When meeting with potential agents, there is one very important yet often overlooked aspect of this relationship that can make a huge difference in the decisions you make. You want to make sure that the agent you work with shares your values. Why? You might ask. You're not marrying this person, just working with them to lock in a great deal on the house you want to buy. Ok, there are many reasons why this important.
Firstly, you need to be able to identify and prioritize your values before you begin the house hunt. What's important to you today, in five years, and in ten years? If it's family, then you may prioritize the school district. If it's extended family then you'll want to prioritize being in close proximity to them and having a spacious area for entertaining. If you prioritize your savings, you may opt for something smaller so that you can have a lower mortgage. There are many factors to consider, and making sure that you're realtor understands and shares your values, forces you to identify your own.
Secondly, now that you've identified your values and found a realtor who understands the importance of your short commute to work, or the level of privacy around your property, you're ready to hunt for that ideal house. However, if you're like the average buyer in today's market, chances are that you'll write an offer on at least five houses before one of them is accepted, or even countered. Every time you have your hopes up and someone one else overbids and gets the house, it will feel emotionally draining. After all, you just spent so much time and energy researching the area, looking at every nook and cranny, telling all your friends about it, and so on. At this point, people start to get emotional.
When you begin to make decisions based on emotion instead of your values, you often end up with something that isn't exactly what you wanted – it's not aligned with your values. This is where that relationship with your realtor is really significant. If your realtor understands who you are and what's important to you, they will hold you accountable to the values you listed before you started house hunting. They may advise to keep looking instead of settling for the house that doesn't have the attached garage that you've always dreamed of converting to microbrewery, or a backyard for your dog to run free.
Whatever your dreams and values are, a good realtor will take the time to understand them and when the time comes, they'll be there to remind you of what you really want. This may seem like a lot of work – identifying your values, finding the right realtor, staying focused – but wouldn't it be worse to end up with a mortgage for something you just settled for?