Everyone has their own unique vision of their dream home, which is why finding the “perfect” house for both you and your spouse can be difficult. Here are a few suggestions to help you work together to find a place that makes everyone happy.

1. Make a list.
Each person should sit down and make a list of the top ten or so features he or she wants in the next home.

2. Want or need?
Categorize each item on your list as a “want,” such as a magnificent view from the back deck, or a “need,” such as a home with a ranch layout to accommodate your achy knees.

3. Prioritize.
Arrange your lists from most important to least important features.

4. Discuss.
Discuss why each item is important to you so your partner understands your motivation and logic. Allow them the opportunity to do the same for their list.

5. Keep an open mind.
Don’t automatically eliminate properties with items you and your partner don’t agree on. One of you could change your mind after seeing a feature up close.

6. Ask your Realtor to mediate.
Your Realtor works for both parties, and therefore won’t play favorites. He or she can provide neutral advice on which features are a good fit for your budget, and which ones aren’t as great as they seem.

7. Calculate changes.
Sometimes, the features that a home lacks or needs changed won’t break the bank to address. Floors, closets, decks, countertops and sinks can all be upgraded for a cost that might be less painful than an argument.

8. Take a time out.
House hunting can be emotionally charged. If discussions get heated, take a break. Go for a walk or a coffee and agree to not discuss real estate until you return.

9. Keep the bigger issue in mind.
Whichever home you choose, you’re about to embark on a new adventure! Positive thinking goes a long way in the home search process.

Need a third party to help you and your spouse meet in the middle? Find a RE/MAX agent here: www.remax.com/officeagentsearch/.