Finding Your Dream Home Too Early

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

Finding Your Dream Home Too Early

There are countless cautionary tales in the world of home buying and selling that a professional real estate agent could share with their clients.  Today's tale is specific to home buyers and is a lesson in "putting the cart before the horse."

The idea of house hunting is so much more fun than getting your own home ready for sale.  It is no wonder that buyers, who are also sellers, put house hunting first.   These clients will often say things like, "We need to make sure we find a place we like before we put our home on the market."   Big mistake.

A few years ago I met a couple who thought the same thing, though there were other limitations that only time and cash would help, that hindered their ability to sell.  Their needs were very specific.  While accruing cash to right their financial ship, they would occasionally call to see a property.  To keep in touch and get ideas about what they wanted, I obliged.

Then one day, we found IT.  This particular property had many out structures that most buyers probably thought were pointless.  They were EXACTLY what my buyers wanted.  Yet, they still weren't ready to sell and were unable to make a move.  We talked about doing a temporary rental with a longer term contract, but the seller wanted a real deal.  And he got it.   My buyers were bummed.

When they were ready to take the steps necessary to get out there and buy what they need, they discovered nothing compares to the home they found too early.  The dream home that ended up vanishing before their eyes.

These clients are not the only ones who got ahead of themselves and ended up disappointed even when they ended up finding a property.  That's a bad way to start life in a new home..with disappointment that your new home does not measure up as your true dream home.  To avoid that, it is best to keep house hunting to when you are truly ready, willing and able to pull the trigger on the purchase.  What you don't know is out there when you aren't ready, willing or able, you will never know.  

When your agent recommends you not start seeing property until you have been qualified by a lender, or listed your home, they are doing it for a reason.  House hunting is emotional enough without feeling perpetual disappointment that you lost your dream home.



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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Chris Ann,

I am glad this post was featured.  One has to have all their ducks in a row prior to looking for one's home.  Great example you shared with us.  A

Jan 04, 2017 01:53 PM #4
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

Chris Ann

Some of the best advice you have offered. This type of disappointment leaves a long lasting, foul taste and I even had buyers quit looking due to this. Hope your buyers didn't, cheers cvc

Jan 04, 2017 02:26 PM #5
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Chris Ann

Buying a home is timing . . . . along with a commitment to buy . . . . and commitment sell an existing if it's required.  Homes don't sit on a market to where a buyer can look at a home and make a decision a month later. 

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jan 04, 2017 02:42 PM #6
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

making it harder than it is is what people suffer from....

Jan 04, 2017 02:45 PM #7
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Chris Ann, there is nothing like living with ones disappointment for not having listened to their agent.  The perpetual kicking of ones self in the backside is painful.  

Jan 04, 2017 03:00 PM #8
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Chris Ann, Exactly the reason we have the conversation with our buyers about having their preapproval done and being ready to actually buy before looking, or else risk having their heart's broken.   Better to have their ducks in a row first.

Jan 04, 2017 03:29 PM #9
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Chris Ann, on occasion I've had buyers want to put the cart before the house but I know that isn't the wise or best choice until their home is on the market and it has a bonifide offer on it. Sellers in my area typically won't even consider an offer with a contigency of selling a current home (unless we can prove that they have an offer on the table and it's an excellent offer).  Even then it's a tough sell......

Jan 04, 2017 03:46 PM #10
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

It can be extremely disappointing to a buyer that needs to get their house sold and their enthusiasm for the last part of their needs takes their focus from the nee to get their home ready to sell.

Jan 04, 2017 04:15 PM #11
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Chris Ann - That's solid advice, and following it will help buyers avoid a common disappointment. We have gotten away from this a bit lately in our market since literally everything seems to sell quickly right now, but you never know.

Jan 04, 2017 04:51 PM #12
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I will show potential sellers home one time and then they need to be on the market before we go again.

I take them only to prestine homes so they know what NICE homes look like.  It helps get them to understand when i say work needs to be done

Jan 04, 2017 04:55 PM #13
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

You make excellent points about finding that dream home too early, Chris Ann! It has happened to a few of my clients in the past.  What we did to save the day was to procure interim financing or a bridge loan to save the day.

Jan 04, 2017 05:04 PM #14
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Chris Ann, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!    

Jan 04, 2017 05:05 PM #15
Noel Mayer

Thank you for sharing lesson learned  

Jan 04, 2017 05:18 PM #16
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Oh boy you hit a hot spot with me, Chris Ann. You know, I tell sellers this all the time. I say DO NOT go look at homes until you have sold your home. Explain all the reasons, then I follow up with, "OK, I know you understand and you agree with me, and I will forgive you when you go out and do it anyway, because everybody always does, not matter what I say."

At least my conscious is clean when they all of a sudden will do whatever it takes to dump their house. Your guys will find another "dream" home.

Jan 04, 2017 08:34 PM #17
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

If a home owner can't afford to own both houses at the same time, they really need to get their home on the market first. Sellers don't want to agree to a deal with a contigency on a home sale when the house isn't even on the market.

Jan 05, 2017 03:33 AM #18
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing:

The idea of house hunting is so much more fun than getting your own home ready for sale.  It is no wonder that buyers, who are also sellers, put house hunting first.   These clients will often say things like, "We need to make sure we find a place we like before we put our home on the market."   Big mistake.

Jan 05, 2017 04:27 AM #19
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I never show home to people who are not fully qualified for this exact reason. Hearts get crushed.

Jan 05, 2017 06:15 AM #20
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Great advice Chris Ann Cleland , i had a lady just today, went through everything, she dodged my question and then said she will be ready in 2-3 years but was demanding to get in a big home Friday just to see. 

Jan 05, 2017 01:47 PM #21
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent post and well deserved feature! I'm not sure it works for my situation though.

My husband and I are currently looking for a change and my house isn't listed. We don't know if we are buying another home, buying land and building, or staying put another year. We could not risk selling our current home without knowing where we are going. We have been looking for months now and haven't found what we want. Had we listed and gotten an offer we could be homeless. 

We have an agent and she understands our situation. I understand the risk, but it's one we are willing to take.


Jan 05, 2017 02:19 PM #22
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Well deserved feature Chris Ann Cleland. Many start their search too soon. We get a lot of visitors in FL, some love to see homes while they're on vacation hoping/thinking they might one day move. 

Jan 05, 2017 06:48 PM #23
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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