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Do buyers need home buying plans?

Posted by Rona Fischman February 20, 2012 01:51 PM

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Sam Schneiderman, Broker-owner of Greater Boston Home Team is our Monday guy. Today he discusses why and how he helps his buyer-clients create a home buying plan before viewing property with them.
Sam has this one question poll for you.

Most buyers start their search online and by attending open houses to get a feel for the market. While that seems like it makes a lot of sense and leads to a home purchase, I think that is like putting the cart in front of the horse.

In my experience, buyers that start by focusing on the property get easily seduced by the real estate. That leads to home buying by emotion, which is the worst way to buy. Home purchases need to be balanced by thoughtful consideration of the logical and business side of the equation to be truly successful.

If buyers are working with an agent, lack of planning confuses the agent and wonít allow the buyers to tap into their agentís knowledge base to help the buyers achieve their goals. Couples without a plan typically have conflicting priorities and can wind up disagreeing over which house will be best for them. Some people need to look at a lot of homes, which they should if they have the time, but Iíve found that a good plan allows me to screen for properties that are likely to be a better match for the buyers so that they can define their criteria even more. Since I started coaching my buyers to create home buying plans before we started looking at properties, I have found that my buyers stay in their homes and condos longer than those who bought without a plan.

In addition to discussing financing, here are some of the questions that I ask my buyers before we beginning looking at homes or condos. The answers often lead to more questions or discussions so that we can get a really good feel for what is likely to work for them and what may not.

Why do you want to buy?
How long do you see yourself staying in this property?
Where do you work and how will you commute to work (public transportation or by car)?
Do you think that you might move to a different employer in a different location while you are living in the property?
If so, do you have a sense of where that is likely to be?
What is the longest commute from your current employer or projected employer that you would be comfortable with?
What are your absolute must haves?
What else would you like to have?
Do you plan to have pets in the property?
If you are buying with a spouse or significant other and planning to have children in your new home, will both of you continue to work?
What amenities do you need to have nearby and how close do they have to be?
What willl you do with your home after you move it (sell it or hold it as an investment)?
Which is more important to you, the home or the location? Why?
Did you think that buyers would benefit from a plan before they start looking at property?
Did you?
You are invited to take a one question poll on the subject and Sam will post the results in the comments section on Wednesday.


This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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