Are you the right seller for my buyer clients?
I read a survey recently published by the National Association of Realtors in which buyers were asked what were the most important aspects of deciding which was the right home for them. National surveys interest me, but I find personal surveys much more informative. So, I asked some of my current buyers what helped or hurt them in their home searches. I found the results mirrored what the NAR survey came up with, with a few differences.
One of the things my clients said they wanted was market priced homes. They were immediately turned off by homes that were over priced. These clients spend a lot of time, I mean a lot of time, researching homes on-line. They get information from me but they also search other websites as well. These are smart, sophisticated people who can spot an over priced home quickly. They can’t understand, and neither can I, why a seller would over price their home when it is so easy to find similar homes in the same neighborhood with better pricing.
Another issue is actually viewing homes. I had a couple recently view a nice home in my area that was properly priced but when we arrived for the viewing the home owner was there. The owner then proceeded to walk my clients through the home giving running commentary about everything he had done to the house. They felt uncomfortable opening closets and cabinets with the owner standing there. When I had shown them other homes, where the owner wasn’t present, they spent time engaging each other in what worked and didn’t work about the house. In this case, I got almost no feedback from them about the house and they left quickly after the owner left the room.
Photos, or the lack of photos, is a hot button for my buyers. If they see a home for sale and there are only a couple of photos of the property, boy do I hear about it. My clients need to see photos of the kitchen, bathrooms, backyard, living spaces and exterior of the house. It is almost impossible for me to interest them in homes with few photos available.
Homes for sale in As-Is condition. In California, our purchase agreement speaks to the condition of a home several times. The agreement specifically states that the home is purchased in as-is condition but it also provides the buyer the opportunity to have physical inspections done so the buyer can be satisfied of the condition of the home. If a listing says the home is only for sale in as-is condition or that the seller won’t make any repairs, my buyers become hyper-critical of everything they see. They also suspect there are problem with the home they can’t see. I know that in short sales, as-is condition is the norm, but if we are talking about a traditional sale, having a seller say “I won’t make any repairs” is a real red flag to my clients.
Having limited showing times is another issue for some of my clients. All of my current clients work for a living and their employers expect them to be at work during working hours. Recently one couple was interested in a home but it could only be viewed Monday-Friday 10AM-4PM, excluding nap time 1PM-3PM. No matter how much we tried to negotiate a showing outside those hours, the answer was always no. I had another couple a few years ago interested in a house. I called to set an appointment with the owner and was told their daughter was sick. No problem, nursing a sick child puts extra stress on any parent but when I asked if I could call back in a couple of days to see if the child was better I was told no. The owners would call me when it was convenient, I never did get a call.
If one of more of these scenarios describes you as a seller, then you probably aren’t the right seller for my buyer clients.