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When Couples Disagree

1:43 Minute Read.

He wants mid-century modern. She wants a 2 story colonial. And their agent just wants to earn a living. Getting a couple on the same page takes finesse. This little activity might work wonders.

Getting a couple to agree often starts

with getting them to use the same language.

Some folks are so deeply committed to their wishlist they cannot see beyond it. Other times, there are mechanisms rooted in the relationship and those issues surface during high stress events – like buying a house. In other words, you can’t always win.

However, getting a couple to agree often starts with getting them to use the same language. When you sense disagreement between individuals, help them find common ground by creating categories to measure the house they’re touring. This will help them move beyond their differences and re-focus on what’s most important.

Try this:

“It’s important that you find a home that you both love and can see your future there. In every house we tour, I’m going to ask you to rate 3 things about the home and then compare your answers with each other. Use a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 meaning you want to buy this house right now and 1 meaning you want to leave and never look at this house again.”

How would you rate this neighborhood?

“As you drive into this neighborhood, can you see yourself living here? Taking walks together here?” As you get to know the lives of clients better, ask specific questions that apply to them. “Can you see your kids riding their bikes here?” Rating a neighborhood will help them picture themselves being a part of the community.

What do you think of the quality of this home?

“Take a look at the exterior and interior of the home. Is it well built? Does it need a lot of updating? Does it have the amenities you’re looking for?” These questions draw out a client’s acceptance of a house or their willingness to improve it.

How will your lifestyle fit into this home?

“Every home will change the way you live. Where will you watch TV? Or entertain friends? Or garden? Or just relax?” Seeing themselves enjoying a house together will go farther than any sales pitch could ever accomplish.

Using a scale of 1 to 10 to answer these 3 questions becomes their common language when judging a property. It’s enjoyable to watch couples engage in this activity. For some it can be a little awkward at first. Yet, almost always, it becomes a fun game between them as they try to predict the other’s answers. Before you know it, they’ll stop focusing on wishlists and start seeing what’s truly important – how a house can become a home.

One more thought. Early in the process, warn them that there is no such as a perfect “10” home. It doesn’t exist. However, when both rate a home that’s an eight or above in all categories, it’s time to think about writing an offer. You never have to “close” a deal like that. They’ll tell you when it’s time to write an offer.


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