In my latest newsletter, I described a story in which my 4 year-old, when practicing his printing, came across a question mark at the end of a sentence he was tracing. When asked if he knew what that curvy object is, he replied confidently, “Yes! It’s a mystery! While I found it to be quite a humorous response, I also found that it contained a lot of truth. Question marks are mysteries in that they refer to an unknown. And from my experience, people tend to fear what they do not know.
A Yoda wise and now retired colleague of mine once told me, “the fear of loss is often a stronger motivator than the opportunity to gain.” I feel that there is tremendous truth to this statement both in life and in real estate.
Any major life changing decision, like the purchase or sale of a home, is going to present some question marks – some mystery – some unknown. And accompanied with that unknown is some fear or at least some caution and careful consideration of the potential gain and the potential loss associated with such a transaction. This fear is echoed in the question I have heard most often from sellers recently which is “in this market, where do I go if I sell?”
Through that question what the prospective seller is revealing is their apprehension: they would consider selling (opportunity to gain) but are concerned that if they sell they won’t have anywhere to live (fear of loss). Their question makes it quite clear that buying or selling a home is not merely a financial investment but an emotional one.
And emotions can be powerful; they are not always easy to understand or control and they can significantly affect one’s decision making. Negative emotion, like irrational fear, can prevent people from moving forward, even if moving is what they believe is in their best interest or the best interest of their family. To eliminate some of the mystery and question marks, talk to a REALTOR®.
A good agent is well educated on the market and on the processes involved in buying or selling a home and can be a tremendous resource for people.
Take advantage of this resource. Reach out to agents in the community. Get to know them. Ask them questions. For those unaware of this fact, it is FREE to do so. Once people find the agent that is right for them, ask the agent if he or she would be willing to stay in contact. Most agents will be happy to. This contact may include a newsletter, pop-by visits, Internet resources, phone calls or emails with information on sales activity, a personalized site with a link to listings that match your home search criteria, or a variety of other means.
Whatever method of communication is agreed upon, this communication will help to educate people on the market and the buying or selling process. Being a more educated buyer or seller will lessen the unknown, the mystery, and the question marks, and subsequently, the fear, so that when the time is right to buy or sell, there will be less contemplation of what could be lost and more of what could be gained.