i turn REALTY into REALiTY

A Primer for Buyers

Real Estate can be fun!

Real Estate can be fun!

I enjoy working with first time home buyers.  I get a kick out of helping them purchase their first home, and teaching them in the process.  One of the tools I use to help educate buyers is a little exercise called “The Housing Priority Game”. Disclaimer: I didn’t create this game and I honestly don’t know who to give credit to for its design.  I came across it years ago and my copy was getting very worn so I’ve re-typed it for clarity.

Setting Expectations

The single biggest problem when working with some first time home buyers, is helping them set realistic expectations.  Since they’ve never purchased a home before, they have no prior experience with the process, nor what to expect. My role in the process is that of a teacher, and my office is my classroom.  The purpose of the game is to help buyers understand that sometimes trade-offs have to be made when looking for a home on a budget.

Get Your M&Ms out!

The Housing Priority Game is an exercise that offers choices from which the participants select.  The rules of the game are simple: There are 14 rows, each with 3 possible choices, ranging from Minimum, Average, Maximum.  Using 30 tokens (pennies, paper clips, or my favorite item, M&Ms), buyers place an appropriate number of tokens in the box of their choice based on their wants and needs. To successfully finish the exercise, they must complete all 14 rows without needing more tokens.

I’m Not a Marriage Counselor!

Working with a buyer couple is a bit more challenging than with just a single buyer.  Mostly because now there are two individuals who need to be in agreement before making a decision.  One of the first steps is making sure they have compatible wish lists. Imagine if the husband wants to live in the city, while the wife wants a country cottage. (I know many readers would think “what’s the problem, just find the cottage because the wife always wins…”). Oh, if only it were that simple!  Many times, I’ve had couples play the game only to have them discover that they each have very different priorities. This game helps to bring those discussions to the table up front.

Hey! Who ate my M&Ms?

I once worked with a couple who proclaimed that they had “champagne tastes on a beer budget”.  I had them play the game initially to discover what their priorities were.  I then had them eat a few M&Ms and play the game again, only this time with their remaining candy.  This little twist gave them a idea of what kinds of trade-offs they might have to make based on a smaller budget.  Who really needs a bathroom anyway?

Wanna Play?

Setting expectations is only the first step in the process.  It reminds me of the game Go To The Head Of The Class in that the better educated you are, the faster you’ll get to the finish line.  My name is Daniel, and I’ll be your teacher…

You can view and download the game HERE.

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