If you are thinking of selling a home in the greater New Milford, CT area you may want to take my short “Understanding Buyers 101 Course”. It’s free, don’t worry about it. Just read below!
Understanding Buyers 101 (a primer for sellers)
First let me say, data is not just for sellers. Data is supposed to give us clear information and help us to make informed decisions. Charts and graphs should tell a story that allows us to see past and current trends. But as we all know, we cannot extrapolate future trends from data where the housing market is concerned. We can only make a guess. And if you are listing now, you need to work with what has just happened and what is happening at this moment in time. Not trying to figure out what will happen in the next few months. The data I use to help me price a house is the same data the buyers are looking at! And buyers are looking at that same data, they use it to fuel that buyers bus they are driving!
Although data is very important, it is not everything. Let me take you into the mind of a real buyer.
When I take buyers out we have a price range. Within that price range they have picked out homes they want to see, a minimum and a maximum. Here is a day taken out of one of my showing days:
House number 1 is at their max price range, but at the max price it is the smallest square footage. We walk up to the front door and realize the siding is a mess, the windows have rotted in spots and were repaired very poorly, not a good first impression. They are already skeptical of what we will find inside. We walk in, the house smells like cat pee, the house is dirty, the kitchen appears to be a DIY job gone bad. They feel it is overpriced by a minimum of $60,000!
House number 2 is at the lower end of their price range. The house is small but wow, it shows well, it has made use of small space for great storage, it is priced for its size, condition and location. Although the garage really can’t be used as a garage because it is too small, they feel they can deal with that because.. it is priced to reflect that too. My buyers are very impressed. It is clean, neat, clearly well cared for. It makes the short list.
House number 3 is one I call “smoke and mirrors”. There is a flashy kitchen, which they are taken by, AT FIRST. But the house falls apart after that. The flow is choppy, the rooms are small, the basement is a walkout that can’t be made into useable space due to mechanical locations. Again, this house was at the top of their budget anyway. I have to say I think the price was based on the kitchen. Nope… not happening for these buyers.
Our trip told them the most modest home in price, size and location is the leader from that trip. Why? The sellers are very realistic about what their home is. They have done everything right before putting it on the market, they have made it warm and inviting, they have cleared the clutter, they have cleaned it up, showing off its best features. And they have priced it correctly! No smoke and mirrors, no pretension, no illusion. Clearly this house is owned by people who are interested in selling!
Buyers are driving the real estate bus these days. They are not going to stop for your house if you are not realistic about selling. And remember, many of you that are selling are going to be buying another house. And you can sit in the drivers seat then and drive the big shiny bus! My guess is your outlook will do a 180 when you are in the buyers seat.
c Andrea Swiedler 2011