I recall the first time I sat down with a buyer to help them select their interior options such as kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring, etc. What a nightmare! I hadn’t been with the builder long enough to see all the variations and styles and I hadn’t sold enough homes yet to have “sample homes” for my buyers to preview. The buyers had no idea what they wanted. What to do? Needless to say, after several hours, we muddled through the appointment and thankfully, the house turned out quite nice…meaning the buyers liked what they picked.
As time went by, I picked up some tips on how to make this process a little easier. For me, this was fun…for some, I can still hear the groan when the buyer walked into the design area! This is a team effort though so while your Sales Rep (or Design Center Rep) should be facilitating this process for you, there are things you can do on your end as well.
So what should YOU be doing? It is going to be YOUR home, after all, and should fit YOUR style – not necessarily the latest fashions and trends. Here are a several tips I learned along the way which I thought I would share to help make this part of your home-buying adventure a little easier:
- If your builder offers a Design Center outside of the model, find out the hours and visit it BEFORE your actual selection appointment. Visit it often, if necessary. The more comfortable you are with having looked at all the options and the choices you are making, the smoother your selection appointment will go. If the Design Center is in the model, spend time there. Trust me…I’ve had appointments last for many, many hours and sometimes even need to be rescheduled because the buyer isn’t really ready. You’re not going to enjoy that any more than the Sales Rep will!
- Visit home improvement stores to see “real life” kitchens. This is a great way to view various selections and combinations in bright lighting. You can walk back and forth all day to figure out which configuration strikes you best.
- Ask your Sales Rep if they have any homes under construction that show some of the selections you’re interested in.
- Ask your Sales Rep if they have current homeowners that like to show off their home. Believe me, it may sound like an intrusion to you but I always had a good list of my buyers that were happy to show off their pretty new home and everything they picked. A nice benefit to this option is that you can also talk to the homeowner and get their feedback as well.
- Buy those gorgeous home decorating magazines. I often had a buyer come in, show me a picture of their dream kitchen and say, “This is it! Please tell me you offer these cabinets!”.
- Go home and look at what you already have. Look at your furniture, your wall hangings, your area rugs…are you going to replace all of these items? Probably not all of them. Think about making selections that aren’t going to make you feel like nothing matches or flows anymore, forcing you into feeling as though you need to make several new purchases on top of everything else. There is a reason your current home is decorated the way it is…it is what’s comfortable to you.
- Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. If your appointment is starting to get too long, if all the cabinets doors are starting to look the same, if you’re getting a headache from all the flooring samples…STOP! Ask your Sales Rep if it’s possible to continue at another time. I found that if my buyer was becoming overwhelmed, they began to make selections just to be done with it…and then come back days later and make a million changes. Again, no fun for either of you.
- Finally, relax and go with your gut feelings. If it’s not structural, you’re not stuck with it for life. Trust your instincts, make a decision and then stop stressing over it. Your home will be beautiful no matter what because after all, it’s your home 🙂
Happy House Hunting!