You don’t have to settle for a place that isn’t going to feel like ‘home.’

Of course, that might not mean finding a house that is ideal in every way. But it does mean that at the end, when you’re being handed the keys, you feel happy with your new home and excited to move in.

So how can we make sure that it happens that way? The answer is by prioritizing all your preferences and figuring out which features are truly ‘Non-negotiable.’

Some Good News For You

It’s way too easy to hear the words ’negotiable’ and ’non-negotiable’ and immediately assume that your agent is trying to make you settle for a house that won’t make you happy. But honestly, we’ve all watched enough HGTV to know already that we can’t get everything we want. That’s not what this is about anymore.

At Sprout, it isn’t about finding a home that’s good enough and then convincing you to buy it if you don’t like it. We’d rather help you find the home you want, instead of selling you a home that doesn’t feel quite right.

Here’s how we do it at Sprout. What are the must-have lifestyle essentials to be healthy and happy? Then we work backwards.

Let’s Dissect That Question

First of all, why is this approach essentially different?

Well, traditionally, making a list of non-negotiables had to do with aspects of the property. But this new approach fundamentally changes that, because what we’re going for here is actually a little bit different.

By changing the focus from physical, tangible features to a focus on lifestyle essentials, the process becomes much simpler.

Here’s An Example Of How This Approach Works

Meet our imaginary friend, Jeff.

Jeff is a healthy kind of guy, and he’s moving to Austin from a ranch in Oklahoma. He’s moving for work reasons.

Let’s say Jeff has a ton of workout equipment, and he’s worried about having to move it all and where it will fit in his new house, and so far, it’s not looking great. For his budget, he’s having a hard time finding the right square footage in a house that’s still close enough to the office.

Here’s where the new approach helps.

Suppose that Jeff says, “My gym equipment is non-negotiable. I need to find a place with an extra square footage.” May he does find exactly what he’s looking for, or maybe for his price point, there isn’t such a house out there, or if there is, he’s running out of time finding it.

But what if Jeff says this instead? “I just want to make sure I’m going to have the space and privacy to work out every day. That’s what really matters to me.”

Great—now we’re talking!

That’s the actual need: In order for Jeff’s life to feel happy, healthy and balanced, he needs a way to work out regularly where he feels like he isn’t surrounded by people competing for his space. He would like that to be at home, but honestly, if he found a quiet, private gym, he wouldn’t mind leaving his house to work out.

So then the agent calls a few gyms around where Jeff works and finds out that if Jeff comes between 5 AM and 6 AM, the gym is mostly empty. Jeff checks it out and loves it.

Problem solved.

On A More Personal Note…

Don’t ever let your agent strong-arm you into a deal you don’t feel good about.

Here’s your homework: Make a list of non-negotiables and ask your agent, “Are these reasonable expectations for my price point?” Let them help you to adjust your list until you’re satisfied.

At the end of the day, a good agent isn’t someone who only cares about getting their cut as quickly as possible. A real professional will actually want you to be excited about your new place.

And if you’re moving to a home in Austin or Houston, call us! We’ll show you what we mean, firsthand.