A buyer looked for years. He knew exactly what he wanted, but he just couldn’t find it. Prices were too high, the stock market was going down or up too fast, the election was coming up, the crime rate was rising… Also, he might change jobs, he might lose his job, he might get married. He’s so ready to buy, but the market wasn’t quite right.

Postscript: he’s still looking. It’s been 10 years.

A seller has been wanting to move on for years, but the bathroom needs remodeling and he has plans to fix the landscaping. Also, how has so much stuff accumulated? This house was never big enough to begin with, but now the kids are moved out. It would be nice to have a fresh start. Where to begin?

Have you heard the term, analysis paralysis? It sounds a bit like this: What if we get outbid? What if home values decrease? What if they increase? What if another war breaks out? What if mortgage rates keep increasing? What if… What if…

Understandably, some folks become obsessed with making the perfect decision. When you’re faced with too much information and so many options, the answers become murky. So, what can you focus on? Control the controllables.

As a buyer:

1. Decide on a location. It will do no good to find the perfect home in the wrong place. Not sure? Start by visiting different neighborhoods to see what feels right. Go to the grocery store or the dog park. Talk to your future neighbors.

2. Know your financing limits (you can’t get champagne on a beer budget).

3. Determine how much cash you have available for down payment and closing; and get it ready to deploy.

As a seller:

1. The best time to sell is when you’re motivated!

2. Get help with the process. Too many sellers don’t move because they can’t face dealing with the “stuff”.

3. Decide where you’re going. And if you aren’t sure, consider renting.

4. Calculate the estimated net proceeds and talk with your accountant before you sell.

It’s a journey, but one worth taking. The best part about buying or selling a home is that it’s so personal. You can actually see and enjoy your investment every day in every way.