Choices too much for today’s WNY home buyers?

Choices for Buyers can be confusing

Why Home Buyers are Sitting on the Fence

Awhile back, I read a great article over at Daud Miracle that I find timely in the world of Real Estate. Buyers want to search on-line for a home, but in doing so they can easily be overwhelmed.

Are Your Customers Sick & Tired of Choice? brought up an exceptional point. In it he pointed out:Yet, according to Barry Schwartz, choice is a paradox. While it’s great to have options, he observed that options often lead to bad decisions, dissatisfaction in what has been chosen or a paralysis to taking action.”

Read Also: So many choices: What to do? What to do?

I have written about Analysis Paralysis in the past. With so many choices in Real Estate it can create a paralysis for buyers. You have to wonder if they are not experiencing choice overload in this Real Estate market. In the confusion many times they hope that by waiting just a little longer that the perfect home will come along. By the time they are ready to act, the home that they really wanted is sold and they are disappointed. The process of purchasing a home should be a fun time, but in making such significant decisions can be draining. In Science Daily further support this theory: “In other words, even if people are having fun making decisions, their cognitive functions are still being depleted with every choice they make.”

Read Also: Too Many Choices — Good Or Bad — Can Be Mentally Exhausting

Think about the number of choices a person needs to make in the purchase of a home after they select a Realtor® and qualify for their mortgage. They have to decide:

  • Although they can afford a certain amount, do they really want to stretch that much
  • Where they are going to live, is it going to be in the or out in the country in ?
  • Do they want a brand new home or an older home that will need renovations?
  • What features are required, and what would be nice?
  • How soon do they want to move?

Think like a Buyer for a moment

These buyers may have to imagine how the space that they are viewing is really what they want. Once they find the perfect home, they have to formulate an offer and go through the negotiation process. If they are not working with a Realtor® they may pay too much for a home, or not successfully negotiate the home that they want. It is your job as the home seller to remove the obstacles for these buyers and make your home the right choice for them.

Read Also: New Study Shows That Act of Choosing Leads to Mental Fatigue, Decreased Productivity

Too often I see Buyers making either bad decisions or never finding something that they want to purchase. They seem to find it difficult to settle on criteria. Buyers often find it difficult to weed through the choices and never want to remove homes from the selection. This could result in so many choices that selecting the right home could become overwhelming. In the process they may see something that changes the criteria. Buyers can easily be distracted and that is why you need to work with an objective professional to guide you through the maze of confusion that finding the right home can be.

Read Also: Too Many Choices, Too Little Time

Agents at times make it more difficult by not ensuring that the home buyers narrow their search. They allow them to search too broadly. They spend hours on the Internet looking at the possibilities, and dreaming about a better life. I work a little differently with buyers. I force them to narrow their criteria and I encourage them to find something else to do in the evenings instead of spending hours on the Internet. They have hired a professional to find them a home, the right home. They need to trust that. Often what people are saying they want and what they really want are very different. After showing homes what they say they want often I take them to a home the next time that is exactly what they desire — and is very different to what they said they liked.

Perhaps it was a lot easier before computers. Let me leave you with this last thought that Violent Acres post Too Much Choice is Hell

“The moral here is simple. A few choices are good; too many choices are pure hell.

To assist you with all the Real Estate choices you have, please email me or call me at (716) 650-0051 to set up a time to sit down and discuss your needs and how I can assist you in achieving your Real Estate goals.

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About Colleen Kulikowski, Associate Real Estate Broker (716) 650-0051

Colleen Kulikowski is an Associate Real Estate Broker with J. Philip Real Estate specializing in Western New York residential homes who doesn’t follow trends; she blazes new trails and is able to recognize industry trends and implement them to her client’s best interest. Colleen has created a unique following with one of the top local internet positions in the country generating thousands of leads for her team. Real Estate is a second career for Kulikowski who’s first career was in Information Technology and Data Warehousing working for such companies as Radio City Music Hall, Nabisco Foods and as a consultant in the Financial and Insurance industries. A strong background in technology and management provides her with keen analytical and sharp negotiating skills.


  • Laurie Manny

    July 6, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I have seen choices overwhelm buyers into paralysis. Always wanting to believe that their dollar will buy bigger and better, I witnessed a buyer go from wanting to view $250k condos to demanding to see $685k pool homes; qualified to $500k this buyer convinced them self they could offer $480 on a $685 home. After a long talk he decided to sit back for a few months and rethink his position because he really just couldn’t wrap himself around what he could really afford.

    A large part of the problem with this buyer was that he was listening to the pure crap the media has been pumping out. He was absolutely convinced that with no money, armed with decent credit that he could go out and purchase just about anything he wanted for a ridiculous price. He couldn’t recognize a good deal when it was presented to him. He wanted the rush of negotiating, it was more about the game rather than the win.
    No matter what we looked at, no matter how well or low it was priced, he wanted to offer $50k under asking. That just doesn’t work when a property is already priced way under current market. I had to stop working with him, I just didn’t see him as ever successfully negotiating a purchase.

    He waited too long. When he re-entered the market he discovered that he would need 10% down, he didn’t have that, he was a 100% financing buyer.

    He now lives in a rental, with a room-mate.

  • Colleen Kulikowski

    July 6, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Laurie — wonder how that is working for that buyer?

  • Paula Henry

    July 7, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Colleen -

    I was out today with a buyer who believes he can offer 10-20% less and get a home because everyone is giving them away. At least that is his perception, fueled by the media. Unfortuately, he is in a low price range and he will be waiting a long time to get that type of deal. Oh yeah and he wants a newer home.

    Sometimes, you wonder……

  • ines

    July 8, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Too many choices may also confuse buyers into forgetting what they wanted to begin with. We try to make them focus on what’s important to them and to bring their expectations to a realistic level, but it’s not always easy.

  • Steve

    July 9, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I agree, one of the biggest problems with buyers today is the access to more supply than they have probably ever seen (at least that is true in my area of North Florida). I have seen buyers gung ho and ready to go out and get a great deal on a house only to be overwhelmed by the choices. Instead on making a decision on a house, they get confused and make no decision. it is both sad and frustrating at the same time.

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