Years ago, a mentor of mine taught me his method of helping his buyer clients narrow down their home search. After they previewed each property, he would ask them the three same questions:
1. Did you like it?
2. Can you imagine yourself living here?
3. Would you like to write an offer?
If the answer was NO to any question, they moved on to the next one.
If the answer was YES, then they'd likely move forward with an offer.
I adopted these three questions as part of engaging with my clients, and they seem to enjoy the process of answering the questions. But I like to help my clients dig in a little deeper.
When they say NO, they don't like it, or can't imagine themselves living there,
I ask them follow questions, such as:
What don't you like, and what do like about it?
What would have to be different in order to imagine yourself living here?
I'm NEVER trying to "sell" my clients anything. But rather, help them understand what makes them feel comfortable, happy and feel at "home".
This helps both of us gain knowledge of deal breakers, so we don't keep looking at properties they won't like. However, sometimes it is as simple as, "I don't like the blue living room walls". If they've never painted a room, it can feel completely overwhelming! So I try to help them imagine if the small things are changed, then would the like it, imagine themselves living there... amazingly, sometimes it helps them see beyond the cosmetic aspects of a house that can easily be changed to make it their home!
The bottom line: Most of the time, people know when it's a perfect match, other times it takes a while to warm up to the idea. Often, looking at other properties and keeping a list or score of the homes you tour can be helpful. Just like dating, sometimes the one you least expected to fall in love with ends up becoming your home!
Pro Tip: I caution my clients who fall in love with a home just because it has new carpeting, paint and appliances. These are nice, but don't forget to have a licensed home inspector do the dirty work to ensure that the structural and mechanical parts of the house are in good/safe working condition before you fall for the "new car smell"!