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What Sellers Should Know About Today’s Buyers

July 22, 2013
From Loan Officer Lou King

From Loan Officer Lou King

The housing market has improved over the last year, which is welcome news, but the downturn over the past several years has impacted buyers’ behaviors and their mindset when they approach purchasing a home.

Here are a few important things your sellers should know when it comes to working with current homebuyers.

1. Price is king. Buyers are still wary about the market and overpaying for a home. They know many buyers overpaid in the mid 2000s and then found themselves underwater when home prices dropped. They also know others who have bought foreclosure or short sale properties more recently. Yes, neighborhoods and school districts matter greatly, but the ultimate filter will be price.

2. Buyers begin their shopping online. According to the 2012 Profile of Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors, for 41% of homebuyers, their very first stop in the home buying process is the internet. In their search, they set filters for homes they want to see, such as price, bedrooms, and garage spaces. That is wonderful news if a buyer’s home is priced correctly – it will come up in the initial search. However, it also means that if a property starts out overpriced to “test the market,” it may never be returned in the search listings, and motivated, ready-to-go buyers won’t see it at all.

3. A picture is worth a lot. Because buyers place so much weight on their online comparison shopping, the photos of the interior and exterior can help move a home to the top of a buyer’s list or remove it all together. Photos entice buyers or turn them away, so they need to be well done and include the key locations that buyers care about: kitchens and bathrooms.

4. The internet has made comparison shopping easier than ever. They can easily jump from property to property online to compare homes of the same price range. A good exercise for sellers is to do the same thing – search the home listings of properties in the same area and sales price and see how their own compares. Is their house priced realistically? Are there numerous homes in the same price range that have similar or even better amenities? Where does their home fall? Sellers will have a better picture of the competition, and perhaps become more willing to negotiate with buyers if an offer comes in.

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