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A house can be changed physically to fit the buyers’ needs, and then it becomes their home. A big piece of that is falling in love with a neighborhood, and to do that, buyers first need to decide what’s important to them and rank those “wants.”
Figuring out your buyers’ wants and needs
The buyer will never find the “perfect” neighborhood, but, some neighborhoods will work, and some will not. Schools might be most important, or your buyer’s hobbies might include sports, and so they want to be near the major and/or minor league sport stadiums.
Then there’s golf, swimming, winter sports, fishing and so many others. Realtors need to understand whether the buyers have children who will be there and who will be going to after school sporting events — we all know that mothers are running around to the different events almost year round.
Medical needs might also be important. The perfect neighborhood might need to be easily accessible to the local medical district. The Realtor should appreciate the age of the buyer in this regard — the older we get, the more important good medical facilities are to us.
Buyers might also not want to deal with yard work or snow removal. Consider a townhome or condo as opposed to a single-family home in that case.
In the Pocono Mountains region, for example, there are different style communities that offer a lifestyle and a neighborhood of their own.
Does the community have amenities? Is it close to shopping? Are the neighbors a good fit with your buyers? Those are all important factors when buying a home in a community.
There are hundreds of reasons buyers fall in love with a neighborhood, and helping them develop a crush is something agents can and should do. Here are three ways to help buyers fall for the neighborhood.
1. Simply ask your buyers, ‘What would you like to see in your neighborhood?’
At my brokerage, we have a questionnaire when sending referrals to other areas.
Our questionnaire asks:
- What are your three most popular styles of homes?
- Do you have children?
- What’s important to you lifestyle-wise? (golfing, swimming, fishing, hiking, etc.)
The buyers then check off or circle what is applicable. We list golf, swimming, fishing, medical facilities and other features that give the agent an intro to the buyers and what’s important to them.
This type of questionnaire allows agents to help buyers find the right neighborhoods to start courting because agents have a stronger sense of what to show them.
2. Consider the downtown resurgence, driven by millennials
You’ll know when you find the right neighborhood for the millennial buyer; they cannot hold the excitement in. “Wow … there’s a Starbucks (or insert whatever excites them) right down the street.”
Then, you know they love the neighborhood.
3. Show them the numbers
Demographics on an area can give you the details of a neighborhood at the click of a mouse. And, you are able to get any and all information about school districts, household income and other demographic details that can be important to buyers.
When buying a house, what makes it a home is the neighborhood. Today, online, your buyer can see a home inside and out, the room sizes, the floor plan and the colors.
But falling in love with the neighborhood is agent-facilitated. It requires a personal touch, and agents can’t sell the lifestyle or the neighborhood without seeing it first.
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Thomas R Wilkins is founder and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates located in the Pocono Mts of Pennsylvania.