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Are You Exceptional?

The quote below speaks to the concept of facts.  It was written by Carl Richards, a financial planner who writes for the New York Times.  I’m using his writing to make a real estate point.  His words resonated with me because buying a home is really about the use of money.  When you spend your money you should be aware of facts.  That doesn’t mean you have to follow the facts – follow beliefs if you choose – but facts will result in a better home purchase.

Richards writes, “Earlier this summer, I was on a hike with a friend and mentioned that we started at 9,000 feet and would reach an elevation of 12,000 feet by trail’s end.”  Richard’s friend replied, “That’s a fact I don’t believe.”  (Seamus could have written this having just finished a hike in Colorado from Aspen to Crested Butte).

Richards continues, “The interesting thing about facts is they exist whether we accept them or not.  They don’t change simply because we don’t believe them.”  An example of this is investing.  I’ve learned from a professional who manages money and by reading many books on investing that it is highly unlikely one can beat the market.  If we know this why do we keep buying individual stocks in an attempt to beat the market?

Richards asks, “Do we keep betting on individual stocks because we genuinely think we are the exception?  Or do we keep jumping from stock to stock because we like the way it feels?”

Fact: Real estate agents work for the seller.  Fact: The agent is limited in what they can disclose to you about the value of the home.  Fact: The agent cannot disclose the seller’s motivation for selling.  Fact: If the agent works as a “buyer agent” they may have to negotiate against their own company.  Fact: The agent makes more money if you spend more money.  Fact: Homebuyer Associates is the only Exclusive Buyer Agent in the 4 county area.

You may decide to ignore the facts and believe you are the exception – who can locate, negotiate, finance and purchase real estate on your own.  You may also search without a plan – searching Zillow and Trulia.  Or you may go to an open house ending up with an agent because you clicked on a agent button seeking “more information” or bumped into an agent at the open house.  You are “doing real estate” and you like the way it feels.

Acknowledging your approach to real estate may lead you to feel uncomfortable about your real estate behavior, or maybe it will affirm what you think you know – an exceptional person who likes the feeling, the rush of real estate.

Coming to terms with how we make decisions – what we do and don’t know – may appear as a small, thing but I recently saw an acquaintance sell their condo for $10,000 – $15,000 less than value and pay $60,000 – $75,000 more than value for their next condo (sell low,  buy high).  Homebuyer Associates was not involved in that transaction.

Maybe the acquaintance thought they were exceptional and needed a jolt of real estate.  In this instance a costly opinion in search of a feeling.


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Homebuyer Associates
1835 N. Riverwalk Way
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-254-4129