Friendship and family can misdirect buyers

Family matters. To a point. (Flickr photo via the Library of Congress)

The headline might have read “Don’t trust anyone but yourself.”  But that’s a bit extreme.

The problem with using friends and family as sounding boards — as any understandably insecure first-time buyer might do — is that their opinions can have a way of undermining the prospective homeowner’s instincts, intuition, needs and desires.

As for buyers who ask friends in real estate to represent them, they risk bowing to their expertise and biases with regard to a range of subjective criteria.  Among the criteria might be neighborhood, building type, layout, finishes, amenities and floor level.

Although it is useful to pay close attention to a broker, it also is essential for buyers to listen first to their own hearts as well as their minds.

Deciding on the right home often hinges on an emotional response, and it is a mistake either to ignore or irrationally heed it.

As any offspring appreciates, families often provide the worst advice about many important life decisions — whether to get married and to whom, whether to have children, whether to live in proximity to mom and dad, whether to wear hair long or short.  You get the point.

So, when mothers argue that an apartment is too small, too many steps from the street, too shabby, too, too, too, their comments must be considered as beside the point.  (To get an unparalleled exposition of parental influence, do check out I shudder, Paul Rudnick’s very funny book.)

Buyers also can be steered in the wrong direction by friends, colleagues, sisters, nephews and all manner of other acquaintances.  Such individuals may counsel a purchase when none is warranted, a big mortgage when the result would be sleeplessness, a home near them when they can become overbearing and little else justifies the location, a place with outdoor space because that’s what they miss.

No one knows better than the buyer what is the right thing to do.

To listen is fine, but to act alone is divine.

Tomorrow: “Our money for your life”

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
Web site


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