Are Mom & Dad Helping or Impeding Your Home Purchase?

Reblogger Larry Johnston
Real Estate Agent with Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC RB14037276


It seems that we all run into the home buying situation, where the parent have to put their nose in between you and the Buyer.  Many times, the buying opportunity falls short when the parents talk them out of the home for whatever reason. My first thought was, "I wish they would stay out of it, because they are thinking 1970's prices."  After reading Karen Crowson's blog, I have a different perspective on this. Read below, what she has to say:

Original content by Karen Crowson BRE#01732313

Son & MomHomebuyers, especially First Time Home Buyers,often get advice from family, friends and colleagues. Some of it is spot on, some of it may be well-intentioned but out of sync with the market the buyers are facing, versus what another's own experience was at some past point in time.

I find that many young buyers get help from family members either financially or practically. When family has a vested interest, it’s important to consider the part they play in the transaction. Most of my clients do want the ultimate approval of their parents, but also want to play a lead role in the home selection.  Here are some scenarios that have arisen, and ideas for keeping all parties feeling good about the process.

Collaboration: Being a protective Mom myself, I can understand a parent’s desire to be watchful, making sure their kids are getting sound advice and not getting themselves in over their head.  With permission from my buyer client, I offer to engage the parents in an initial meeting, either on a conference call or in person. One buyer did elect to have his mother on speakerphone while preparing his first written offer. After that, both Mom and son were confident moving forward.

Calming: Fear is evident in many of my First Time Buyer purchases, but typically it is more prominent in the parents than the kids. Past missteps and worry can let anxieties run high. Inviting parents to home inspections or including them on report findings often allows them to feel more comfortable with the home’s condition, or the ability to ask questions. Lots of times, parents offer to help with those smaller repair or maintenance items as they can see the excitement mounting in their offspring’s eyes.

Grounding: One Mom was very instrumental in keeping her daughter realistic about the gap between her dream home and her budget - the classic “champagne taste on a beer budget” scenario.  But daughter was determined to buy a home of her own, even if that meant a fixer. Dad got cold feet when he saw the condition of homes in his daughter’s price range and did not want her to make a purchase at all. Once Mom saw what her daughter would actually get for her money, Mom & Dad decided to help out, allowing daughter to get a safer, and better-built option.

Educating: Another parent was helping financially and wanted his son to ‘get the best deal.’ In a low inventory, multiple-offer market, that wasn’t a realistic expectation. After their son lost out on several properties listening to purchase advice from his parents, Mom & Dad were copied on comp information for future purchases in order to help them understand why lower than asking price offers were costing money in the long run as prices increased on the next round of homes for sale.

I would never discourage anyone from including a family member whose advice is appreciated, especially if that person will be putting sweat equity or money into the equation. Bring all parties together early on can keep everyone feeling good about the outcome.

Karen Crowson on Zillow

Tri Valley real estate for buyers and sellers. Search for homes in Livermore, Pleasanton, and Dublin.

I can also help you in the surrounding areas of Alameda County and Contra Costa County

including Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, San Ramon, Danville, Brentwood and Mountain House

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Trisha Bush-LeFore
Preferred Properties Land & Homes - Walla Walla, WA
Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area


Thanks for sharing this great article on first time home buyers and parents. All pertinent points and good insights.

Jan 31, 2014 12:20 AM #1
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Karen does a great job of presenting "the other side" of the argument.  Thanks for the reblog!

Jan 31, 2014 01:15 AM #2
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Great post to reblog Larry, Karen's advice and how she has handled situations in the past were smart decisions.

Feb 01, 2014 11:19 AM #3
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Evelyn, Thanks for commenting.  Have a great day.

Feb 02, 2014 12:11 AM #4
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

I sold a house to a young couple who were first-time buyers, and the man's parents helped them a lot. They were very hepful, not pushy!  The young couple were so appreciate of the parents..and it was just a very smooth transaction.

Feb 03, 2014 03:32 AM #5
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Rebecca, That was one of the lucky ones, usually their only mission is to find something wrong.

Feb 03, 2014 10:02 PM #6
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Larry Johnston

Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN
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