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25 Dec 2012
Have you ever thought about the Psychology of Buying a Home? Maybe you haven’t really thought about it, or that there may be a such a thing, but there is. The entire mental and emotional process of buying a home, of thinking about all the issues that buying a home entails, of negotiating the price and terms, and of being in an adversarial relationship with a seller when so much is at stake–all of this involves a dynamic exchange of conscious and subconscious thoughts during the process of buying a home. Most buyers are unaware of the importance of understanding the psychology of buying a home.
Perhaps the stories of two buyers will open the secret gate to your own mental and emotional world and to your own psychology of buying a home. As a psychologists might say, “The first key to progress is the realization that there is an issue you are unaware of. After that, the mind begins to comprehend and learn at a rapid pace and new possibilities open up.”
Both couples had been thinking about retiring for many years, and they researched where they wanted to live on the Internet, narrowing their number one choice down to Sequim, Washington. Both couples were retiring from professional careers, had good credit and nice retirement pensions. They were both conservative with their finances and were very careful about the decisions they made, primarily because they wanted to assure their security into their retirement years without causing unnecessary stress. They went through a very similar process of searching online real estate sites and filtering through available homes, and eventually arrived in Sequim to look at 8 to 12 homes over two days. Neither couple gave a thought to the psychology of buying a home. But this is where the similarities end.
The first couple, John and Mary (not their real names), found their ideal home. It was nearly perfect. They asked their Realtor many questions, and the answers often raised more questions. They had a hard time resolving the questions and answers because of unresolved issues in their own lives. They struggled to get that first offer on paper. It took weeks. They had many insecurities from their past that hindered their ability to move forward with their plans. While they knew consciously that they could trust their Realtor, subconsciously they could not seem to move on his advice. They battled internally with nearly every decision along the way, with great emotional turmoil, and ultimately they made an offer too late. Their perfect home was sold to another buyer. They never moved to Sequim, and today they live with regrets. (They never knew there was anything like the psychology of buying a home.)
The second couple, Joe and Cindy (not their real names), also found their ideal home. It was nearly perfect. They asked their Realtor questions, comprehended his answers and made wise decisions that were in their best interest. By the way, they also hired a mature and experienced Realtor who they knew they could trust absolutely. Joe and Cindy were emotionally and psychologically mature, so they did not have uncontrollable emotional switches, and they did not engage in subconscious self-sabotage. They promptly made a reasonable offer on a home they had dreamed of for years in a town (Sequim) that they had envisioned for many years, and after one counteroffer, they reached mutual acceptance. Their transaction closed smoothly, and they lived happily ever after. (This couple internalized the lessons of a psychology of buying a home, but they never analyzed it as such.)
These two stories are true stories. Not made up. In fact, these two stories repeat themselves in real life over and over again. I have personally witnessed these two patterns many times over the past three decades. Which couple will you choose to be? John and Mary or Joe and Cindy?
There is such a thing as the psychology of buying a home. If your Realtor is unaware of this, or the importance of understanding how to interpret the seller’s behavior during the negotiations and due diligence period, you may not end up moving to Sequim to live the life of your dreams. But if you and your Realtor understand the psychology of buying a home, and can work through all the issues that come up, you just may be one of the lucky couples who retire in Sequim, buy their dream home, and live happily ever after without regrets.
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