May 2014 Article

Guiding Your Buyers in a Strong Sellers' Market

A skimpy listing inventory with high buyer demand is a seller’s dream, but it can be a nightmare for buyers. They have to make rapid decisions when they find a home they like, with the chance they’ll be out-bid by other buyers. After losing out repeatedly, buyers can feel defeated, unless they have a confident guide by their side—a guide like you. Here are some tips for helping your buyers succeed in a strong sellers’ market.
Help lookers become buyers
Buyers must feel motivated and prepared to compete with other home shoppers. They might come to you already that way, with a compelling reason like a lease that’s expiring, or because they just got married. But buyers with a “just looking” frame of mind need to pump up their readiness to succeed in a strong sellers’ market. That will happen when they set goals, and are prepared to reach them.
Helping buyers set achievable goals
A dream home can become an achievable goal when you ask buyers to clarify their specific needs and wants. Well-defined goals are compelling goals. Step two is to help them set a timeline—another motivation booster. Most buyers try to avoid the pressure of deadlines, so ask, “If everything worked out perfectly, when would you prefer to move into your new home?” If they answer that question, they’ll have a self-imposed deadline. Renters sometimes fear committing to a long-term house payment, but a fun way of removing that motivation block is to run some “what-ifs” with them on a rent-versus-own calculator. There’s a plethora of them on the internet: Find a calculator you like, and help renters see how much money they’re losing by not owning.
Help buyers understand today’s market
It’s one thing to tell your new buyers that properties are selling fast, and close to, or above, asking prices, but it’s more convincing if they can see that for themselves. For example, when going over the properties you plan to show them, you might show MLS sheets for other selections that have already sold. They might not see other buyers, but they need to understand that they are out there in multitudes.
Helping buyers become decision-makers
Buyers are more willing to make decisions when they are confident, and that comes with feeling prepared. Take time to explain a few home buying details. For example, explain how earnest money works, and how much of a deposit they should expect. Going over the basic elements of a blank purchase agreement might seem premature if you haven’t shown them any houses yet, but a preview serves as sort of a rehearsal for the real thing. When they later get excited about a house they want, the purchase agreement will represent protections, and their ticket to getting the house off the market before another buyer can make an offer.
Home buying in a strong sellers’ market can be hectic for you and your buyers, but your professional guidance can help them feel confident and prepared for the challenge. 

By Jim Luger, CDEI
Certified Distance Education Instructor
Continuing Ed Express

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