Does this book need to be written?

When looking through my personal archive about my writing on intuition and decision making, I ran across a 2011 book idea. What do you think?

Drawing from neuroscience, behavioral economics, and years of on-the-ground experience with the tricks of the trade, The Clear-Headed Guide to Buying a House helps house buyers make one of the most complex decisions of their lives: buying the right home.

What separates The Clear-Headed Guide to Buying a House from the current best-selling real estate guides is that it covers the most common mistakes that buyers make. These mistakes are not choosing the wrong mortgage product or making a misstep in negotiation. The mistake is that the typical house buyer makes high-stakes financial decisions while in an emotion-driven state of mind.

Rona Fischman uses her experience with hundreds of house buyers and her skills as a teacher, counselor and writer to guide house buyers to their best decisions. To do so, they need to use their heart as well as their mind. The process involves turning off the sales hype, turning off the fear of loss, and seeing the purchase of a house for what it usually is: the biggest purchase of your life and the place you wake up in every morning.

The best way to make a decision, according to what we know about neuroscience, is to avoid over-complexity. House sales technique uses over-complexity to create confusion, over-stimulation, and fear. This makes the worst environment for good decision-making. Real estate books that focus on complexity intensify fear and helplessness in otherwise capable buyers.  For most people, the process of buying a home isn’t that complicated.

The Clear-Headed Guide to Buying a House summarizes the financial and paperwork steps to house buying in fewer than 30 pages. Instead of detailing variations of every possible way to buy a home, The Clear-Headed Guide to Buying a House provides a step-by-step process for making good financial decisions on residential real estate. This focus makes The Clear-Headed Guide to Buying a House the most complete guide for current house buyers.

Housing is a basic need. Housing is a fundamental financial investment. Housing is more interesting than sex*, it seems. Yet quality books on decision-making, economics, and psychology give short shrift to the biggest economic decision of most people’s lives – buying a house. Real estate books micro-manage the market and give how-to advice about paperwork and process. They fail to help consumers learn to think clearly and concentrate on what is important, for them, which is finding house.

The Clear-Headed Guide to Buying a House is a distillation of the experience of hundreds of house buyers. It exposes the emotional pitfalls and the thinking traps common to buyers and sellers. The minds of real estate buyers and sellers are cluttered with irrelevant, distracting, and frequently contradictory information which confuses them and prevents clear decision making. The structure of real estate sales works against consumers. Fischman provides and end-run on these sales tricks.

Because housing is so expensive, the financial stakes are high. Because housing is so personal, the emotional stakes are high too. The best houses are bought and sold by using the rational mind in conjunction with the emotional mind in balance. That balance can be achieved. Fischman will show you how. The goal is not to get the best deal; the goal is to get the best deal on the place where you wake up every day.

Knowledge of neuroscience that has grown exponentially over the past ten years. Real estate advice has not caught up until The Book with the Great Name. In this antidote to how-to real estate manuals. Fischman simplifies the paperwork and focuses on the decision.

Neuroscience shows that we humans are bad at choosing what makes us happy, we make bad decisions based on fear, we do not process large amounts of information as well as we think we do. Real estate, as it is sold in the United States, exploits those human weaknesses. The Clear-Headed Guide to Buying a House shows buyers how to recognize the hype, then turn it off. This book shines a light on the common tactics used to overload and push house buyers into hasty decisions.

In the footsteps of Stumbling on Happiness, How We Decide, and Blink, The Clear-Headed Guide to Buying a House is about how our minds work against us.  The Clear-Headed Guide to Buying a House shows how to harness our intellect and emotional intelligence to solve the real estate quagmire.

* “Looking at a recent magazine covers one is left with the impression that the whole world is concerned about US real estate prices. This is borne out by the fact that if you go to Google and type in sex you get 78,000,000 hits. If you type in real estate you get 110,000,000 hits, which makes housing about 40% more interesting than sex. Is there a greater sign of a bubble?”
John Maudlin, July 1, 2005 (

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