I just started working with my wonderful graphics gal on the cover design of my next book, Prospect with Soul. I have a wide variety of visions of how it's gonna look; what elements I want to include, what message I want the cover to convey, what font I want to use for the title and subtitle, etc.
We're in Phase One right now. I just sent over a whole mess of stock photos I grabbed online with explanations of why I like each and think it would be a nice concept to consider.
So, as it stands at this very moment, the cover of Prospect with Soul may include my SWS Zen rocks... an ecstatic woman throwing her hands in the air... a businesswoman in a yoga pose looking out over the ocean... a beautiful sunset... a glorious blue sky... some bamboo... my SWS Daisy... a starburst... some water ripples that wrap around the book and... and... and...
In other words, I'm all over the board. In the end, the cover of my book will likely be something completely, utterly different from what I have in my mind's eye right now.
Is my graphics gal frustrated with me? I don't think so. She knows it's a necessary part of the process. To explore different concepts, try them on; see how they feel. I throw out an idea; she sends me back a mock-up of it. She's perfectly aware that everything we're tossing around today will likely be tossed right out the window tomorrow. But she's not rushing me or pressuring me to commit to a concept just yet; she's playing along, again, because she knows, yes, it's part of the process.
It's the same with home-buyers, of course. They come into the game with an idea of what they're looking for, perhaps based on nothing but where a friend told them they should live or a fantasy of what they always imagined their dream house to be.
As you show them homes, their vision of that dream home may change and evolve. They may want to explore other neighborhoods or school districts. They may want to consider other property types or floor plans. They may want to raise or even lower their price range. They might even, <gasp> decide that they want to change their timeframe.
It's all part of their process and we aren't going to rush them through it. Or, at least, we shouldn't; it's not in their best interest, or, frankly, in ours. If the buyer feels uncomfortable pressure from his real estate agent to make a decision before he's ready, he may very well find himself a new real estate agent. Or perhaps he'll make an offer on a home he doesn't really want, and later have an attack of buyer's remorse (and we all know who gets blamed for that!).
Respect the process. And everyone wins!