Finding Your Newton or Brookline House: A Guide for Frustrated Buyers

I overheard someone talking about the long and disappointing process of looking for a home in Brookline the past year. “There is nothing in our price range.” I hear this often, especially about Brookline and Newton houses. So I want to give all the frustrated buyers a few words of advice from experience. Here are three questions to ask yourself and ponder.

1. Am I looking in my price range?
Sometimes I find buyers, especially those looking in a seven figure price point, looking at homes with the dream criteria list, but not the right price range. These buyers go see Brookline homes that have a specific number of bedrooms, square footage, certain style, etc. But the houses are totally out of the price range.

Instead, only look at home you can afford, plus 5-10%. (See my previous post about looking at homes above your price range). Are you sure they won’t do? Don’t rely on the pictures on the computer only, go look at some of the homes. Perhaps with some imagination and a little investment down the line it will be the dream home you can’t afford now.

2. Am I giving up easily?
Buyers going from house to house they can’t afford tend to give up. Looking for a home is a long process so why spend all these hours on something you don’t think will come together?

Hang in there! In fact, I suggest that buyers who are outbid regularly to keep at it. Yours will be a longer and more intense search, but with the dedication and persistence, you can find the right home. Sometimes a home that sits for many months on the market will sell for less than it would otherwise, or a poorly marketed for-sale-by-owner will sell for too little (FSBO’s have many disadvantages in the market ).

Luck, it is said, is preparedness and openness for opportunities. If you quit your search, you will not be positioned for much real estate luck.

3. Am I working with the right agent?
You can find the right agent who’ll be dedicated to your long home searching journey. Don’t commit to anyone until you find someone who is impatient or pushy.

One of the very first things an agent does with a buyer is set expectations. Sadly, though, most agents think this means to set YOUR expectations of what you’ll not get for your money in TODAY’s market. There is more to it.

If an agent says your expectations are unrealistic, walk away and hire someone else. Seriously. No agent knows when and how things will change. There are various opportunities, situations, and if you are serious about moving, you will find the right home.

If you are committed to finding a new home, and you know your needs are as such that you MUST move, then please give yourself plenty of time to search for a home. Find an agent to be your partner, and make the decision that this will take a while. As my Grandmother used to say, “With a bit of patience and some creativity, anything is possible.”

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