting together your offer and get thrust into an insanely competitive home-buying scenario, take a deep breath and remember these thoughts which I hope will guide you through the process:

  1. Keep in mind that the pricing strategy is different in a bidding war. If you truly want to buy/”win” the house in a multiple bid situation, the competitive offers - and not the comps - become the most relevant part of your pricing strategy. The comps go out the window and are basically irrelevant - that is if you want to successfully win the bidding war.

  2. Put your best foot forward at the get go. Start as strong as you can because you don’t know what the seller will do with the offers. S/he may decide to go back to the strongest offer and just work with those buyers.

  3. Only do what is comfortable for you. If you push your offer price too high, remove contingencies and overextend yourself financially, you may win the bidding war but you likely won’t be able to ultimately go through with the deal, which isn’t fair to anyone, including you.

  4. Remind yourself that you are purchasing your next home and not trying to beat out the other buyers. This ties in with point #3. Don’t get caught up in the hysteria of a bidding war, focusing only on winning and losing sight of the home you are buying. It’s about your potential new home and not the competitive game.

  5. Remember that only one buyer will purchase the property. So the odds of your offer being accepted may not be high depending on the specific scenario. That being said, even if your offer is not accepted, it can happen that the first (or second) offer will fall through, and you could be hearing from the listing agent. As Bebe Rexha says, “If it’s meant to be, it’ll be….”

What are your thoughts on bidding wars? Have you ever found yourself in a multiple bid situation? Were these thoughts ones you kept in mind as you ventured through the process? And how did you fare in the war? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.


The Time to Get the Best Deal When Buying a House

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The time to get the best deal when buying a house is - drumroll please - NOW! And by now, I mean the late Fall market into the holidays. If you’re scratching your head and wondering why this is true, here are the three primary reasons that sellers are extra motivated to sell at this time of the year:

  1. The real estate market virtually goes on hiatus for three months. In early-mid November when Thanksgiving comes onto the horizon, buyers tend to get into holiday mode - not only for Turkey Day but also for Hanukkah, Christmas and the start of the New Year. And then once the New Year has begun, it takes a bit for buyers to focus on real estate again especially if the weather is cold, snowy, icy and yucky. This translates to a very slow market for most of November, December, most or all of January and sometimes even into February*. There is no other time in the year when the real estate market activity slows for this amount of time. And for those who are anxious to sell and can’t afford to wait at least another three months to potentially do so, they will accept the price that allows them to move on and sell now. 

  2. Many sellers don’t want to carry their homes through the winter. They don’t want to deal with some of the damaging and costly issues that can come up during the winter months, i.e. pipes freezing, ice dams, heating problems, shoveling/plowing snow time and time again, etc. I have found that this can be especially true if the sellers are elderly as home care-taking in the winter can be quite taxing for them. I also see this with sellers who no longer live in the house and can’t monitor the housing issues/situations that tend to arise in the winter months. Therefore these sellers are especially motivated to get the deal done before the harsh weather comes and potential ensuing issues emerge.

  3. Sellers know that they will be competing with fresh, new-to-the-market inventory in the Spring. During the Fall market, the sellers’ homes have accrued days on the market (DOM) - often significant DOM. In addition, their homes have been on the market and haven’t sold which often leads buyers to wonder what’s wrong with the properties. So not only are these sellers stuck with homes that have a prolonged market time** but also that need an explanation for why they haven’t sold. The bottom line is that these properties often have a hard time competing with the fresh, new-to-the market inventory in the Spring. And knowing this can make sellers more motivated to accept offers that allow them to sell now instead of waiting to do so in the Spring market.

There are two caveats to getting a deal at the end of the Fall market. First, not all sellers are motivated to sell their homes despite the reality of the three issues outlined above. And if you end up negotiating with one of these un-motivated sellers, you probably won’t end up with a great deal. Second, the downside to buying at this time is that the inventory is sparse. And so you may be able to get a great price on a house, but you might have problems finding a property that fits your needs and desires.

Have you ever found yourself in this situation - looking for a deal on a house at the end of the Fall market? Were you able to find it? If not, what prevented you from getting a great deal? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

* The start of the Spring market varies depending on the town or city in which you live.

** Although there are tricks to making market time less apparent, there is no way to erase it.