You’re thinking of buying a home. The timing, for you, is right. And you feel…what? Excited? Sure. But deep down, you feel a mix of uncertainty, anxiety, concern, and, let’s face it, good old fashioned TERROR! You are not alone. In order to move forward, you must address the risk involved in home purchase.
The critical factor in buying real estate today is risk. Because of the continuous financial change, rapid increase and decrease in value, and an uncertain economy, the risk of buying the wrong property at the wrong time has become greater than ever before. The market has seen its share of distress sales, bank owned properties, and homeowners who are struggling. But with this risk has come great opportunity.
One of our powerful needs as human beings is for security, and home ownership has historically provided us with that sense of security. However, any buying decision that represents uncertainty triggers the feeling of risk that threatens your sense of security.
There are four main factors that contribute to the perception of risk in the mind and heart of the home buyer in today’s market.
Risk Factor 1: Size of the Sale
The first factor that contributes to risk is the size of the sale. The larger the pricetag, the more money involved, the greater the risk. The greater the percentage of wealth invested, the more the perception of risk.
If a person is buying a new dress or cell phone, the risk of satisfaction or dissatisfaction is insignificant. But if a person is buying a home, especially for the first time, the risk factor is magnified by hundreds of thousands of times. This risk factor is magnified if the conditions surrounding a purchase are unstable, such as the current economy provides.
Risk Factor 2: Number of People Affected
The second factor contributing to feelings of uncertainty is the number of people who will be affected by the buying decision. Almost every home purchase involves several people, usually family, and those who are most important to us. It is for this reason that buying a home ranks as one of the three most stressful times in a person’s life.
Risk Factor 3: Length of Life of the Decision
The third factor contributing to the perception of risk is the length of life of the decision. A home is meant to last for several years, and the permanence of the decision generates the feeling of risk. A homebuyer often finds himself thinking, “What if it doesn’t work or I’m unhappy and I’m stuck with it?” In a flat or declining economy, this is a valid concern.
Risk Factor 4: Unfamiliarity
The fourth major risk factor is the your unfamiliarity with the home buying process, your agent, the company, and their ability to serve and understand you. A first-time buyer, especially, wants to know that their needs are being considered, and that they will be assisted with the relevant steps in the home purchase. Not knowing what questions to ask heightens the feeling of risk for the first-time buyer.
In every case, you must overcome risk if you are going to buy a home. Everything you do in the home buying process must address the current economy, your financial situation, your long term goals and plans, and the needs of your family as well. Knowledge and thoroughness on the part of the Realtor is essential in educating you in all arenas of the home buying process, as well as a relationship built on trust.
Low-Risk vs. Low-Price
The Bremner Group sees our job as being the low-risk provider, the one who assists you in navigating risk in an uncertain climate. Our job is to help you achieve the safest and most secure purchase decision rather than merely being the least expensive or highest quality agent.
Consumers today are the most experienced in history. You know that there is usually a close correlation between greater satisfaction and ease on the one hand and greater training, knowledge, ability to serve, and experience of your Realtor. Your task as a home buyer is to be clear about your present and long term goals, and to find a Realtor who will help you navigate a risky financial climate. The Bremner Group is here to become your partner in confidence, both for this purchase and for the rest of your home buying and selling experiences.
Identify the risks that you might experience as you go through the home buying process. Once you have clearly defined those risks, it will be easier to discuss them with your Realtor, and address each area of concern. Allow us to work with you to find solutions that lower the threshold on the four main areas of risk.
Remember to keep a pad of paper or a blackberry with you at all times, and take the time to write down each question that comes to mind. Knowledge will empower you to get through a very risky time, and out the other side to the first steps in your financial security.