Friday, March 4, 2011

How To Win The Buyer vs. Seller Matchups

As I have said throughout the real estate crisis, advertising and marketing continues to play a significant role in turning the market around. Not only how much, but how.

Agents advertising their listings need to, more than ever, focus on who the most logical potential buyer is. I’m not talking about ethnicity or nationality, or anything else that cannot be included within an advertisement. It is where and how you advertise a listing that makes all the difference in today’s market.

If you are a buyer, or an agent fortunate enough to have a sincere buyer, consider their needs. When you have an individual or group which is investing, that is when you might look closely at “fixer-upper” listings. At least, any which are at the lowest of the low in terms of price for the area the property is in.

This way, an investor can be presented with two options. Point out that he/she/they can look at flipping the property in the near future if local price comparisons would work in their favor. Or, point out how by contracting certain improvements over the next few months could place the property in the caliber of a comparable “move-in condition” home in the same community.

For example, suppose you have a 3-bedroom fixer-upper reduced to $175,000. Your research shows a nearby 3-bedroom home in “move-in” condition listed at $188,000. Let the investor see what needs to be done in order to equal or “beat” the $188,000 home, and let the investor determine the approximate cost to make that happen. If there is a fit, the investor then has a direct reason to jump all over the $175,000 home.

Why only show the “fixer-upper” to investors? Frankly, too many agents pushing listings should know the answer but don’t.

With the huge amount of inventory out there, many agents overlook that buyers looking for a home for the family or even themselves don’t need to purchase a “fixer-upper” and spend and work themselves crazy to save a few thousand dollars anymore.

They are finding ready-to-go homes that don’t need much work for right around the same price. Conditions have changed because of all of the lower priced homes out there in most communities. Families no longer have to buy the house without a floor but with cracked walls for less money in order to move in to the area they want. Chances are they can get a great price on a “ready to go” home that lets them spend Saturday afternoons at the movies instead of on their knees scrubbing.

Agents need to keep these factors in mind when trying to move their new listings. That includes advertising and marketing. Some buyers want the best place to move into and have it be functional. You should be able to point out that “for $5,000 more, you save the $10,000 worth of work and the hours of your labor to fix up the other property” to a family.

At the moment, the way to go is to think in terms of matchups. What fits best for the situation. In basketball, the best scorer on your favorite team doesn’t always match up against the opponent’s best scorer. It depends on which player is best equipped to defend. When it comes to a job opening, it isn’t always qualifications. It is often which candidate best fits in with others on the team that determines the hire. And in real estate, it now needs to be the buyer with the “best fit” for the seller. But first, it needs to be pointed out.

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