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Understand Your Home Buying Motives to Develop the Best Search Strategy

There are many different reasons to purchase a home, and the story behind your purchase defines your future home better than how many bathrooms and bedrooms you want. Each motive will require a different home search strategy. For example, a first time home owner is likely to be in a different situation than someone shopping for a ski in ski out condo in Breckenridge, each will require a different time line, budget and be driven by different emotions.

What are your motives?

Whether you are buying a first home, an incredible investment, or a weekend get a away, the motives driving the purchase boil down to these factors: time, money, and emotions from extenuating circumstances. Think about how each of these resources and factors relate in your life.


Are you under a deadline to move? When is your deadline? Do you need to relocate immediately due to work, have a lease ending, etc.? Or, is time is not a limiting factor?

Let your agent know your time line so that you understand what is reasonable to accomplish in that time.


Money is always the biggest motivator, and probably the most important of these factors. There are two main ways that money comes into play in real estate. The most obvious is: what is your budget?

Be honest about your budget with your agent so that you avoid wasting time looking at homes above or below your target price range.

The second important factor is the kind of investment you are looking to make. Are you bargain hunting and looking for the deal of a lifetime? This may require more time and you may end up looking for fixer-uppers, or short sales. With your agent, you can develop the best strategy.

Be honest about your investment goals so that your agent can let you know if they are realistic, and can help you develop a strategy to accomplish your goals.

Extenuating Circumstances

This comes into play a lot with home sellers. For example, some people may need to sell immediately because of a death in the family, and getting top dollar is not as important as just closing this chapter in their lives. No need to go into detail with your agent about everything happening in your life, but some information is very useful.

If there are other important factors that will influence your decision, be frank with your agent so that they can help you.

Remember, your agent is required by the buyer agent agreement to protect this information and cannot disclose it to the sellers during negotiation. This is another important reason to have an exclusive buyers agent. If you have are working with the seller’s agent, you cannot be honest about these motivating factors or they will be used against you during negotiations.