What do buyers REALLY want?
It’s a scenario we come across quite often with our owner-occupier home buyers. They need to move as it’s time to upsize, downsize or modernize, or take that all important first step into home ownership. As every buyer has differing tastes, budgets and criteria it certainly makes for a diverse range of inspections and outcomes during our search process. However, it can be a huge decision for most, as our clients range from those seeking simplicity through to those buyers who simply can’t make their minds up and find fault with the most pristine properties, even those that appear to tick all their criteria boxes. Then, there are the buyers who don’t really know what they want- even though they’ve completed the wishlist, arranged the finance, and drawn up a list of their desirable suburbs (and streets, in some cases). When we do locate something for these clients, it not only provides us with enormous satisfaction but a great sense of achievement, as it can be quite a process “working through” the various priorities and needs of such purchasers. Given that for some home buyers, this is the first move in several decades, we consider it a great privilege to be able to help with such an important decision in this time of their lives. Moving house is a big deal!
One thing we know for certain, however, is that the “perfect property” rarely exists, and buyers need to be realistic about what can and can’t be bought with their budget. This is why we take the time required with our clients to discuss the parameters of each client’s criteria, as well as their experience (or lack of) in the Sydney market. It is paramount that we are all on the same page when it comes to expectations and eventual outcomes, as well as the compromises that may need to be made along the way. With our buyers who don’t seem to have clear criteria, we have found it useful to first visit a variety of different properties, so they can experience the reality of such real estate, rather than gazing at it from the comfort of their laptops. Nothing like wearing out a little shoe leather and experiencing the reality vs the pretty wide-angle lens photos from some agency ads.
We’ve had downsizers express their desire for a smaller unit in the same suburb, only to end up buying another freestanding house in a neighbouring suburb. We’ve had first home buyers insist on a “move in condition” 3 bed home at the limit of their budget and end up with an older 4 bed property ready to be renovated (and for a much better price!). We’ve bought a two storey townhome for a couple who were initially adamant on only buying a single level place and we’ve had buyers change their mind from “as new as possible” to properties that required much more than a coat of paint and carpet before they could move in. We’ve had buyers send us links to properties that are so far removed from their initial brief, we’re no longer surprised!
As a buyer looking to purchase your next place, take a tip from us and do the following as an exercise. Write the answers to the following and read it BEFORE you go looking at that fancy house next open for inspection. It may seem obvious to some, but for others writing it all down can benefit enormously:
WHY DO I NEED TO MOVE?
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME IN A HOME?
WHO IS THE HOME FOR AND WHAT DO THEY NEED?
WHAT ARE THE FIVE ESSENTIALS (MUST-HAVES) THAT I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IN THIS HOME?
WHAT ARE THE FIVE DESIRABLES (NICE TO HAVE BUT NOT NECESSARY) THAT I’D LIKE IN THIS HOME?
WHAT AM I PREPARED TO COMPROMISE ON?
WHAT AM I NOT PREPARED TO COMPROMISE ON?
Assisting buyers to find out what it is they really want can be difficult at times, but we relish the challenge and are very proud with our 99% success rate to date, in locating homes for our hundreds of buyers. It is such an important decision, at what can be a very vulnerable and often overwhelming time during our busy lives. Taking the time to understand buyers needs and reach an excellent outcome is what we strive for here at House Search and we look forward to doing the same for you in the future.