Talking with prospective buyer clients every week involves having frank discussions about how they see themselves reaching their new house goals. Listening to them describe the sort of house they want along with how they see themselves living in the home, the neighborhood and location, helps set up a relationship that describes how a buying transaction will proceed.
Some folks are emotional buyers. They drive into a neighborhood, walk into a house and instantly fall in love. THIS is the house. The sofa goes there. The kids can set up the WII there. The stand mixer fits perfectly into that corner of the kitchen counter. They walk away from the house emotionally invested, talking about the colors of the walls … that sort of thing. These emotional buyers aren’t the best ones to introduce to short sales, where the offer they make may be rejected by the bank two or three or four months down the road. They crash hard when things don’t work out and it’s a bit more difficult to rally them to taking the next step forward.
Some folks are all about the money. They just want a good deal. They see themselves selling the house quickly – perhaps in months; perhaps in just a few years — and adding to their nest egg or retirement fund or stepping up to another house. They can fix it up. They see themselves re-doing the kitchen, or recarpeting the stairs. The “house” isn’t as important to them as their ability to make some money. They also feel it’s imperative to make a low offer and perhaps get every penny paid in closing costs. These can be good Buyers to introduce to foreclosure properties and maybe to short sales if they can make offers on several houses and wait out the process.
Other folks are just barely able to qualify for a mortgage. They desperately want a house before they get shut out in some way. They have a dream of home ownership, but know that they really can’t afford their perfect vision, so they look for the “fixer.” And yet that fixer is an unrealistic purchase for them. It needs a lot of work, won’t easily qualify for a loan, isn’t in their financing geographic area (such as for USDA loans), etc. These Buyers need education. They need to see lots and lots of houses to understand the market and what their money will buy and how they might finance it. They’re often emotional buyers too, but reality needs to sit in before offers make sense. These folks are often good bank-owned, Freddie, Fannie, or HUD-owned house buyers, especially where the house has had some basic repairs made with an eye towards livability.
Some buyers, especially move-up to the next house buyers, want their buying experience to be as hassle-free as possible. They may have a young family that tags along at every showing. The kids run through the house picking out their bedrooms. They’re emotional buyers as well, but grounded in the reality of looking for a well-priced home. They want a house that’s been loved. Sometimes they want new construction with all the pretty bells and whistles. They may want some space to spread out. They often have a good list of “wants” and “must haves.” These are good candidates for homes that are seller-owned and not short sales.
Finally, there’s the “down-sizing” buyer. Often they’ve had a large house, which could be fully paid for, and now want a place with less maintenance, smaller footprint, and quiet. Money is important to them as they don’t want to spend the entire gain from the sale of their previous home on a new one. They want a good deal and a comfortable home. These Buyers can good prospects for bank-owned sorts of homes where the necessary fix-up isn’t huge, along with private seller sorts of homes where the seller is moving up. Sometimes they’re good candidates for that manufactured home on an acre or so. Sometimes they’re perfect candidates for a condomium.
Of course, many folks feel that they fall into a mix of these buying styles. As an agent, it sometimes takes a while to “get it right.” Helping you identify how you see yourself proceeding through a transaction can greatly simplify and shorten the house search and increase your satisfaction with the buying process. It’s all part of getting to know you!