Most couples recognize the truth behind the phrase “opposites attract.” The differences between spouses show up in personality types, communication styles and conflict resolution. Each of those areas can affect home-buying habits. As a husband-wife real estate team, we understand how the husband-wife dynamic influences the home-buying process. It’s one of the reasons we work to establish a baseline up front. My wife, Patricia Wangsness, will tell you that our work starts long before we actually see or show any houses.
“We make our best effort to sit down and basically ask what their goals are,” David says. “We do the best we can to identify what it is they’re trying to accomplish and if they’re on the same page.”
Of course, many couples tell us they are and are surprised when they find out their partner doesn’t want what they want. Before you buy or sell a home, you and your spouse need to do some soul searching and have honest conversations. Be able to identify the “why” not just the “what.” Here’s an example, if a real estate professional asks, “What do you want to do?” A basic response would be, “We want to move, get settled, get our kids in a great school and commute so we can be home for dinner.” Usually couples agree on the “what” part of the conversation. It’s the getting to the same page of “why” that can cause problems, because there’s often emotion attached to the answer.
“You have to understand what’s important to you.” Says Kate Fessler of First Class Life Solutions. “What’s the outcome you really want? Visualize what you want, to the point you can feel what it’s like, because the feeling is what causes the emotion.”
Kate helps people navigate change and deal with stress that comes with it.
“Studies show that even welcome change is stressful,” Kate says. “Even if it’s something that we want it still creates a lot of stress in our lives, which then creates these mixed feelings within us. Misinterpreting those feelings can send us in a direction we really shouldn’t be going.”
Those directions could include looking at houses you can’t afford to buy, or actually buying the wrong house. We see these conflicts come up because of the emotions involved and the responsibility each person assumes. In our experience women are often the decision-makers when it comes to buying and selling a house. The women we work with are usually the ones who get the process started and keep the ball rolling. They find the property they’re willing to buy and then leave a certain amount of the details to their spouse. Their husband tends to influence the price-point.
Think about what this means. One person in the relationship has already made a decision about the home, and the other person is being brought in toward the end of the process. If both parties aren’t on the same page, it can lead to disagreements and a complete standstill. In fact, we’ve seen it happen several times where a wife finds the house she wants, but the husband knows they can’t afford it. Instead of communicating that, the husband will find something else that kills the deal. He doesn’t want to be the bad guy, so he’ll make someone else take the fall. But both parties could have avoided adding to an already emotionally charged situation by being in lock-step from the beginning.
“Really think about the motivation for buying or selling,” Kate advises. “Often times we don’t think very much about what we’re doing. We just think we know why. If we dig down deep, we can find a root cause and that’s usually the point that needs to be addressed.”
If you don’t know why you’re emotionally tied to something, you could make a decision you’re not happy with in the end. You need clarity and not just in the goals you’re trying to accomplish, but in how you’re communicating with your spouse throughout the decision-making process.
Certainly, there will be times you thought you had it worked out, only to walk into a house and realize you and your spouse aren’t seeing eye-to-eye. That’s where David and I can help. We understand that dynamic. We’ve been there, and we live it every day.
Our personal experience is part of what makes us relatable and our professional experience makes us trusted experts in finding the house that works for you and your spouse. If you’re in the market to buy or sell, we’d love to hear from you and make sure you download 10 Steps to Ready Your Home for Sale.
more about David Wangsness: David has been selling real estate since 2006 and works with Patricia, his wife of 21+ years. A Pacific Northwest native, originally from Portland, he brought her back to the home he bought in 1987. As a former road warrior, David left corporate life finally with a title of National Sales Manager for a division of GE Capital. Transfers for business gave David the opportunity to understand the world of real estate rentals, as he was transferred only 6 months after buying his home. Owning it for almost 30 years, he has realized his dream of renovating the 1600 square foot rambler he bought so long ago. David always carried the dream of renovating the home and he finally convinced Patricia to his way of thinking. He says: “All’s well that ends well.” contact David at 425-941-6741 | firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.wangsnessconnections.com