Blog Stories Tell Me What You Want (What You Really Really Want!)

Tell Me What You Want (What You Really Really Want!)

By Mel Marzahl, April 16, 2019

What do you really really want? Are you a buyer trying to find a home that that zig-a-zag-ahs all the boxes? Are you looking for a unicorn of a house?

What about you, sellers? Do you want to sell your home, but really need certain things? There’s price (obvs), but what if you need to find a new home before you can move? Or a fast closing?

Buyers – Tell me what you want

Buyers sometimes beat out the competition for their dream house because they made the highest offer, but sometimes it’s more about the terms. Alyssa and Stephen had a very specific home they were looking for, in a few specific neighborhoods. They loved some of the older neighborhoods in the West Hills and Beaverton, and were looking for:

  • a split level home
  • with a short commute to work
  • energy efficient
  • has been updated but without taking away the original character of the home
  • newer windows
  • a shop
  • a big yard for the dog
  • an open layout
  • an office area separate from the living space
  • main systems of the house to be updated, but not completely remodeled because they want to put their personal touches on it

After missing out on one because we didn’t have our pre-approval ready yet, we went out to tour a few houses. On our second tour, there were four houses on the list Well, the one they said they were least interested in seeing, turned out to be the unicorn! Whoo Hoo! The only problem is that once they made the decision to write an offer we learned that this home checked a lot of boxes for many other buyers too.

Sellers- What do you really really want?

Alyssa and Stephen wanted this house. It was the one for them! So, what did we do to beat out the competition? Well, we knew that people would be offering a little over asking, so we did that to match nearby comps. But how to make us stand out? I gave the listing agent a call and talked it over. My goal was to help them write an offer the sellers would be happy about and didn’t cost Alyssa and Stephen more than necessary.

We learned that the sellers hadn’t found their next home yet, and may need to stay in the home after closing. This worked out just fine for Alyssa and Stephen because they were in no rush to move. They were renting and were going to need to break their lease anyway, so waiting a little while was a-ok with them. We offered the sellers a free month in the house after closing so they could have time to find their new home. To make it extra sweet, we also offered to let them stay longer than a month if needed, and just asked that they cover the cost of Alyssa and Steve’s rent if they decided to extend.


The sellers happily accepted and Alyssa and Steve didn’t pay more than they needed to and got the house of their dreams.Their flexibility in timing is what ended up sealing the deal for them! They just closed on the home, and learned that the sellers have an accepted offer on on their next home, so they may not need to extend their stay after all. 🙂

A little communication goes a long way when you’re buying and selling. Tell me what you want and need and I’ll look for the common ground with the other side. Finding out what everyone really really wants and learning how to make all sides happy is fun, sometimes tough, but rewarding!

Alyssa and Steve sign for their new home!

Congrats Alyssa and Steve! I can’t wait to see what you do with your new home.

Mel Marzahl


A Pacific Northwest native, Mel became a passionate advocate for homeownership and investing in real estate after buying and selling her first home. What interested her most was realizing the significant financial impact the right investment property can make and learning how much having a home to truly call your own can improve your quality-of-life. Her specialties are working with first time home buyers and sellers but is fluent in all aspects of residential real estate. She is also a CNE, or Certified Negotiations Expert, and knows that with all the technology available to buyers and sellers, one of the best skills a realtor can have is knowing how to be a collaborative negotiator in order to get the best for their clients. After a decade long career working in operations and client service for creative companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mel earned her Oregon Broker’s license and made the move to real estate. Her philosophy in real estate is listen to her client’s needs and to treat everyone involved in a transaction with honesty and integrity. She loves getting to know her buyers and sellers, many of whom become friends, and ensuring they get the highest level of service she is known for. With a background in art and events, Mel brings creativity and an eye for detail to the table. She enjoys a remodel project, has a soft spot for Old Portland and 1900's craftsman houses, helping first time buyers, and educating her clients on the selling and purchasing process. She believes in staying up to date on Portland real estate trends, but also technology and tools available to agents. This gives her an edge when it comes to researching and marketing properties, as well as communicating with her clients. When Mel is not working in real estate she is volunteering with the Red Cross, gardening, hosting dinner parties, or relaxing at home on Bull Mountain with her husband, Mike, and two big dogs, Indy and Jackson.
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