If you and your partner are house hunting this Valentine’s Day — don’t let the stress of shopping for a new home dampen your romance. With two different opinions driving the purchase process, it can create disagreements. RE/MAX offers advice and tips for finding your perfect home — together.
TALK ABOUT YOUR FUTURE TOGETHER
“Consider the lifestyle changes most couples face throughout a long relationship,” says agent Lisa Harris of RE/MAX Center in Braselton, Georgia, near Atlanta. “Homeowners are living in their homes longer than ever, so couples need to consider possible lifestyle changes in the future. Think about kids, elderly parents, job changes and hobbies.”
“In my area (metro Denver), I expect buyers to see multiple offers on homes through May and June,” says Manager Phil Shell of RE/MAX Alliance in Arvada, Colorado. “My best advice is for buyers to work with a professional agent who is familiar with the area and offers insights to the local housing market — the way you handle bids over list price and how quickly you react in a seller’s market depends on a specific region’s market. An experienced agent can offer advice on if you should be cautious or a little crazy.”
LISTEN TO EACH OTHER
“I always ask couples to write down their top 10 wants and needs separately, then I compare the lists to see where they can agree — it’s a great starting point for couples to get them on the same page before I begin to show them homes,” says Shell. “If nothing matches on their lists, I have them write down 20, and so on, until they can agree on at least a couple of factors to kick off their house hunting.”
RELY ON A GREAT AGENT
“The first thing I recommend house hunters do is ask their agent important questions,” says Harris. “Questions like, ‘How long have you been in the business?’ ‘How many buyers did you help last year?’ or ‘What are the top three things that separate you from the competition?’” Harris adds that the answers to these key questions allow homebuyers to identify the characteristics and qualifications they value most in an agent. And they also highlight the agent’s strengths that will help guide a couple through the real estate process.