When you are buying a house, you have to provide a range of pricing that you are willing to spend, right? Then your agent researches houses in that range and arranges times for you to go look at them. If you showed up to look at a house without an appointment and didn’t have any idea of what you were going to spend or weren’t willing to share that information, you probably wouldn’t get very far without some irritated people.
When you are buying a car, you have a good idea of what you can spend and you share that with the salesperson, right? Then, they find cars in your price range that meet your criteria and pretty soon you are out joyriding in prospective cars.
HAVE A PLAN - When it comes to your interior finishes, you should also have a plan. If you are remodeling, please measure what your space requirements are. I can’t tell you how many people show me the size of what they think their window or cabinet dimensions are with the same method used to show how big a fish is. I can also pull a price estimate out of thin air for those dimensions, but we aren’t making progress with either method.
SHARE YOUR VISION AND BE OPINIONATED – If I show you something that you don’t like, tell me! It won’t hurt my feelings. It is your house and I’m showing you stuff to get a feel for what your style is. The faster you tell me what you don’t like, the faster we can find what you do like. If you can’t describe what you are envisioning, bring in a picture and I can show you what we offer that’s similar.
SHARE YOUR BUDGET INFORMATION – Please, please share your budget. When a customer walks through the doors (even with a plan) but is not willing to share their budget, we know the process will be lengthy.
For example, say you are shopping for cabinets, you come in with your wall dimensions, but don’t share your budget – we can spend hours with you looking at five different cabinet manufacturers from entry level to the most custom. The prices can range from $5,000 - $30,000 for the same kitchen. BUT, if you share your budget and find that you like a shaker door style in a rustic hickory wood species, knowing you don’t want to spend more than $10,000, I can narrow it down quickly to two cabinet lines and from those, we can take time to understand the differences in their construction, door styles, wood species, and colors. I can draw your layout in both lines and give you pricing for each.
It still takes a few hours, but not like the time invested if the budget is withheld, requiring us to look at all the manufacturers, door styles and colors. Chances are, by the time we looked at them all, you’d be confused at what the first one offered vs the last one and most people just ask for pricing for each option. I would then spend hours drawing and pricing the same layout five different ways. I’d present them and when you get the $30,000 price tag, you dismiss that option knowing that there’s a $10,000 option. We then focus our time looking in greater detail at the options that fit your original budget, thus coming to the same conclusion as someone who first shared their budget information. I guarantee that being upfront with budget eliminates a lot of frustration and wasted time on both our parts and we will all be happier throughout the process.