There is an old adage in real estate that buyers are liars. I have always thought that was an insulting comment, but I have lost count of the number of times I have heard it stated — and it has now become part of real estate vernacular.
Here is the scenario that often takes place: A buyer creates their dream wish list. It includes everything from budget and style of a home to number of bedrooms, yard size and a pronouncement of whether they are willing to do any remodeling to a house, etc. The list can become quite long. The buyers are usually sincere and well intentioned. They typically have spent countless hours on Zillow researching and have countless Pinterest boards accumulating “must-haves.”
Then reality sets in — and does it ever! “Well, maybe we can live with a three-bedroom house instead of four. Well, maybe we can install our own pool, down the road, since this house doesn’t have a pool but there is definitely room for a pool. No, we don’t want to remodel … the permitting process is definitely daunting.” And so on.
As a buyer becomes educated, they may have to realign their wish list. They need to work with a Realtor who is patient and who can help them see the big picture. They may need help separating their wants from their needs, separating fact from fantasy. They need to see the potential of the properties they are previewing and perhaps reset their priorities.
So, when, after looking at 25 homes, they end up buying something entirely different from what they said they wanted, that doesn’t make them a liar. That makes them educated. Periodically, these same buyers that you’ve invested countless hours into, sometimes upwards of a few months, decide that what they want doesn’t exist or they can’t afford. While this is a blow to Realtors who will not be paid for their expertise and work, it is not a solid reason to label buyers as dishonest. Knowledgeable Realtors know how to assess a client’s reality and truth pretty quickly.