Buyers usually have a love-hate relationship with homes. They either fall in love with a home or are totally disgusted by it. It can be quite frustrating for an agent when buyers complain about a home especially if they requested something close to it or something within that price range. The thing is, buyers’ buying decisions are affected by many things among them psychological peculiarities and unreasonable expectations. Sometimes, hidden issues can make them develop hatred for a particular home.
If buyers hear rumors about development, building, and zoning changes, they may become less interested in a property. New projects which might re-route freeways, affect neighborhood parking, or create subways are usually broadcasted to the public years ahead of time – at times even years before the plans are complete. These might make homes in the projected path of development less desirable to buyers even though the properties might not be affected by the final plans.
As a realtor, you can deactivate rumors about a home by providing the correct information about it in online listing materials. You can also decide to market the property to buyers who will be eager about the upcoming developments.
If there are rumors that a property was the site of a crime or is haunted, you can offer a Feng Shui session or a cleansing session to ease buyers’ minds. If a home has an unpleasant past, neutralize buyers’ concerns by advising sellers to provide free upgrades that create a clean slate.
Buyers not only examine a property during a showing, they study the behavior of the neighbors. Strange neighbor behavior can disgust buyers and put them off in an instant. It is important for sellers to make sure that their properties have good surrounding views or are enclosed if they don’t. Ask your sellers about unfriendly neighbors, unruly pets, and any other things that might cause buyer antipathy to their properties.
No buyer wants to spend money making upgrades a seller could have made. Buying a home is already costly enough. Buyers also hate homes that don’t maximize features. For example, a buyer may lose interest in a beach house if it has few windows. Another buyer may be put off by a Victorian home with modern refurbishments that overwhelm the ancient features. While you can’t do a lot for such properties, you can market them correctly and price them properly. Never tease buyers with homes that promise features they don’t have.
Some buyers base their buying decisions on furniture. Those with prized furnishings might want to hold out for properties with ample space. They may want to move with their inherited or costly furniture pieces. Your job as a realtor is to make them choose properties which fit their needs. Tell sellers to focus on home staging to help buyers see how gorgeous properties look even without their favorite furnishings. You can also show buyers alternative spaces where they can place additional furniture pieces. If nothing else works, remind them that a home is a very valuable investment and buying one around a furniture piece might not be the best of decisions.
Sometimes, buyers fail to make offers because they are afraid of the competition. Most don’t have a good understanding of the market and they end up disqualifying themselves. You can help them to understand market dynamics and alleviate their concerns by showing them what the level of competition truly is. However, make sure you confirm if this is fine with the sellers and appropriate home association rules.
For more tips to help your clients, look to the iHouse blog.
Ronique Gibson is an Associate Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional, who has been in the design industry for over 13 years. She started her design blog in 2009 and today it has become a premier destination for helping homeowners with everyday lifestyle challenges. Her readers check in daily for help with their homes, DIY project ideas, recipes, crafts, and inspiration to beautify and enjoy their homes.