Tips for Buyers and Sellers
Recently, I placed my mother-in-law’s home on the market for sale. It’s an incredibly cute beachfront condo located within a highly coveted private gated community in Huntington Beach. Ocean views, stunning sunsets, and just steps from the beach – Location, Location, Location!
To top it off, these homes rarely go up for sale! Mom is retiring in less than a year and wondering, “should I sell my house when I retire?” Like many of us, she has been witnessing the escalating prices in the market and the accelerating value of her home. After looking at her impressive equity, nearly tripling her investment in less than a decade, she felt that she was in a great position to sell her place when she retires! Great News, right? Well, not so fast.
As anticipated, multiple offers were received within days of the listing. However, something wasn’t right for Mom, the offers were making her feel sick instead of happy. She insisted, “I’m retiring, it’s the right time to sell my house, I can make so much money,” it didn’t feel like the great news she had initially expected. Instead, the offers signaled the fast-approaching imminent sale of her home and it didn’t feel good. She began asking herself again, “why should I sell my house when I retire?”
We talked and it became obvious that making money was not actually her motivation for selling; it was not her “Why,” so I didn’t feel right either. My goal as an agent is not to maximize profits for my customers. It’s great when that happens, but it’s not my purpose. My purpose is to take care of all the real estate needs of my clients. I value positive energy and a feeling of connection with my clients. For me, it is of paramount importance to more deeply understand my client’s needs and to identify their unique “why.”
What does the “Why” mean? The “why” refers to why a client is doing what they are deciding to do. While it seems simple enough, this experience led me to refine my process of how I work with clients to identify their “why.” The word itself, why, can often make us feel defensive and can trigger pressure to provide a “good reason” for choosing whatever it is we’re choosing. Answers like, “I want to make money”, can be void of any real meaning and unfortunately lead to an unfullfilling outcome.
Back to my Mother-in-Law, we realized that she was feeling the pressure of retiring and the markets skyrocketing prices. Mom realized that she was unsure of the next chapter in her life. So she asked her self again, why should I sell my house when I retire? She loves the beach and wants to be close to her family, and she wants to ensure her financial future. However, the “Why” did not live inside any of these reasons! After a few sleepless nights, I realized that taking her home off the market was the right thing to suggest. I knew it was the right thing to do when I witnessed her relief. I called the other agents who had offers in and respectfully declined their offers at or above the asking price.
There is no tripling of the investment for mom, there is no commission for me as the agent . . . and there is no better place to be! You see, the best transaction I can make as a real estate agent is the one that satisfies the real “Why.” If a client is not feeling confident and joyful about their “why,” then the “why” is definitely in question. In the end, we established that mom’s “why” didn’t feel good to her. Essentially, when the “why” doesn’t feel right, it means we didn’t actually have a “why” to begin with. I am proud of Mom’s decision to keep her beautiful beach home, and I am pleased to say I kept my promise to always “take care of my client’s real estate needs.”
I’m grateful and thankful that Mom realized her “why” – that selling her home wasn’t the right thing to do. Together we learned how important it is to ask, how does my “why” feel? This experience allowed me to hone in on my process of identifying my clients “why”. In addition to gathering answers to questions like “what is the square footage of your home,” I also apply a systematic approach to developing and honoring my client’s “why.” If we can’t confidently and happily establish the “why,” I’m no longer in alignment with my core values. When the “Why” is clearly defined, I know how to take care of my clients, their transactions, and I can assure a positive outcome 🙂
With thanks and appreciation!
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