The Legend of Dan the Man
I have been selling homes in and around Austin, Texas since I was 26 years old. For those keeping track at home, that was over 11 years ago. During my time selling, I have worked with hundreds of buyers, the majority of whom were married couples.
When working with first-time buyers (and sometimes with buyers who have been around the block a few times), I consider it part of my service to "counsel" husbands on what to expect during the process. In other words, it is likely that we will have a conversation along these lines at some point (for our purposes, we will use Mike and Susan as the names for this happy couple):
SUSAN: I don't like this house. The living room is too small and the kitchen is kinda cramped.
MIKE: But look at all of the room for the big screen TV! Also, the bedroom has hardwood floors.
ME: Mike, it really doesn't matter what you say at this point. I can assure you that you won't be buying this house. Susan is not sold on it, and it's really her decision, believe me.
MIKE: But it has...
ME: Mike, seriously. You are not really part of this process as much as you might think.
MIKE: Okay. I hear you.
Perhaps I am not quite that harsh, but this is not very far from the truth. In my experience, I have seen precisely ONE MAN who was able to "win" the debate on which house to purchase, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was Dan the Man.
I use Dan the Man as a cautionary tale for men who think that they are going to control the purchase process.
Dan and Marie (not their real names) were part of a relocation account that I handled several years ago. They made a few visits to the area to look around with me. Marie seemed to want a newer home, while Dan leaned toward older places, like their previous home in Houston.
So, in the end, it came down to two very different properties. One was about two or three years old, with all of the expected neighborhood amenities, and it was in great condition. Clearly, this one was Marie's choice.
The other home was about 30 years old, with shag carpet, sunken living room, and a dark hallway leading to the (admittedly large) bedrooms. It also had some giant shade trees in the backyard. This was Dan's choice.
I watched Dan wear Marie down at every turn, singing the praises of "his" choice. In the end, he prevailed, but at a cost. He had to promise to do a LOT of updating along with some minor remodeling in order to get the house he wanted.
Although they had been together for many years, I don't actually know if they stayed married.
So, what's my point here anyway? Well, I have used Dan as an example, both because of his singular success being the only male to win a home choice debate (it was exhausting to watch), and because of the ridiculous amount of additional money that he had to pour into the home in order to please his wife.
Ultimately, I suppose the jury is still out on that one. Even though Marie didn't get the house she originally wanted, she made the older house into one that she could tolerate.
Thanks for reading!