My Real Estate Agent Told Me Not to Buy My Dream House!


What is the Exclusive Buyer's Agent Difference?

By Marshall Henderson, Exclusive Buyer's Agent with Buyer's Edge 

As an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, my job is to help people find homes and purchase them. The search can be long, the twists and turns in the process can sometimes be downright strange, but still, in the end, I help people find homes and buy them; except when I tell them not to buy them. Because that is an equally important part of my job – to let my clients know when I think that a particular home is just not right for them.

Marshall and Victoria Henderson - VP, Associate Broker and Exclusive Buyer's Agents with Buyer's Edge Real Estate DC Metro Area

Marshall and Victoria Henderson - VP, Associate Broker and Exclusive Buyer's Agents with Buyer's Edge Real Estate DC Metro Area

I’ve been in this business for ten years now and I have acquired a great deal of experience and knowledge about real estate. Prior to this career, I worked as a carpenter doing residential remodeling and I bring that background with me as well when analyzing homes. And there are often times when my knowledge and experience tell me that a client needs to walk away from a home. Quickly. But it gets tricky when that’s not what my client wants to hear.

I went out with clients in Northern Virginia last week and showed them nine houses. And of course, the one that intrigued them was the house with the inherent flaws. It was 1940’s colonial on three-quarters of an acre. The colonial was small but the house had a fairly new addition on the back. The addition had a two-story atrium, a large family room, and two bedrooms upstairs. Add that to the original colonial in front and you have four bedrooms on the second floor. So what’s the problem? Well, there is no connection between the two bedrooms in the front and the two in the new addition in the back! Each is reached by separate stairways on opposite ends of the house.And the way the old and the new parts of the house are joined, it is impossible to knock walls down and construct a new passageway between the two. This makes for an incredibly inconvenient upstairs, especially if you are a young couple planning to start a family.

In addition, there were a number of other things wrong with the house that just added on to the main design problems. I discovered that there was only one air handler for the whole house and no return in the addition, which leads me to believe that heating and, especially the air conditioning, would be very deficient in that part of the house.  The kitchen was advertised as “gourmet” but was, in fact, old, plain and in need of a total renovation. The large windows in the atrium were double pane, but they had used exposed, construction grade 2x6’s to frame them in and the installation was shoddy at best. A number of other items added to the list to make this house a potential nightmare for my clients.

What my clients saw on the first visit was this neat looking atrium, a large master suite in the back and a large lot in a nice neighborhood with a great deal of potential. It took a second visit with a serious look at the flaws in the house to make them see what a real mistake this house would be for them to buy. The cost and work for these first time home buyers would have been prohibitive. They are willing to look at a fixer-upper, but this one would have gone way beyond their means or abilities. This is when you see the value of working with an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent.