How long is a search?
We often get asked by potential clients how long it will take to find them a property. As our contract with buyers is 120 days (4 months) this allows us sufficient time to scour and saturate the current market, as well as viewing a broad spectrum of new listings during this period. To date, we have located a property for 98.5% of our buyers during this 4 mth period, so we must be doing something right! It also assists that we only take on realistic and committed purchasers, as not all buyers are “ready” to buy.
However, as some searches progress, it becomes clear that some buyers are fussier than others. The most challenging buyers are, naturally, home owners, as one would expect. We have dealt with various buyers who have changed their mind during the course of the search, as once inspections begin, needs vs wants can become clearer. A recent example was a client who was adamant that they didn’t want stairs. As they were retirees, they were planning for their future and sought to locate a single level dwelling only. After 6 weeks of showing them potential properties (which were all rejected) however, it became obvious that their love of space overcame their preference for steps! Another week later, we ended up acquiring a beautiful two storey home for them that ticked all their other boxes and they have already gone ahead for quotes for a chairlift in the future, should they not be as mobile. They were ecstatic with the outcome, so a great result all round.
Other buyers, however, have done complete about-turns during a search, deciding that they really did want that 4th bedroom or second bathroom after all. We have had buyers change areas completely and others who have ended up purchasing high-maintenance gardens, despite their initial insistence that this wasn’t what they wanted. We do find that physically inspecting with clients initially is a real eye-opener and test of what their “needs vs wants list” is in reality. A fantastic view, extra space or an extra bedroom may well be the deciding factor for overlooking other “must-haves” on a client’s list.
It can often be quite a journey working with home owners, and searches can vary from a few weeks right through to the entire 120 days. One home buyer I looked after took 119 days, after 300+ property enquiries and 70+ home inspections together. Another took just 3 weeks as we were fortunate enough to come across a great buy that ticked all their boxes, early in the search. You just never know when that ideal home is going to appear on the market!