Getting inside a buyer's head!

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

Many agents, when working up a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) on a property, will go directly to the MLS, and punch in the specifications of the property that they're trying to 'comp'.

In other words, if you're working with a three bedroom, two bath single family home, in the Willard School district in Evanston... they'll look to see what other 3br/2ba SFH's are currently for sale in the Willard District, and what other 3br/2ba SFH's are under contract, and which 3br2ba have closed in the last 3, or maybe 6 months.

This is a good plan, and will tell you exactly how you fare, against another 3br/2ba SFH in Willard.  And many agents stop right there.

BUT.. oddly enough, that's not necessarily how buyers think.  In order to get into their heads, you have to try thinking like a buyer.  (I have tried this Jedi-warrior mind trick, successfully, in other situations... like when my car keys are missing: "If I were a set of car keys, where would I be.....?")

So... just how does a buyer think?  While many buyers may be looking for exactly what you've got... some don't need that precise home.  Many would be willing to accept a one-and-a-half bath... they don't need two FULL baths, they just want the added advantage of an extra toilet.  Others might be willing to look at a nice two bedroom with a small den, since all they want is a place to put an itty-bitty office with their computer.

The next buyer might not care if it's a single-family house, they might be willing to take a townhome with a nice yard, 'cause they have a dog or a child and want some outside space... or maybe they just want to be able to barbecue, but don't want to stand on a two-and-a-half-foot balcony to do it.

And others, might not care if they're in Willard School District, they might be willing to accept Lincolnwood or Orrington.

So you need to open up your search, and see what those homes are selling for with the other parameters that your buyers might be searching for.  Think like a buyer... "All I need is 3bedrooms... what are my options?"

Now, that doesn't mean you have to price your three bedroom, 2 bath like a 2 bedroom 1.1 bath.  But you need to be aware of all of the options that are available to the buyers, when they're househunting, and position your new listing accordingly.

Be smart, don't box yourself in! Look at all the options. You sure don't want the buyer's agents to be the ones telling you why their clients bought that townhouse down the street, instead of your Single Family Home.

(265  -19)
phew, I broke through that plateau!

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois

   

Do not copy the content of this blog, without first contacting the author for permission. 
Reblogging IS allowed. All other use is strictly prohibited without express permission from me.

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the computer to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
Dedicated Bloggers
Midwest Rainers
Realtors®
The Ninety-ninth Percentile
"Whacked"!!!
Tags:
get inside a buyers head

Comments 37 New Comment

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the woman to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainer
18,676
Wade Mattingly
WEICHERT Realtors--Bluegrass Living

Ok, I'll admit it.  I don't get the Plateau remark or the (265-19).  Darn newbie.

February 09, 2011 11:54 AM
Ambassador
983,676
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Christine - true, valuable from the other side, too.

Melissa - you're being kind in saying "sometimes".

Judy - thank you.

Wade - Welcome to Active Rain (and to my blog)... the plateau comment and the (265 19) both refer to this post.

February 09, 2011 01:55 PM
Rainmaker
597,770
Nancy Conner
Olympia/Thurston County WA
Managing Broker - City Realty Inc

Good stuff to consider Alan!  I notice this willingness of buyers to trade off  especially when they have to choose between a newer home on a small lot versus a 70's vintage on a larger lot.  (not that they all trade off in the same direction!).  But for the seller of a 70's house who thinks the larger lot will capture all buyers - disappointment ahead.

February 09, 2011 04:01 PM
Rainmaker
151,805
Denise Roberts
e-PRO, REALTOR - Specializing in Pinehurst, NC Area
New Colony Properties, LLC

Alan - I agree with your posts most of the time...AND, this is another one of those times.  You never really know what the Buyer is 'open' to, until you show them something that wasn't on their list ;-)
Different neighborhoods within my town play only a small part in the 'location' game.  So, most of my CMA's/Research is done throughout my entire town.  Cheers to the -19!

February 09, 2011 04:04 PM
Rainmaker
997,506
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Realtor
Laguna Beach & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395
HOM Sotheby's Intl Realty, 949-510-2395

So true....it takes a lot of questioning to really understand what the buyer truly wants. Congrats on the plateau

February 09, 2011 08:16 PM
Ambassador
983,676
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Nancy - plenty of disappointment for all.

Denise - nice opening... and thanks on the -19.

Karen - that's true... it takes a great deal of conversation to learn what a buyer truly wants... oftentimes (as you know) even THEY don't know.  and thanks.

February 09, 2011 08:46 PM
Rainmaker
261,643
Jack Mossman - The Nines Team in Stockton
The Nines Team at Keller Williams
The Nines Team At Keller Williams

Alan - You present an excellent opportunity for the listing agent as well.  My job is to sell the house ... and understandingthe search parameters and how to enlarge the response that includes my properties ... so much the better.  Even with REO properties we try and put as much detail in the mL:S as possible ... because I really want every opportunity for a buyer's agent to find my property ... and the buyer when they are "searching" on line ...

February 09, 2011 10:12 PM
Rainmaker
213,033
Elizabeth Arduain
Lubbock Texas Real Estate
The Diamond Group @ Keller Williams

Good Points to bring up.  Need to know our competition and what it offers in relation to our listings. 

February 09, 2011 11:16 PM
Rainmaker
1,776,282
Gabe Sanders
Stuart Florida Real Estate
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales

Absolutely Alan.  There's the CMA or current market value, and then there's the reality of the competition that's out there and what is available.

February 10, 2011 07:43 AM
Ambassador
983,676
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Jack - that's the general idea.

Elizabeth - true that.

Gabe - and today, the competition is critical.

February 10, 2011 08:29 AM
Rainmaker
28,505
Fritz Barnes
BizProMedia

Everything you have said is right on. I was going to toss in a comment about the house having to appraise, but then I realized what you are really talking about is moving to a lower price to be competitive with more buyers.

 

February 10, 2011 08:35 AM
Ambassador
983,676
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Fritz - what I'm really talking about is pricing properly.  If you only use the exact same house to comp against, you might be missing the bigger picture.

February 10, 2011 09:11 AM
Rainmaker
447,863
Malcolm Johnston
Trenton Real Estate
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario

This is one of the reasons why CMAs can be a tricky proposition. Sometimes there's a lot of subjectivity involved.

February 10, 2011 09:41 AM
Ambassador
983,676
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Malcolm - there's a lot of subjectivity involved. That's why the experience level of the agent, and their instinct and track record is so important.

February 10, 2011 10:31 AM
Anonymous #32
Anonymous
Anonymous

If I were Alan May, would I be up at 1:42 in the morning commenting on ActiveRain blogs? Hmmm. Good question. Good night!

February 11, 2011 04:41 AM
Ambassador
983,676
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Russel - I know I sure wouldn't!

February 11, 2011 08:36 AM
Rainer
369,954
Tish Lloyd
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches
BlueCoast Realty Corporation

Boy, oh, boy have you ever hit the nail on the head -- I've tried teaching this to so many of my agents in the past and those who actually engage, come away with a very happy Client.  Nice post -- late to the party, but still had to lean . . .

February 11, 2011 11:29 AM
Ambassador
983,676
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Tish - always welcome to the party.

February 11, 2011 11:35 AM
Rainmaker
454,368
Wendy Rulnick
Destin FL Real Estate
Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Alan - A lot of agents miss the "big picture" when pricing.  Another thing to do if you're not sure about your price - instead of checking criteria - see what else is is for sale in the price range you're coming up with. For example, if you're coming up with $150K and it doesn't seem  right, you might see homes with way more square footage and/or newer, that may not have been in your original search criteria.  It's like double-checking yourself.

February 11, 2011 07:10 PM
Ambassador
983,676
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Wendy - that's another excellent fail-safe.

February 11, 2011 07:11 PM
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the printer to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Ambassador
983,676

Alan May

Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the magnifying-glass to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information