Jim Valentine: Who do you listen to?
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, there are voices in your world that push and pull you in multiple directions. The brother-in-law often throws in an opinion as do your mom and dad, grandparents, friends, aunts and uncles, bosses or peers at work. Add to that your attorney, accountant and friends and you have a veritable cacophony of opinions that don’t always agree or even blend well.
Going into a real estate transaction, you should know that it will stir a lot of response from your sphere of influence. Some might have real experience they can share with you while others just want to live vicariously through your transactional experience. You have to be able to discern the difference while not offending anyone. It is understandable that you share the fun of buying a new home to live in with those in your life, but be ready for the response. Some will be ultra cautious, want to reign you in and study the situation for three months or so. Clearly, they aren’t active in today’s market.
Others will push the other way, encouraging you to go beyond your means. It is easy to do once the emotional flow of the purchase begins to take effect, and we caution you to stay focused on your wants and needs. While we caution against compromising your wants and needs in an emotionally trying market, we also don’t like to see buyers going all in and overextending to get everything regardless of the financial consequences. Just because the lender says you can borrow a certain amount of money doesn’t mean it is wise to borrow to the maximum amount. Things come up in life that you should have a cushion for.
In the midst of the chaos of opinions swirling around you is the voice of your real estate professional. One would think that would be the sage wisdom to be depended on, but be sure that you have an agent who has taken the time to learn what you really want and can afford. A good professional agent will help you with a variety of positives and negatives about your situation so you have the ability to glean the right overall perspective. It is an art to match emotion and investment, but a good agent will do that for you. Make sure your agent is working for you, not herself, and you will have a base opinion from which to compare the others.
Other professionals can contribute in a meaningful way, i.e. attorney and accountant. You want to minimize your legal jeopardy in a transaction and make sure that your portfolio and estate are well protected. Your insurance agent can help you here as well. Do you need an umbrella policy? Do you have the right coverage? Then there is the accountant, the one that can save you thousands with their advice. If they “stay in their lane,” each of these professionals will contribute with their professional expertise to the overall transaction and subsequent ownership process.
Our advice: You can surround yourself with “yes” people, but then you aren’t getting the true overall picture from multiple perspectives. The best way to move forward in the chaos is with confidence and the best way to achieve that is to be ultra clear in your wants and needs. Your agent will help you establish those upfront before you fall in love with a property or get frustrated with the market. When you’ve identified your objectives clearly, you will be able to approach and move on a property with confidence. With that you can get the best from all of your “advisers” and use it how it best serves you.
None of the friends, family or professional people in your life intend to hurt you, but they can compromise your objective of getting what you want if they don’t truly understand it or the real estate industry, its many nuances, and how they affect you and your purchase and satisfaction with your purchase. Live in the eye of the storm during your transaction, stay true to your wants and needs and you will live with the result that is best for you and your family. When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs … Experience is Priceless!
Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. firstname.lastname@example.org