I color code my calendar. My family thinks that is extreme. But with a quick glance, by the color of pen used in each 30-minute segment of the day, I can make sure that I am not neglecting any areas – from work to family to mundane tasks like getting groceries. While most things are clearly a particular color, sometimes there is flexibility. For example, most times when I go to the grocery store, I write that in black ink (the color I use for mundane things that need done). But there are occasions when going to the grocery store can feel like a special treat – like time alone to unwind. During those times, I write grocery shopping in pink ink because it is “me time.”
Recently, I learned something about my calendar color coding. I learned that not everyone in my family would use the same color coding choices that I do. I know exactly where we were when I realized this. I was driving with my son, Seth, on Route 30 just west of Apple Creek Road. We were headed to the orthodontist, just the two of us, one-on-one time with my offspring. So of course this appointment was written in blue ink in my calendar. I use blue for family time.
I had just hung up my phone from a 911 call I received from one of my agents when we got to that fateful spot on Route 30. I said to my son, “Seth I am sorry that I had to take that phone call during our special time. It was an emergency call and she really needed me.” Then he said it. “Mom, it’s fine. This is not special time, we are just driving to the orthodontist.”
I was shocked.
“But Seth,” I said, “You don’t consider this special mother/son bonding time?” He kind of looked at me like I had two heads.
I think that he felt bad that he had “ruined” my color coding calendar by suggesting that my blue activity had been moved to the mundane activity, because he quickly said something along the lines of “I like spending this time with you but it isn’t blue ink so feel free to use your phone.”
A week or so later, while heading to the doctor with our oldest son, I told him the story. He laughed and agreed with his brother. While they were happy that I was available to take them to their appointments, it was clearly not their definition of special time with mom.
My agents and I see this same scenario with buyers too. They think that they are on the same page with each other (just like I presumed that my boys thought that doctor visits were surely bonding moments). But once they have a chance to sit down and talk about it, they discover they aren’t of the same mindset.
Or what they want might change – just like my opinion on whether my grocery store visit is going to be in pink or black ink – based on their new mood or new experiences.
When we bought a two-door vehicle before we had any kids, we didn’t think that it was a big deal to put an infant carrier into the back seat of a car or to pull it out. Our “want” in our car criteria changed probably by the time our firstborn was a week old as we realized how awful it was to climb into the car to attach his seat! Our circumstances changed quickly which caused our opinion to change as well.
It is completely normal to think that the two of you are on the same page only to realize that you have more talking to do.
While you both might know that you want more storage, for example, there are other details related to storage that you might not have thought about. Like our first apartment in Bowling Green as newlyweds. We had a linen closet, clearly called a “linen closet” to hold towels and sheets in my opinion. He also liked the linen closet storage for blankets and tools which he had no other place to put because we were in a second floor apartment. Both opinions on what to do with the storage we knew we needed were legitimate. And both opinions were completely different for what to do with the storage we knew we needed.
One of the many things that my agents are good at is helping the buyers get on the same page. Just like my version of mother/son bonding differed from my sons’ idea, a good agent can help you see where the two of you have a different idea of how you each view things. Especially in this market, buying can seem more like a task than a fun experience. Ensuring that you both are using the same color ink – so to speak – can help keep you make the decision to say yes or no to a house with no regrets.
Esta Ryder, Broker/Owner
Ryder Realty, LLC