In real estate when we speak of a meeting of the minds we are talking about the buyer and the seller coming together on price and terms. This may also include any needed repairs after inspections and prior to the physical inspection contingency removal. However, some times the meeting of minds has to be between multiple buyers. There are three primary components that need to be agreed upon to get to that meeting of the minds: price, location, and needs vs. wants.
There are two basic steps to price: the pre-approval process & deciding what is a comfortable monthly payment. The first step is relatively easy. You go to your preferred lender (if you don’t have one your agent will) and get pre-approved. However, just because you can get a $600,000 loan with $0 down does mean that you should. Walk through the monthly payments with your lender making sure that you are considering property taxes and any potential Mello Roos or HOA fees that are involved.
I will admit that – for the most part – I haven’t had buyers diverge on location too much. In a situation where both buyers have to commute, both sides are generally amenable to compromise and try to split the difference. Unless an investor, I’ve found that buyers are looking for a quieter spot in an area that feels right to them.
The needs vs. wants, however, is where things can get tricky. It can be hard to distinguish between the two in the heat of the moment – especially in hot markets like American Canyon or Vallejo. Few buyers can get everything, but if their agent is willing to take the time to listen, most buyers can get more of what they want. My recommendation is to focus on the want at first; once a master list has been created it will be easier to cull the list into needs. Once you – as a buyer – have come to an understanding about each other’s needs it will become easier to focus on the wants.
One concept to keep in mind is compromise…sometimes this is with yourself. You might have to give up on a location to get more house; you might have to choose between turn-key and a home that needs a little bit of work; the community pool down the street might just have to be good enough instead of the infinity pool with a view overlooking the Carquinez Straits.
The most important thing throughout the process is to be honest with yourself. Too many home buyers are unhappy with their purchase and have buyer’s remorse. Don’t let this happen to you. Go for as much as you can and – unless there is a compelling reason to move faster – take your time. Yes, it sucks to pay someone else’s mortgage but why pay your own on a home you don’t even like? I can assure you that you will find the right home at the right price in the right location.
To find your next forever home, contact me today.