DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS
Like all real estate agents I work with all kinds of clients, but a few years ago I realized that many of my clients were single women. There is a natural affinity of course, as a single mom myself. And of course single women make up a growing number of buyers. But are single women any different than other buyers? I think so.
The biggest difference in working with single women is that they bring to the process a more collaborative decision making process. Couples may consult with a family member or friend but in my work with women buying and selling homes there tends to be multiple advisors, and more consultations than when I work with couples or single men. Bringing in extra people to the decision making process can be a strength an a burden, depending on how the home buying process is planned.
Working with Mary was a fairly intense process all along. WhenI showed Mary houses she would have a genuine response. She liked the house, loved a garden, hated the kitchen, was concerned about the commute etc. But by the next day that response would change based on what friends, her sister or her boyfriend said. I felt like there were shadows following us, driving Mary to doubt her authentic reactions to houses. She was trapped in paralyzing indecision. I asked Mary to limit the number of people she asked about each house and choose one advisor. She chose her sister.When we saw a house Mary liked, I asked her to set a time on the spot to bring her sister in. With her advisor on board and engaged in the process we were able to find a house quickly.
Tracy knew from the start that her friends' opinions mattered to her. On Sundays she would go to open houses and afterwards send me reports from "the committee". The "committee" gave Tracy their feedback in real time, while she was looking at homes, so by the time she contacted me, the property had been vetted. Every weekend she looked at properties with the same group of friends. I never met the committee, but I value how much they helped Tracy choose a home.
Patty is a senior manager for a large corporation. She picked me to be her agent after firing another agent who did not meet her high standards, and interviewing several other agents. Unlike many of my single women clients she did not seek the advice of friends. When we walked into a modern two bedroom townhouse with a lovely garden, she knew it right away. This was the one. We wrote a competitive offer and Patty beat out three other potential buyers. We reviewed inspection reports and I thought everything was going smoothly. Then Patty mentioned that she wanted to go by the property with a friend. Patty's friend thought the layout was a problem. She didn't think Patty would enjoy the kitchen remodel that the place needed. Patty was ready to call the whole thing off after walking through with her friend. The next day we went back and I reminded Patty of all the reasons she had told me that this was the right place for her. She closed on the townhouse and has loved her home for the last five years.
Figuring out whose opinions matter most to you, and engaging them in the search early will make buying a house far less stressful. Bring your advisor in as soon as you are interested in a property. If the opinion of an advisor is crucial they should be involved before writing the offer. I encourage my clients to decide who they will consult with as they are starting the process. Look at online listings with that person and see if thy can join you in looking at open houses.
Creating a team for my clients means not only the friend or family member who will look at the property, but also professionals. Its important to connect with a lender right away.
When a client is looking at properties that need work I like to bring in an architect or builder. This can be someone the client has brought in or someone from my resource list. Women tend to focus on relationships in decisions making and analyze long term effects of their decisions. A team approach can relieve some of the stress of making such a big purchase that will have long term impact.
Join us on November 7th for the first workshop of a Home of One's Own series.
Women and Real Estate
· The Power of Women Buyers in the Real Estate Market
· Your Greatest Purchase
· The Decision Making Process
· Buying a home as a single woman or in a relationship
· Becoming an investor
· Building a team of professionals
· Building a support team