Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest transactions most people make in their lives. Now that you’re on the selling side of the process it’s important to understand what you’ll be dealing with when it comes to first-time buyers.
Home sellers play an important role in facilitating the first-time home purchase. Those who are able to put themselves in their shoes can increases their chances of a successful sale. Here’s what you need to know about first-time home buyers today:
They’re young and they’ve been paying a lot of rent
Most first-time home buyers are renters. As a home seller, it’s not your job to convince them that buying is better than renting in order to get them to sign on the dotted line. Your job is to understand what attracts them to market. With that knowledge, you can show them what they want to see.
Millennials are settling down, planning families and shopping for their first dream homes. As first-time home buyers, they want to be sure their real estate investment makes financial sense. If paying rent was like kissing money goodbye, paying a mortgage is like kissing every penny and making it count.
Young buyers are shopping for location. Some don’t even care about the house itself, as long as it’s located close to work, schools or shops. As renters, they were less concerned about location because didn’t anticipate living there for the long haul. The new Houston home buyers, however, are shopping for the future.
Do they own pets? Let them know about the dog park nearby. Will they be commuting to work? Rather than going on and on about how they’re going to appreciate the spacious garage, give them the scoop on local traffic and transportation. They’ll appreciate the advice. Besides, “commute” means many things to the younger generation. They could have been referring to their bike ride!
They do their homework
It’s a mistake to assume that inexperience means incompetence. First-time home buyers are quite often more prepared than other buyers. They’ve probably determined their budget, made their wish-list, pre-qualified for a loan, and already shopped for properties online. They know they are competing against more experienced buyers and they’re ready to play ball. It’s also likely that they’ve done their homework about your home for sale. Home sellers must be ready to negotiate with educated first-time buyers.
Listing your home for sale online is imperative because that’s where buyers are starting their search. If you’re working with an agent to sell your home, they will usually take care of this. Ultimately, it’s your home and you know it better than anyone else. Proofread the listings and ensure that important features of the home are included. If you’re selling and listing yourself, ensure that your property is visible on all the major channels with high-quality photos. Hiring a professional photographer is worth the spend in order to stay competitive with other home sellers online.
They have doubts
The biggest difference between the home seller and the first-time home buyer is emotion. Buying a home stirs up feelings: anticipation, desire, fear and doubt. Selling a home is more straightforward and motivated by profit.
First-time home buyers are nervous about making the right decision. They may have been at open house but it’s quite possible they’re walking away second-guessing things.
Keep them focused. Remember that they’re going to (or already have) seen a dozen or more other properties. Once they have a basis of comparison, they’re going to get pragmatic about what they really need, not just what they really liked. Ask a lot of questions about what they’re looking for rather than what they like. A home seller who is helpful, rather than agreeable, has a better chance with first-time buyers.
Remember that buying a home is keeping them busy! Rookie home buyers can be overwhelmed by all the appointments and meetings they must make time for. As a home seller, don’t make it difficult for agents and their clients to arrange a time to see the house. If you’re only willing to show it within a restrictive time frame, they’ll probably cross it off their list altogether in favor of more accessible homes for sale.
When you get an offer, respond quickly. Once a first-time home buyer submits their offer, they’re already stressed out. Forced to wait for your decision to accept, reject or counter the offer can be maddening and lead them to change their mind or find something else in the meantime. Usually there are expiration dates on offers so it’s in both parties best interest to take action immediately.
If you’re not having luck selling in today’s market, take heart. The real estate market is challenging. Home buyers have ever-changing needs. If you need help selling your Houston home, connect with us to discuss your options for a fast turnaround, cash offer on your Houston home for sale!