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August 31, 2021

How To Survive House Hunting When Spouses Don’t Agree

Helping Buyers find their dream home can be a lot of fun…unless they can’t agree on what to buy! Here are some tips and tricks for surviving marital discord while helping buyers find their home. 

I was talking to a pool guy recently, because April and I have been thinking about building a pool in our back yard. Naturally, we have different ideas about what to build: April wants a nice, contemporary, rectangular pool, and I want something more free form, like a lake, that would complement the trees in the yard.  

 April and I spent some time discussing what we should do, and the pool guy looked between us, then joked, “I charge extra for marital advice!” 

Real estate agents often need to play multiple roles, and sometimes, marriage counsellor seems to be one of them! One of my Power Agents® found herself caught between a married couple recently — they couldn’t seem to agree on anything! 

 The Awkward Situation 

 In this situation, the wife was the qualified buyer; her husband was not listed on the loan at all. While it seemed that it was the wife who “ruled the roost,” it was the husband who seemed to be calling the shots because the wife was at work as a nurse, which meant odd hours and the inability to be present during their meetings.

However, when she returned, the entire dynamic changed, along with the whole transaction and all the decisions! 

Our Power Agent® was a little taken aback, and unsure how to proceed with this couple. After a two-hour meeting with the husband where they decided how they were going to proceed with their “must-have” and “nice-to-have” lists, now she has to go back to square one to explain their decisions to the wife who views things very differently. She needed advice on how to approach them both without offending either one of them. 

 TIP: Check out this article by the L.A. Times geared for real estate agents who have married couples that can’t seem to agree. You are not alone! 

 The Approach 

 I suggested to this Power Agent® that the best place to begin was to reference a specific situation when she sat down to talk to each person.  

 “You know what I realized? We have a bit of a challenge, because remember the one time, Mr. Hunna Hunna, you told me this and this and this, and then Mrs. Hunna Hunna, when I spoke with you, you told me something different. I totally get it, because there’s always a yin and a yang, the black and white, the husband and wife, and different ideas and opinions.

It’s normal! But now, we need to be on the same page, and because Mrs. Hunna Hunna, you have such a wonderful husband who’s taking care of things because you are working 100 hours a week, saving lives, that perhaps the best way forward is that I just deal with your husband, so if there’s a change in what you want, you’ll tell him and he’ll come back to me and that way, we have one sheet of music that we’re all singing off of.

Like the idiom says, ‘Too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the broth,’ and the same reason why you only have one head nurse in your unit at a time. You guys need to figure out what you want, then let me know. Talk between yourselves, and come up with a plan, or this is just going to get really crazy.” 

Trying to be the agent-in-the-middle between a husband and wife who have very different ideas is never a place you want to be. As I often say, it’s not your job to be the go-between, it’s your job to present the options and coach your buyers, and sometimes that means coaching them to sit down together and get on the same page so that you can find them a home they will both love. 

 TIP: This fabulous article by Ramsey Solutions dives into suggestions on how married couples can house hunt even with differing opinions.  

 What’s Next? 

Are you ready to start taking things to the Next Level®? If you don’t already know what you need to do to get to your next level, we can help!  

Power Agents®, for more strategies and tools for handling all the objections and differences in opinion from buyers, check out the amazing content in the Buyers tab in the Classroom.  Whether you need a boost of confidence or brilliant dialogues, we are here to help you get the skills you need to be the go-to agent for the buyers and sellers alike in your farm area. 


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