Switch is a book written by Chip and Dan Heath. It’s basically about the psychological factors of change, and how to make positive changes by focusing on positive aspects. If you’re looking for a great read, I highly suggest picking up this book.
In Switch, the Heath brothers discuss something called Decision Paralysis. Decision paralysis happens to all of us when we are faced with too many decisions at one time. We suddenly freeze up and cannot make a decision, even a simple one, if we are given too many options.
I’m sure that if you’ve ever shopped for anything, including a home, you may have found that after looking at certain number of articles of clothing, types of shoes, or house options, you stop trying because it’s just too much to think about. For some of you, this may not be an issue because you buy the first thing you like, and keep it simple. I tend to brood over the pros and cons of an outfit, and try to make sure that I’ve seen everything before I make my choice. If I spend too much time looking, I just give up, and leave without buying anything. For the remainder of the day, I’ll ask myself why I wasted so much time at the mall for nothing. I obviously need to refine my shopping skills.
Routinely, I offer buyers an opportunity to meet me for a consultation. For one reason or another, this just seems to intimidate people (I like to think that they imagine I’m going to sit them down and show them slideshows of furry animals for two hours. Then I’ll make them pay me 500.00 and send them off with a pamphlet. That IS NOT what I do). They get a bit uneasy, and if I’m face-to-face with them, I can see them searching their minds for a white lie to tell me so that I leave them alone. Few buyers will take advantage of a consultation. Those who do utilize my consultation find themselves more educated, and actually spend less time looking for a home.
For a minute, let’s think about different ways to find listings. 1) the internet 2)real estate publications 3)signs in yards 4)Realtors. The internet is a phenomenal resource. But you tend to get bombarded by the vast amounts of listings that get thrown at you. Picture, Price, Next. Picture, Price, Next. Finally, you find something that looks great. But wait, it’s way over your price range, has one less bedroom that you need, and the neighborhood is too far from where you work. Next. And so it goes for an hour and a half, or so. Then you really find a house you like. You email the agent. You wait for them to get back to you, and it turns out the home has been sold. Next. You’ve probably wasted two days on this, and you’ve got nothing to show for it. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. The same goes with real estate publications. And signs in yards are just a waste of gas, aren’t they? So now you’ve got to (gasp!) talk to a Realtor. We are really not that scary. Good Realtors will offer you a consultation.
So what’s the big deal about these consultations? Well, despite having to sit in an office for an hour, it saves you time and resources. By the end of that consultation, you’ll leave with a list of homes that only fit your criteria, and a great agent that will do anything to help you get into one of those homes. There are thousands of listings in your city, and you’ll narrow everything down to under fifteen homes. About eight of those will be homes that you’re willing to spend your valuable time looking at. So you just saved yourself from having to spend days looking for nothing, and in one hour, you developed a plan and you have a direction. Not to mention, you only have to visit about eight homes before you find the one that suits you best. Now all you have to do is write and offer. Decision paralysis: FAIL