Buyer expectations are an important part of the algorithm for buyers coming to the Sequim area. This is also true for my buyers buying in Port Angeles, or Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, Port Handlock, or also Brinnon or Quilcene. I’ve seen buyer expectations that were not realistic, and that can really derail your plans if you want to buy a home and retire in Sequim. Let me expand on this, because as a buyer you may not be aware of this trap for the unwary buyer, and I’ve come to realize how important this is for buyers to understand.

Buyer Expectations

Buyer Expectations #1

If you are coming from another area in the United States, which almost all of our retirees are, you may have been living in a real estate market that is totally different than the market in Sequim, and that can color your buyer expectations. I’ll give you some real life examples.

I showed a couple homes over a two day period some time back. They couldn’t find their idea of the “perfect” home, so they had to compromise, and they decided to make an offer on the one that best suited them. Of course, there probably isn’t such a thing as the “perfect home” for anyone. We reached an agreement with the seller and proceeded to do the necessary due diligence. I attended the home inspection on their behalf because they went back to Temecula. The inspection report showed a few minor things that were normal in a home that was 22 years old, but nothing major. Nevertheless, the buyers decided to terminate the transaction because they decided it was too far out of town. It was a 22 minute drive to Safeway from the home. Apparently they were having conversations at home about that, and one of them felt that it would be too far to run to town for a half gallon of milk, because according to the wife, “By the time you go to town, shop for milk, and drive back home, it will take an hour.” 

Apparently the buyer expectations for them involved being very close to convenient shopping. Okay, I get that. Why did they have those buyer expectations? They had lived within 7 minutes of a grocery store for the last 35 years. I terminated their transactions according to their instructions. They never did buy a home in the Sequim area. Interesting.

Buyer Expectations #2

I represented a man from Thousand Oaks, and he had lived in an expensive gated community for over 24 years. He was used to having everything in his neighborhood immaculate and maintained to perfection. He wanted to be up high where he could have both a view and some privacy in Sequim. When we looked at homes in the hills around Sequim, he expressed frustration that the driveways to the homes he liked were gravel and some were “steep” compared to the perfectly level roads he was used to in Thousand Oaks. He worried about being “remote” and getting in and out when it snows. His buyer expectations ultimately killed his move to Sequim. He now rents a small home in Edmonds, north of Seattle. Interesting.

Buyer Expectations #3

I had a buyer from a large metropolitan area, and after struggling for months, she finally found the right home. We wrote an offer and reached mutual acceptance with the seller. The home was in nearly perfect condition, and it was in a premium Sequim area. Immediately after the home inspection, she decided to terminate the transaction. Why? She shared that the home had been poorly maintained and there were too many issues of concern. The truth is the home was in extraordinary good condition, had passed the home inspection with flying colors, and the home inspector told me himself he had rarely inspected a home that was so clean and had so little to report. After 23 years in Sequim, I felt the same way. This was the perfect home, if there is such a thing, yet the buyer terminated. Why? Buyer expectations. She expected something that had no blemishes whatsoever, even though this was a “used home” and not brand new construction.

I’ve also had buyers who did not have a good understanding of roofs, HVAC systems, concrete, septic systems, private wells, drainage, and so on, and yet they didn’t listen to my counsel or the inspector’s opinion. They assumed they had knowledge they did not have, and ultimately they made decisions that were not based on what is true and what I would call “reasonable practices.”

There are many verses in Proverbs that say we should “surround ourselves with wise counselors.” I am a strong believer in the idea that we should surround ourselves with wise advisers who are also trustworthy. You need to collect all the relevant information you can, and then ultimately you must make the decision that you feel is in your best interests. So here’s my advice for buyers who want to avoid false buyer expectations.

First, know what you want and what you can afford. Be realistic. Second, find the best Realtor you can with the knowledge and experience you feel will give you what you need. Third, make sure you’ve done your due diligence and that you know how to interview a Sequim buyer’s agent who is absolutely honest, has integrity, and is trustworthy. You would think all buyers would know this, but they do not. Fourth, once you have wise counselors in your corner (your buyer’s agent, your loan office, your home inspector, your well inspector), listen to them. It’s in your own best interests, right? Ultimately, you get to make your own decisions, but make sure your decisions are based on reality, on true facts, and on solid advice.

I hope this helps you align your buyer expectations with reality and make wise decisions for your future. I’m here to help.

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