Finding the Balance

One of my favorite clients was buying a home with her husband while she was finishing law school, studying for the bar exam, and expecting her first child.  Talk about a stressful time.   It would have all been enough without looking for a new home, but sometimes you just have a lot on your plate and you have to manage it somehow.

Buying a home, especially a first home, is stressful.  And if someone ever doubts the need for a real estate agent to guide a buyer through the process, all I have to do is go through the to-do list of home buying and tally-up the time involved.  Figure out how to incorporate it all into your daily life, while keeping your wits about you, and you got yourself one mess of six months.

Unless you find the right agent.

You know you have the right agent if you feel you’d be more stressed without him or her.  An agent will save you loads of time (and money), and navigate you through all you have to do to become a homeowner.  More importantly, though, an agent should help you find the balance between the stress of change and the joy of it.

If you are buying a home, it means you are going through a major life change.  Even if it is just a first small condo, comparable to the apartment you live in, in the same neighborhood, you are still adopting a new lifestyle.  And like all complex processes, home buying is never free to snags, snafus, bumps, and issues.

So don’t overlook the importance of a real estate agent.  Instead find the right one.  When shopping around for an agent, ask yourself the following:

•    Will this person be helpful in making decisions and be supportive of my decisions?
The right agent will direct you to realistic expectations and help shape your home buying goals.  Then, he or she should enthusiastically assist you in reaching those goals.

•    Does this person make me feel secure and calm, or do I find myself stressed and confused?
Some people have sense of security, and some seem to be confused and overwhelmed.  Both are contagious so be careful.  When the home-buying process will meet its inevitable challenges, find someone who’ll make you feel better, not worse.

•    Does he or she explain things in a way I understand?
A real estate transaction has many subtleties and complexities, but it is not difficult.  You should be able to know what is going on the first time it is explained, it is not brain surgery.   Misunderstandings and confusion are a great source of stress and wasted time.  Ask questions and hire an agent who answers them clearly.

And most importantly, keep your sense of humor.  by Ruth Malkin-Lerner, Senior Sales Associate, Dwell360