I’m sure there are people who can tell you they fell in love and got married after the first date. There are no studies on how many of those couples are still together and happily married, but it is rare when someone buys the first house they see after the initial visit. The whole process of finding your soul mate and your dream home, is a nerve-wracking, labor-intensive, exciting time. Full of drama, doubt and anxiety, with many questions and concerns.
Is this the right one, will it last, will we be happy? Can we afford it?
The questions are very similar for both getting married and finding a home. The emotions people experience when they fall in love with a person and with a property, are often similar too. It’s emotional but it’s also business. A serious business at Towne Realty Group.
Every prospect who walks through the door is like someone on a blind date. Buyers go from house to house on the first “date” and they either get that feeling that the house has potential, or they want to leave without seeing the basement. Sometimes they are in and out so fast you don’t even have to ask; this was not the right house and they wanted to leave. It reminds me of many dates I had in my 20’s; I knew right away whether there was any chemistry with the guy who was sipping his beer across from me in that bar. There was no point in staying for dinner if we did not even enjoy our first drink together.
You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince, as the saying goes, and a high percentage of home buyers visit 10 to 20 properties before they make an offer. They may troll several websites searching online and see the photos before they wander into an open house.
It’s very similar to meeting that person with a certain sparkle, who you find attractive, and want to see again. When you walk in the front door of a home, you have a sense that this could be ‘The One’ and you want to linger, open the closets, place your furniture, imagine yourself living there.
For Realtors, the idea is to get buyers to come back again for that all-important second look, to single out their top choices in a sea of homes, and find the one property (that they can afford) that really speaks to them. How many people are living in homes (including me) that they NEVER thought they would buy? How many people are married to a partner that they NEVER expected to be ‘The One’? Ask any couple from two different religions if they were looking to meet and marry someone outside their religion, more often than not, it just happens, they did not plan it that way. They got that feeling and made it work.
If the Buyer’s Real Estate Agent is the matchmaker, our job is entice that agent, keep him interested and hope that he continues selling your house during the entire visit. Few people buy a house they have seen just once. They often want to bring someone (husband, wife, parent, friend, neighbor, relative, children) back for a second opinion, and they rely heavily on the Broker’s advice. Selling your house is similar to the courtship process and you, Mr Seller, need to set the stage properly, put some lipstick on, and make the buyers fall in love and stay in love. That is how romance works. You can’t sell the house and then cop an attitude and ignore your buyer. The romance continues until you get to the closing. Believe me, many buyers lose interest and walk away, just as many printed wedding invitations never make it to the post office.
How do we turn a blind date into the buyer for your home? Here’s how we do it at Towne Realty Group in Short Hills, NJ.
FIRST AND FOREMOST: YOU MUST HAVE GOOD PHOTOS. Think of real estate websites like online dating. Substitute Match.com with House.com and think of each photo of your home as the one the buyer will fall in love with.
- As your Broker I need to mobilize the other agents to get their buyers excited. Unfortunately, most agents do not care which house they sell, as long as they get the fee.
- We need to examine and understand the house hunting & buying process and make your home as accessible and desirable as possible. You will not get ‘the ring’ (a contract) if the buyers are not in love with your home or feel a sense of urgency. You need to look better than your competition and being nicer helps too.
- We need to respond to the activity, the offers or the lack thereof. If you rarely get a second ‘date’ it may be time to make some changes. If you are getting proposals (offers) that do not meet your standard, you may need to adjust your thinking. At the end of the day, qualified buyers determine the value and we need to listen and respond to what they are saying, or if they are saying nothing at all, and other homes in the price range or neighborhood are selling.
- We need to continually review the feedback and the competition and be proactive. Are other houses selling? Are other houses being reduced? Are there comments that you can actually respond to? (If the buyers complain about traffic, you can’t change that, but if the carpet or paint is unappealing, you can fix those things and make the house more ‘sexy and desireable’.
We will look at your neighborhood, focusing on the other homes with similar features, location and property that compare to your home to establish a range of value and a selling strategy. If you are serious about selling your home, you may need decor counseling and a change of attitude.
One of my agents recently described a house as being tired and in need of a face lift or botox. Seriously, how many people looking for love are doing just that to make themselves more appealing in the dating scene?
Let me help you make a match and you can walk right down that aisle to a closing!
Call me at 201-417-1600 or shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org