By Doug Hutchins, Castle Pines Realtor
I recently purchased a home for myself and the one re-occurring thought I had during the process was “I need a Realtor!” Is that an odd statement for a Realtor to make?
Not really. Some say: The home buyer who represents himself has a fool for an agent. Of course, the temptation and instinct is for the Realtor to ignore that good advice because, after all, “I am good at what I do”.
As a Colorado Realtor, I am completely comfortable with the purchase process, the contracts, valuing a home and negotiating. There is no doubt that as a professional I have a substantial advantage over the typical home Buyer because of my experience and knowledge. However, the one service I cannot provide myself is to not become emotionally involved in the purchase.
When Buyers think of hiring a Realtor, I believe most Buyers focus the on the tangible benefits — guiding the Buyer through the process, explaining the contracts, determining home values and negotiating a contract. But I believe the very important intangible service a Realtor provides might be the most important – not becoming emotionally involved in the transaction. Purchasing a home is an emotional event for almost all Buyers. Buyers fall in love with a home. They walk through the front door and they have a “feeling” that this is the right home for them.
The problem is that when you fall in love with a home, it can be hard to walk away or make tough decisions, if necessary, during the purchase process. I encountered just such a situation during my home purchase. Before I even wrote an offer on this home I knew that it had had substantial work done to it to correct errors made by the original builder during construction. I do business in this area and had seen the home being worked on for several months. I had also talked to several neighbors that knew they were having issues with leaking windows and mold. It is a very long and complicated story, but through the process of purchasing the home and during the inspections, I found that the Seller had not been forthright about all the work that had been completed on the home and all of the inspections that were done.
At this point I started to focus on my emotions more than on the facts. I was wondering if there were other items that had not been disclosed that would dissuade me from purchasing the home. My imagination started to run wild with all the things that could go wrong with the home. I was tying myself in knots. I needed the advice of someone who was not emotionally involved in the purchase – I needed a Realtor!
Ultimately, I tried to do for myself what I do for all my clients. I focused on the facts and not my emotions. The facts were that I had hired four different inspectors to come and evaluate this home. I was confident in the expertise of those inspectors and I trusted them completely. Well, I almost trusted them completely. I might have been more confident and relaxed with another set of eyes looking at the issues from my perspective.
With the testing I had done on the home, there was not anything that could have slipped through the cracks. I ultimately did the right thing and did purchase the home, but it sure would have been a lot easier and less stressful if I had a Realtor! I came very close to making an emotional decision that I would have ultimately regretted.
I will be a lot more empathetic with my buyers from here on out. It’s easy to forget how much this business requires caring, thoughtful and non-emotional expertise. I just wish I cold have done the same for myself. So does my wife who had live though the trauma and agony with me and my sleepless nights. What a lesson that is to learn.