Do Not Be a “Snooze You Lose” Home Buyer in a Seller’s Market

Snooze you lose is OK for a feline but not a home buyer

Snooze you lose is OK for a feline but not a home buyer

Many years ago — when I used to work with more home buyers than I do now, as most of my business nowadays is representing sellers as a listing agent — I recall a first-time buyer, let’s call her Cathy, who did not know when she should write an offer to buy a home in Sacramento. We had spent all day together, chasing around Rosemont looking at homes for sale. There was one home in particular that she gravitated toward, a home without carpeting, mostly hardwood flooring, with a huge back yard, priced right, and it fit all of her needs.

Toward the end of the day, I suggested we look at the home again. We viewed the home a second time. Cathy really loved it. It’s all she could talk about all the way back to my office in Midtown Sacramento. I pulled up to the curb on J Street where she had parked, and we got out. She shook my hand to thank me for the home buying tour and was about to head off when I asked again what her gut instincts told her about the home we had toured twice. “That’s my dream home,” she responded, and spun on her heels to leave.

Just a sec, here. “Usually, when a buyer finds her dream home, that’s a sign she should write a purchase offer,” I pointed out. Cathy’s eyes opened wide. Her jaw fell open. This had not occurred to her. That was evident by the blankness crawling across her face. She had processed looking for a home but had not yet quite come to terms with how she would react when she found a home to buy. This was astounding news.

She also could not cope because she had been unprepared. She insisted on going home to mull it over, what some buyers refer to as “sleeping on it.” Nothing I could say would change her mind. There is a term for that kind of cautious behavior, for people who don’t trust their own instincts. It’s called Snooze You Lose.

I see that behavior in some of today’s home buyers in Sacramento. It’s not necessarily the buyer’s fault, either, because if a person is buying her first home, how would she know what to do or how she would feel? It’s up to her buyer’s agent to explain, in a non-threatening way, that the market in Sacramento is sizzling hot, and another buyer will purchase that home if she fails to quickly take action. We’re not making this stuff up just to throw a buyer into escrow. When you spot a home you love, you should write a purchase offer.

Otherwise, it’s snooze you lose time. Nobody likes that time clock. Remember, in any given market, if you truly adore a home, odds are another buyer does as well. Did Cathy buy that home? Sadly, no, another buyer had purchased it by morning. Cathy eventually settled on another home, but I heard about this home for years because the home she did buy was always second choice in her mind. Snooze you lose. It’s not just a catchy phrase.

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