First of all, this is a judgement-free post. REALTORS® are always the first ones to point out that this is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make in your life (which is why, you should always use a REALTOR®, but I digress). So with that said, it's understandable how one could feel the proper approach would be to overcompensate in terms of applying a seriously intense criteria to the house buying process.
1) Having a checklist for what you want is a great idea. But don't consider it sacred text. Once you start the house process, allow it to evolve. Don't feel like you're compromising your priorities if you make a few changes to what you want out of a home. Exploring a bunch of different houses will open your eyes to a whole bunch of features you might not have been aware of prior to the process. Make sure to be open minded.
2) If you're looking for a starter home, look at homes as though they're a starter home! Don't pick the place apart as though you'll be living there for the rest of your natural-born life. By the same token, if you are looking for a forever home, you're allowed to be extra picky (although not too picky - see #1).
3) Many times those who are being overly picky and missing great houses, start to think every home sucks, and they can just customize a home to their liking via renos. Generally this is based on watching a healthy dose of HGTV, and thinking customization is a weekend job that is fun, stress-free, and full of witty banter. I always think it should go without saying that 'reality' shows have almost zero reality in them, but unfortunately this isn't the case, and a ton of people get unrealistic expectations from these lame shows. If you want a fixer upper, fine (although see previous blogs we have posted of what you can reasonably expect for that process). But what we at The Turnkey Group ARE saying is, if you've seen a ton of houses, and now your solution is just to start customizing, it's likely you're the problem, not the houses.
4) Your agent starts to show signs of utter exasperation. Some signs of this might be:
-doing a cartwheel when you mention even a vague possibility of placing an offer
-constantly blowing strands of hair out of her face
-sits in the car while you look through, periodically yelling "can we go to the next house you won't like yet?"
I kid, but agents are people too. If you get the impression your agent is getting a little exasperated, it's possible they feel you've missed out on several good houses that fit the criteria you have clearly outlined. The signs won't be as obvious as the goofy ones I mentioned here. But if you really respect your REALTOR® and know they are patient/good at what they do, signs of them being exasperated might be a sign you are applying a bogus criteria to the process, and missing out on homes that would be a perfect fit.
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