We make real estate look fun, but can be stressful. If you have “Karen” tendencies when buying a new home, the process will be much more stressful than fun for all parties involved.
If you’re new to buying, or if you’re looking to buy your second, third, and thirtieth home, here are a few ways that you can be more considerate and less of a Karen:
What is a Karen?
A Karen is someone who is entitled, selfish, and complains a lot.
According to Rachel Charlene Lewis, the author of Bitch, a Karen “sees no one as an individual, and instead moves through the world prepared to fight faceless conglomerate of lesser-than people [who] won’t give her what she wants and feels she deserves.”
In real estate, this translates to people who have little to no consideration for real estate agents, other sellers or buyers, or even other people's houses.
Also, according to the Atlantic, Kyle is the boy version of a Karen. Sorry, Kyle.
Don’t Say, “HGTV Says This”
Real estate agents love when clients start quoting HGTV. It’s the real estate equivalent of a patient reciting WebMD symptoms to their physician.
Sometimes that’s the only experience our first-time home buyers have when looking at properties. That’s totally cool! We love to listen, and we’re here to help
answer any questions or debunk popular myths. We’ll never get upset with you for asking for our knowledge.
However, a Karen isn’t asking. Karens will insist they’re the experts, because they once binge-watched three episodes of Flip or Flop. And then they’ll complain about having to give you commission.
Instead of saying, “This is what they did on Flip or Flop, and they’ve made it on TV and you haven’t, so clearly Christina’s right.”
Take this approach. “Hey, I saw an episode of Flip or Flop the other night, and one of the hosts, Christina Anstead, said this. Is that true?”
Don’t Cancel Appointments or Stand Us Up
Everyone cancels plans from time to time. It’s just a part of life. Here’s what’s not okay:
As a rule of thumb, you should always treat people with the respect that you would want to show you. This includes when you’re buying a new home.
As your agent, we’re here to serve you. But as Karens fail to understand, a real estate agent doesn’t exist only to serve you.
Don’t Insist on Driving When You’re New to the Area
Real estate agents often compile a list of properties to see back-to-back in a single day. Great agents will even map out the best routes beforehand and make a schedule for the day. If you’re new to the city, or at least to the neighborhood, you should let your agent drive. Agents make a living selling homes on the streets they’re driving on.
Also, Seattle is a crazy city to navigate. If you don’t know it well, or if you suck at parallel parking (we’re looking at you, Gus!), let us drive. Maybe you can pick the music. Maybe.
Don’t make Comments in Front of the Seller
If there are two offers on the table for about the same amount, who do you think the seller will choose:
Don’t be rude to the sellers - especially to their face! Selling a home can be even more emotional than buying one. Sellers have built memories in these homes. They raised their kids in them. They were sitting at that kitchen table when Cecille got the phone call about her promotion. If you think that the backyard gazebo where the sellers renewed their vows isn’t even worth tearing down for firewood, don’t tell them that. Sellers are giving you a part of themselves, so please be respectful.
Nitpick the Little Things When Buying a New Home
Do you know what’s not important when looking at homes? Paint color!
Here are a few other items that should never make or break a buying decision:
All these things are easy to make your own. Often, they don’t even cost much to do so.
You’d think Karen would’ve learned this on HGTV. 🤷♂️
Don’t Aggressively Low Ball
There’s a fine line between a genuine offer and an insulting one. If the market price for a home you’re looking at is $600,000, don’t offer $350,000. That’s just boorish - and in this market, you’ll be laughed out of the neighborhood!
Listen to your agent’s advice when jointly agreeing on an offer. It’s our job to gauge how much the offer should be based on numerous factors like location, market, time on the market, and about a million other things. We want to get you the home of your dreams. Let us help you do that!
Make Life-Changing Decisions a Week Before Close
When buying a new home, your financing is conditional on the information your lender has being the same as when you fill out the closing paperwork. If you decide you just couldn’t possibly work at Chico’s one more day, or if you buy a Ford F-150 on a whim, it screws up the entire close.
Lenders want to see some job stability before signing on to your mortgage. Switching jobs, or making purchases that will impact your debt-to-income ratio, can throw things off enough for them to deny you your new home.
If this happens, please, please, please, please, please… Don’t ask to speak to the manager.
Buying a new home is an exciting, but sometimes stressful process. We are here to help you every step of the way. All we ask in return is that you be kind, be respectful… and don’t be a Karen.
By Anthony Greer
Anthony Greer specializes in content writing and brand messaging development for service-based businesses. www.anthony-greer.com