It’s raining outside. There’s nothing good on TV. Then someone brings out Monopoly – where real estate barons are born and one false move can mean bankruptcy. While there is no “Community Chest” or “Go to Jail” (although I suppose it’s possible), there are a few lessons to be learned from the little mustached man.
MONOPOLY: Anyone who has played Monopoly knows that it’s not a quick game. So, grab the snacks and beverages and settle in for the long run.
LESSON: Buying real estate isn’t a quick process either. There are many steps to successfully buying a home and patience is key. There’s the pre-approval process, searching for homes, submitting an offer, waiting for the offer to be accepted, inspecting the home and waiting for loan approval just to name a few. So, settle in for the long haul. Don’t be frustrated with the process.
MONOPOLY: Everyone who has ever played Monopoly knows that Boardwalk and Park Place are key properties to snag. Build enough homes and properties and you could wipe out your competition with one unfortunate roll of the dice.
LESSON: Location is often a major consideration in real life as well. Home values, your lifestyle and so much more are factors in your neighborhood choice.
Keep an open mind
MONOPOLY: Ever heard of deferred gratification? Baltic and Mediterranean Avenue are often overlooked. But, build a few houses and hotels and the return on your investment could be bigger than many of the other properties on the board. Sure, you’re probably not going to bankrupt your opponent, but with a little persistence, you’ll slowly chip away.
LESSON: Keep an open mind when shopping for a home. An up-and-coming neighborhood may have appeal you didn’t see before, and more value for your budget. There are opportunities out there that you may overlook and regret in the end.
MONOPOLY: You own Park Place and Boardwalk. You’ve set up houses and hotels on several properties. You own the Railways. You’re on your way to Monopoly Hall of Fame. Then you land on the Chance square. You slowly pick up the top card and read…your cocky smile turns into a sad frown. “Make general repairs on your property – for each house pay $25, for each hotel pay $100.”
LESSON: Unfortunately there is no way to predict the future, but unlike the fun filled game, the real world has home insurance available to help you when unexpected repairs and disasters occur. If you’re getting a mortgage, you wont have a choice about home insurance. Your home is likely one of the largest financial investments you will ever make so why would you want to leave anything to “Chance.” Make sure you have the insurance you need, even if it costs a bit more. Believe me, if disaster strikes the saving you may have upfront will be erased in an instant. Also, consider a home warranty to protect against costly repairs to appliances and other smaller issues that could arise that home insurance doesn’t cover. Many times it’s a negotiation point with a seller, but make sure you renew it yearly to avoid potentially costly repairs.
How to win a bidding war
MONOPOLY: Trading properties keeps Monopoly exciting. And there are no strict rules as to how a seller determines to accept an offer. Sibling rivalry, bribes involving candy or even business sense can play into a player’s decision.
LESSON: Just because you submit the highest offer doesn’t mean the seller will accept it. Perhaps there are lower offers out there with quicker closing times, more desirable financing or fewer conditions. So, what can you do to make sure your offer is the accepted one? Create a personal connection with the seller. A bit of feelings go a long way in the process. Consider writing a letter about why you fell in love with their home. Sometimes this can help sway their decision your way.
The importance of strategy
MONOPOLY: Monopoly is a game of strategy, but few players are inclined to study ways to win. What if you had a coach sitting next to you, advising how much to bid for a property, where to look next, and whether or not mortgaging a utility to buy Boardwalk is a smart idea? You would be unstoppable!
LESSON: For most of us, buying a home is not a daily occurrence. For some, it’s a once in a lifetime event. Chances are most of us don’t keep a daily eye on the latest real estate or have access to the tools needed to successfully buy a home. Wouldn’t it be more helpful to have someone who has the knowledge to stand by your side? Professional real estate agents are trained in real estate strategy. That’s the value of an experienced agent.
If you’re looking to buy or sell, give me a call or contact me today. I don’t have a mustache, but I do have the experience to help you succeed.