Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me
This weekend, I had a former client, a First time Home Buyer, contact me after several months. This client had contacted me initially over a year ago, looking to buy his family (consisting of six including him and his wife) their first home. I was totally jazzed to work with him, because he was my first lead I had received from a Craigslist campaign! I referred him to a lender, and although his FICO was soft (a term that I use for low FICO, under 640), he and his wife were able to qualify for $340,000.
As a First time home buyer, he was unfortunately disillusioned, or maybe even brainwashed with the HGTV ease of home buying. A year ago home prices were roughly 10-20% less than they are today (in most of Los Angeles County). Based upon the clients criteria of four bedrooms, large kitchen, large enclosed backyard, upgraded kitchen and bathrooms....there were only a few homes in areas that he considered acceptable. After changing the location, I found two suitable homes that offers were submitted. We successfully received a counter offer (yes, in this market sometimes receiving a counter is considered success!); my client got cold feet. He determined that the house did not have the "wow factor" that he is looking for. Please keep in mind that his wife is the reasonable one, that just wants a 'starter home with potential', but clearly he is 'wearing the pants' in this relationship. He decided that he would wait longer, to save more so that they could pay all the closing costs. Great, at least we can write a stronger offer.
After a few months, this client called me again, and they had saved for the closing costs! Great, so the search begins. And again I find one house that met all the criteria, including the price. At the counter offer stage.....my client decides that he doesn't like the way one room is 'tandem', and they (HE) could certainly do better. Really??? In this sellers market? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
So...this weekend I got the call. The client sounded defeated. He told me that he was again interested in looking, and wanted to find a home before the school season. I informed him that the home prices had increased, and that the interest rates had gone up. He acknowledged that he had been watching the prices, and that he'd gone to some open houses and spoke to some other agents. I listened, and informed him that the fact that he was qualified for $340,000, may have decreased; and that if he was serious about looking he should again get pre-qualified to see if there were any improvements to his FICO or changes to what he qualified for. I told him that I hope he is not priced out of the market. He informs me that he interested in Montclair (an area that rarely has homes less than $350,000). Really??? I'd like to buy a house in Beverly Hills for $400,000, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
I searched properties in areas that he can actually afford, and sent it to him. I don't think that he is willing to budge on his desire to live in other areas, but he said that he is (theoretically) willing to accept a three bedroom. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. It's a sellers market, and I don't know if I'm willing to take another ride with an unrealistic, client. What are your thoughts? The saying "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me" comes to mind.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.