There are currently over 4,700 single family homes on the market that have not sold yet. This number is low and we do have a hot market, but I’m trying to make a point here. The bottom line is there will be sellers in any kind of market; Hot, Warm, Cold, that will not sell.
The most obvious reason is over-pricing. If you over-price your home, chances are it will not sell no matter how good the market is. In a rising market, the market will eventually catch up to your price and it may sell in time. If you’re not in a rising market it will just linger, and if the market turns to decline, you’ll be caught chasing the market down.
Understanding Today’s Home Buyer Critical to the Sale
But this isn’t supposed to be a pricing article either. Understanding your target market and who the buyers are today can make all the difference in selling or sitting. Agents who work with buyers must understand today’s buyers’ needs or you’ll be a chauffer and nothing to show for it.
Our team works with a lot of buyers. We also manage a condo sales center, so we see everyday the gamut of buyers and what their concerns are. Not every buyer is the same, nor is every group. We’ll talk about a few here.
First-time home buyers typically need a lot of information. They haven’t been though the process before and they have a lot of questions. They want to make a sound decision and can’t afford to make a mistake. They don’t know the hidden costs like polybutylene plumbing or older wiring and how that can affect their insurance costs.
Typically a first-time home buyer will find a home, go to contract, pay for inspections, and then learn all the repair items through the inspection reports. When they go to their insurance agent and find out the home cannot be insured, or it’s going to cost $5,000 year they get nervous. When they give the insurance quote to the lender they find out it disqualifies them to buy the home because in makes their income ratios out of balance.
These were all preventable and predictable outcomes. Having an agent and lender with experience could have saved everyone the trouble of going to contract. The seller had their home off the market for 10-15 days. The buyer is out inspection fees, and most first-time homebuyers are limited down payment money to begin with.
While nobody can predict the outcome of a property inspection, there are some things you should be looking out for. Buyers need to do a better job of selecting an agent who has experience who can guide them through the process. Sellers need to select an agent who won’t just take the first offer because it’s easy.
Sometimes buyers need creative help with the offer. Structuring the offer correctly upfront can make all the difference. If a buyer is tight on down-payment and closing costs, there are ways for the seller to legally help out and make the deal work. If the buyer is tight on ratios, sometimes an interest rate buy-down can make the difference.
The key is you have to know upfront the way to go. It’s usually (but not always) too late to go back and correct it later.
We haven’t even covered move-up buyers, relocation buyers, baby boomers, boomerang buyers, half-way backs, retirement, or 2nd home buyers. The key is, when you understand the buyer, you have a greater chance of getting the buyer into the home they love and the seller onto next, whatever that is.
If you’re a buyer, you can search the entire MLS for free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com Finding the right property is only half of the equation. Working through inspections, financing, HOA approvals, environmental, insurance, surveys, and title issues are the other half. Working with an experienced agent is invaluable.
When we say it pays to work with someone with experience and cares, it’s true. If you think it doesn’t pay, wait until you see what it costs if you don’t.
For the seller, it may cost you the sale. For the buyer, it may cost you application fees, inspection fees, appraisal, etc. It may cost you your dream home when you have to let it go. And it may cost you your 1st backup, because it sold while you were messing around with the wrong deal.
We’re here if you need us.. 239-489-4042
Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!
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