Don’t miss the opportunity for home ownership. Buy soon or you’ll kick yourself later. Mortgage rates are at historic lows. Tax credits are available. The major real estate brands are united in their message that it’s time for qualified homebuyers to get over the financial doom and gloom, face their concerns and move forward – or miss out.
So why don’t they? One possible (major) obstacle to getting transactions done is an information imbalance that favors sellers over buyers. Real estate pros routinely crunch MLS data and prepare extensive marketing presentations with CMAs for sellers, while buyers proceed with listing information and whatever neighborhood information they can gather on the Internet. Would buyers buy if they were better informed?
Brett Woolley, eNeighborhoods national speaker, often tells his training classes that home buyers don’t need a chauffer – they need a neighborhood expert. He makes light of the situation, but it’s true that many agents simply drive buyers around and open doors to local homes for sale (many of which the buyers themselves have found!).
Woolley says that to add value for home buyers, it’s important to create a dialog that enables you to learn about their goals and requirements for buying a home. At the same time, you should be delivering knowledge that builds your reputation as a local expert.
He suggests that real estate pros level the playing field with sellers for better loyalty and better results.
- Sales guru Brian Tracy says that organized presentations are 20 times more effective than random presentations. Yet, many agents simply wing it when showing homes, rather than creating presentations that help buyers organize their thoughts and make better buying decisions. You can also provide custom loan scenarios, neighborhood statistics and school information for each client.
- After looking at several homes, buyers can get confused as to which home had the features they liked or disliked. To help buyers decide, you can add a comments section to each listing that enables buyers to make notes on individual properties. They can then refer to the notes they’ve taken on their BuyerTour and tell you which properties they prefer. Provide an area for notes and encourage your buyers to use it!
- To truly stand out from the crowd, help buyers put together an offer on the home they decide to purchase. With some analysis of for-sale properties, pending sales and recent sales, you can create an offer that shows sellers they are dealing with a serious buyer. A more serious initial offer can also shorten your total transaction time by minimizing the rounds of offers and counter-offers that happen when buyers and sellers are far apart on price.