Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers!
By Kathy Schmidt
When I was a brand new REALTOR©, I was working with a couple who said they wanted a two-storey house with a double, attached garage.
I was excited to find them a house. Maybe a bit too excited. I didn’t stop to analyze the “why” behind their request. I didn’t stop to look at what was possible. I just started digging. But, of course, we weren’t finding anything that they wanted and I was feeling quite badly about it. Finally, I said, we need to regroup because I’m failing you.
A Messy Bed Could Be Holding You Back
We met and again I asked them to walk me through their wish list. However, this time I asked some pointed questions. The first series of questions focused on their request for a two-storey home. What is it about two-storeys do you love? Did you grow up in one? Do you just like the look of a two-storey?
They both said no – and started blushing slightly. They went through a little back-and-forth saying “Are you going to tell her?” … “No, you tell her.” Finally, one of them spoke up and said “We don’t make our beds.” They were horrified to tell me this deep dark secret! They went on to explain that they love to entertain people in their home and didn’t want them walking past messy bedrooms to get to the bathroom.
Now we were getting somewhere.
I asked them how they’d feel about a bungalow with bedrooms that were tucked around the corner, and they were open to that type of home. I asked them how they’d feel about a split level with a few steps to separate living spaces, and they were fine with that too.
I was on a roll. Next, we moved on to the double attached garage. Turns out, they assumed that two-storey homes come with an attached garage, so that’s what they told me they wanted. After we talked it through, the couple said they’d also be okay with a single, detached garage as long as they had somewhere to park one car.
I had been looking for a home for them for three months.
Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers
Those simple, easy questions that helped me understand their motivations… and also helped me find them a home.
Instead of looking for a two storey with a double, attached garage, I was now looking for a home where the bedrooms had some sense of privacy and secure parking for at least one vehicle. Within a few days, I found them a wonderful split-level home with a detached garage that gave them everything they were looking for! It was right within their budget in a neighbourhood that they wanted, and they lived there for nine blissful years before asking me to sell their home when they moved to Calgary.
By digging for the WHY behind their search, I was able to come up with a surprisingly simple solution for my clients almost immediately! Try applying this next time you run into a roadblock. The answers you come up with might surprise you!
By the way, our group of REALTORS® is really good at asking the right questions to help you make real estate choices you can feel really good about. Next time you’re thinking about moving, we hope you’ll invite us to join the conversation!