Under any circumstance, buying a home or property at Smith Mountain Lake raises emotion, evokes concerns and hopes, elevates stress, tests relationships, and causes people to learn about wants, desires, and reality. Entering into the adventure of home-buying with others is doing all that through the faceted lens of a kaleidoscope, and sometimes without the beautiful results. Simply put, buying a property at Smith Mountain Lake with or for someone else can be a trying experience.
Somehow spouses manage to accomplish the task, but even then it can be a tricky transaction that sometimes leaves one party feeling steamrolled, or both parties feeling discontent. When parents and children, or siblings, or even whole families come together to purchase a home or property, things can get tricky. Work closely as part of a team, understanding all the aspects of the task at hand and you will leave every member of the buying group more satisfied and your home-buying experience will be a slam-dunk.
Rule 1: Know the Game being Played
Before you go looking with a realtor, it is highly advised that the group develops a team of commonly-trusted professionals that will guide the team in its thinking and decision making process. Each member of the buying team should understand who is working with them, and the function that they serve, to ensure that the goals of the purchase are being met.
Whether you are buying a Smith Mountain Lake property with friends, family members, or investors, work to ensure that every person involved in the purchase has a clear understanding of the structure of ownership and tenancy, tax, insurance, investment and estate issues, if they are relevant. Before you can pick a Smith Mountain Lake property, all of this should be sorted out and clear. This will enable the group to move more quickly should the need arise, and allow all the parties to work together in a united front as negotiations unfold in the purchase of the property, the final minutes of play.
Once everyone understands the mechanics of the purchase, it’s time for the team to bring on another member. That’s right; the right team member can be the key to a successful strategy in finding the right property for everyone involved.
Rule 2: Bringing in a Top-Draft Player
Prudential Waterfront Properties real estate agents can move around the court quickly and efficiently, helping to facilitate a purchase, and generally affect the flow of the game to keep all the players doing their job in an orderly and efficient fashion. They have played this game before, they know the rules, and they understand the psychology of the players. Often real estate agents have worked with agencies, lenders, inspectors and other service providers, so they can share their experiences and leverage that knowledge to your team’s benefit. It’s rather like knowing the referee, and understanding how they might call a shot.
But your real estate agent, like any team player, can’t do their job without having insight into the game plan and the other members of the team. Developing a business relationship that allows your real estate agent access to the game plan and profiles of the players will enable the entire team to have a strategy for optimizing the purchase of that perfect property. Bringing in a top-draft player can take a team quickly and efficiently to the win, but the game is still played by a team.
Rule 3: Develop a Winning Strategy
Buying a Smith Mountain Lake home or property with others can be a lot like a long drawn-out game, requiring stamina and skills, or simply a whole lot of luck. In worst case scenarios players get hurt. Sometimes “fouls” stop the clock. Poor sportsmanship can ruin reputations. However, when a team is coach able, with excellent players and a real strategy, that same game is a lot more fun, and often results in a quicker, better win.
So How Do You Find Your strategy?
Look around at your team. Inherently there are roles that each member plays. This is not to say that any role is less important, but knowing the strengths of the players will enable you to make decisions that meet everyone’s needs. Every player will have something to add. Some team members play defense; they ensure that the property meets the most basic of needs. They are interested in the security of the inhabitants, the ease of living, the ability to maintain a property. Others play offense; they want to know that they got value, that the home is a good investment, that they will be able to sell it in the future, that the property meets a goal or a dream. Players that seem more like cheerleaders sometimes have good things to offer. Lesser-abled players might still have interesting information to add to the game plan, so make the effort to hear what they have to say. Even the lowly towel-boy or water-person, team members with less of a “say,” might have seen a thing or two watching the team members operate over time.
Also, note other skills that team members possess. Is there someone with a lot of skill or experience, who team members will listen to, that can be trusted to coach? Will the coach have a role in the playing of the game? Is there a clear choice for Captain? Ultimately, someone will have to be the voice for the group, and they will be communicating with a variety of people to ensure that the interests of the group are being met. Understanding if the Captain or other members of the team have more weight in making decisions will be key in a successful transaction, or winning game. As you develop the team strategy for picking a property, knowing the status of each team player will provide a clearer picture of your win in the post-game wrap up. Don’t discount players in the team; it is worth the trouble of working on the skills of every person involved.
In addition to team members, roles and skills, a good strategy includes plays that enable each member to participate. Randomly going to visit properties without a clear way that team members will operate can cause confusion and chaos. How will you decide when you have found the right one? Getting every player involved in the game will provide the team with information that will make that decision much more clear and ensure that everyone is invested in the win.
Successful buying teams have invented strategies that worked for them. One such team had each member develop a list of criteria that they wanted in a property or home. Each member of the team had their own list, and each list had 5 criteria on it. These criteria were the top 5 things that each member wanted in a property. They weren’t random, they weren’t picked for them, and they had to come from the heart and really address what the team member would need to feel right about the purchase. These lists were shared with each other so every member of the team could understand what was important to each other and why, but when members of the buying team viewed a property they would evaluate it using their own list. No one could try to influence another team member about what criteria were on their list; it wasn’t a contest of influence or persuasion, it was an exercise in finding the truth.
Together, members of the team came up with a plan for these evaluations. Each of the criteria on a list could earn 0 points, half a point, or a whole point. A perfect property would end up with a score of 5; a total “loser” in their book would get a 0. The group agreed to only consider properties that scored at least 3.5 on everyone’s scale. In this manner, every member of the team would get at least 75% of what they were hoping for in a property. Some teams might adjust this percentage – desiring to meet 80% or more of the each member’s criteria. This is just one strategy, but it exemplifies working together towards a common goal of achievable satisfaction. Oh, and sharing all of those lists with your real estate agent? That’s a very good idea.
When the Last Buzzer Sounds
Why All this Talk of Team Spirit and Sports? Purchasing a Home or Property isn’t a Game, Right? Think Again.
As in all sports – there is a goal: winning. We all want to buy the best house we can for the least amount of money, getting all of our criteria met. However, there are larger lessons we learn from playing team sports. We learn about playing a “good” game, we learn about working together to achieve a common goal, and we learn the best way of winning by doing it together.
The people involved with you in buying a home or property might be in your life for quite some time. Certainly you will have some relationship to them as you finish the transaction and continue to know and interact with them. More importantly, your work with them in purchasing the property will give you valuable information about yourself. Navigating that win, the purchase of a property with all team-members feeling like they were part of the game-winning play, now that is a game we all want to see. And, we might even want to play it again!