Real estate guidance MissouriShopping for a home is an exciting experience.  Working with folks through the home buying process is always interesting.  One fact about buying real estate is that each property is, for the most part, unique.  That may be more the case in St Louis City than it is in some place like Wentzville, where large tracts of land are just being built into subdivisions full of similar homes.

Talking with a Downtown Loft buyer today reminds me of some of the problems that take place when home buyer's take too long to make 'buying decisions'.  

Its a good topic to discuss with anyone buying, but particularly 1st time home buyers.  

Keeping in mind that real estate is not "pressure sales" and that the buyer has made a decision to buy independently, the timing of an offer is a very important consideration.  

Over the past several years, we've worked with buyers that sometimes have a seemingly endless amount of time to visit homes, think, visit again, compare and think some more before they eventually make the decision to make an offer.  Other times, buyers see a home just long enough to really fall in love, they get together with their mortgage person, crunch some numbers, and by the time the call their good 'ole Realtor back, the house is under contract.  

It brings up the question, "what should a buyer do?"  

Obviously, buying a home is a huge decision.  Not one to be rushed into.  There's also NO 1 "RIGHT WAY".  So different situations may call for different actions.

I remember the days when I'd meet a buyers for the very first time to show them a nice Lafayette Square Condo, and would tell them as we left, "If you want this, we'll have to make an offer today". A day or two would pass, then I'd get the call that they'd decided to buy that cute Lafayette Square condo, and I'd deliver the disappointing news that, as expected, the condo had already been sold.     

Those experiences were never comfortable, since it usually takes time for a buyer to develop trust in their agent and an understanding of the home buying process.   

So what does a buyer do?

Here's 3 suggestions that come from the experience of many. 

1.  Look at everything that is suitable & on the market.  Keep options open-consider similar communities to the "ideal".

2.  Once you've looked at everything and have narrowed your search to a few places, look at comparable sales in the area.

3.  Make a decision!

This whole post is really about #3.  Seeing buyers spend weeks convincing themselves that a home is the best place for them, then finding that another buyer felt the same and took action more quickly is heartbreaking.  Since real estate is unique, its not like going to Macy's and waiting until the next shipment comes in.  Similar places may hit the market, but never the same thing.

When working with buyer's, the rule of thumb is, once you've made your decision, don't make your move, because as the title says, "You snooze, You Lose".