Dealing with sellers and working for the sellers, sometimes the buyers wants and needs get over looked. Its either a question of do you want the house or not, if so make your BEST offer. But seeing as the market has taken a turn and the buyers are far and few in between, I think agents should start thinking and focusing to the buyers. What do they want? What do they need?
At my last open house, I asked buyers that were in attendance, what are the MAIN things that attract them to a house or steers them away - fast.
Steer aways: (Things that will make you run faster than Forest Gump)
1. The PRICE - was far above any other factor. There was no hesitation in anyone's reply. When I searched a bit deeper I came to realize that although people want to buy a reasonable priced home, they also want to buy a nice home. As much as the price is a factor so is the condition of the home. If the two do not "fit" together then you will find your potential buyers making a deduction list and they will consider all of the items when making an offer.
2. CONDITION - What I mean by this is when the buyers walk through the house, they are auto deducting on items that should be or need to be addressed. For example, dropped ceilings - huge price reductions I have seen here. Buyers are so afraid of what is under that dropped ceiling they will deduct off the asking price, just for that alone. Popcorn Ceilings - A top of the list item that buyers hate - possibly more than the dropped ceilings. Old vinyl flooring, this is another item that people hate to buy when buying a house. Stained or mildew grout - this although is easy to treat and can be scraped out - when buyers see this - they freak. They will almost feel that they have to gut out the bathroom, before they scrape the grout out. Wood windows that are chipped or peeling paint. They buyers will assume that they have to replace all the windows. Broken storm or screen doors - If this happens to be the first thing that potential buyers see - then it is setting the tone for the rest of the viewing. Smelly or wet basements are a huge huge huge deterrent. This scares buyers into thinking that there is water damage and they are going to be left fixing the problem. Asbestos wrapped pipes, listen almost every home in Queens has this, if it is an older home. The cost to remove it and the procedure to remove it is almost comical, so a seller should make sure that the asbestos pipes are encapsulated. Old Crickity boilers, I want to just touch on this for a second. I can not stress to sellers that a old boiler shows the bones of the house. Buyers know that if a boiler busts - it busts! To invest $2000 - 3000.00 to replace an old boiler is something that I do recommend for the sellers to do prior to listing the house. The other item that should be addressed before placing a house on the market is termite inspection. Do the termite treatment and put the buyers concerns to rest. I do know for a fact that there are some banks, not all, but some that will NOT close on the loan unless a full termite inspection has been done.
So just with the items that I addressed above you can figure that the potential buyer has deducted alot of money. MORE money than it really costs to do such repairs, but buyers feel that the time and inconvenience should also be factored in. If a seller wants to sell their house "as is" with repairs that are needed than you need to expect that the buyers will make such allowance's when making an offer.
Attractions to BUY the home:
1. PRICE - When a house if priced right then the buyers will come, like bees to honey.
2. CONDITION -
4. Getting that "FEELING" when they step into your home - Call it silly or whatever, but when potential buyers enter the house, if they don't get that comfortable feeling or can not imagine their family living there - We lost them.