Lancaster County PA Realty Check: What Really Motivates Buyers?

What Really Motivates Buyers?

In a previous post, I wrote about sellers who inadvertently blew their chances for a sale by following showing agents and their buyers around the home.  In this post I want to discuss what really motivates buyers, and how you as a seller can make the most of it.

Too many sellers, (and too many real estate agents for that matter), don't really understand what motivates buyers to make a purchase.  The results of this misunderstanding can easily be seen in classified ads that merely recite a laundry list of features - beds, baths, square feet, gas heat.

Buyers don't buy features - they buy benefits.  This is illustrated in an adage I heard long ago:  "A hardware store customer isn't buying  a quarter inch drill - he's buying a quarter inch hole!"  Therefore, if you want to connect with buyers, you need to show them the benefits of living in your particular house.

Buyers will tell you of all the logical reasons which caused them to buy a particular home - but when the actual decision is made, it will be made for emotional reasons.  Buyers buy homes for the lifestyle they can picture living in those homes.

How does all this tie back to the protocol of showing a house to buyers?  Buyers need to put themselves in the mental position of feeling like they are the potential owners of the home they are viewing.  Indeed, how can a buyer pretend that they are entertaining in the family room, or relaxing on the deck, or enjoying the Jacuzzi, when the seller is following them around, pointing out how efficient the new water heater is?

Sellers, for your own self interests, leave the showing agent and the buyers alone when they come to view your home!  If at all possible, don't even be present during the showing.  No good can come from interaction at this point with the buyers, and any questions that the buyers may have can be asked later of the listing agent, who can in turn get the information from you.

In addition, you should be represented by a REALTOR who understands the difference between creating a laundry list of features, and creating a marketing plan that paints emotional reasons why a buyer would love to live in your property!

©2008BrianSchulman

Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation to Lancaster County, PA home buyers and home sellers To learn more, visit http://www.FindLancasterHomes.com/

 

 

Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA.  To learn more, visit http://www.FindLancasterHomes.com/

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Comment balloon 21 commentsBrian Schulman • June 22 2008 01:09PM

Comments

Well said Brian!

And you should have a professional stager on board who specializes in the art of creating an environment to encourage that crucial emotional connection that leads directly to a sale...

Michelle Molinari

www.featurethisdotdotdot.com

Posted by Michelle Molinari, Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts (FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor) over 9 years ago

Hi Brian,  Very well thought out and presented post.  Why is this such a difficult concept for so many sellers/agents.  Thanks again.

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 9 years ago

Let's also add to the list the seller could inadvertantly make a discloure mistake, that contradicts the condition report and possibly lead to a lawsuit.

Wether the sellers realize it or not they are paying the showing agent if they sell the home, let them work for it.

Posted by Andrew Baumbach, Greater Milwaukee Real Estate (Homestead Realty Inc.) over 9 years ago

Brian,

Awesome post! I'm going to flag this post as I believe it should get all the exposure it can get and is very well written.

Every seller should read this prior to having their property listed (and all agents should be aware of this important information as well...far too many aren't and end up doing a disservice to their sellers).

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

I tend to think that buyer buy a home because they feel good in it.

The last thing we need is a seller pointing out the features of the house, some of which the buyers have decided to overlook.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

With all the coverage Home Buying is getting these days on HGTV and TLC...I actually feel badly for Buyers...especially first timers!

People who have had a home before understand what's important and what isn't...they've lived it! But these shows make first timers feel they should be demanding hardwood floors,granite,open concept and stainless steel....to name but a few. Forgetting about location, potential and a "good fit". I think a lot of great houses get overlooked because of pre-conceived notions (and not just on the buyers part)

 

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Brian,
Great job, that's the reason that I always ask, what are your needs / wants and what benefiits would you like to receive when purchasing a home, so I can try to help with all those concerns. and give some suggestions about my past experiences with other clients.
Ray Saenz

 

Posted by Ray Saenz, Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor (Exit Realty Laredo) over 9 years ago

Michelle, a professional stager can be very helpful in creating an inviting environment.

Bill, it's just not intuitively obvious to a lot of people.  They don't understand what the buyers need.

 

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

Andrew, when sellers "help" a showing agent during showings, they're not making his or her work easier, they're making it harder.  The agent has to try to insulate the buyers from the seller's intrusion.

As far as seller disclosures to, sellers should always disclose everything they can think of, big and small - for their own protection.  That way, nothing they say later can contradict what they originally disclosed.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

Jo-Anne, thanks for the flag!  Hopefully this post (and the previous one) can help some folks prevent a sale from being lost because they tried too hard!

Brian

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

Lenn, exactly.  And the buyer is much more likely to feel good in the home if they are allowed to appreciate it uninterrupted.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

Joan, I think the present economic conditions will force many buyers into being more lenient with their requirements.  Buyers have become quite spoiled in recent boom years, and newer houses have developed better features than ever before.  That doesn't mean that buyers, especially first time buyers, can't find happiness in a more modest starter home.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

Ray, it's useful to explain the difference between features and benefits to both buyers and sellers.  Features and benefits are both important, and each has its place.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

Brian,

I 100% agree......I had a showing the other night and the Seller refused to leave the house.....very incomfortable.....my Buyer's were really turned off

Posted by Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR, SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License Number #RS225179L ) over 9 years ago

Dan, if it's not my listing, I try very gently to hint to the seller that we're fine on our own and that if we have any questions, we'll ask later.  Many sellers still don't get the hint - still, that's about all you can do.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

Great post. I hope consumers and agents read it. Sometimes if sellers say wrong things it can certainly hurt the sale.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 9 years ago

Thanks, Gita.  Sellers don't always have the "radar" necessary to know what comment might hurt a sale.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

Brian, Selling 101....ask lots of questions (make it conversational and be connected), determine their needs, and show then what they want, the "1/4 inch hole" as you put it. People want to buy, not be sold. Nice post!

 

 

Posted by Bo Hussung (Bell Title /Triserv LLC) over 9 years ago

Thanks, Bo!  You can't provide answers until you listen to what the questions are.  Only then can you talk intelligently about the benefits for that individual.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

Well said, otherwise it is presumptious and arrogant.

Thanks

Posted by Bo Hussung (Bell Title /Triserv LLC) over 9 years ago

Right, Dedra, clutter will cost the sellers money.  An overwhelming amount of personal photos or collections can also keep the buyers from being able to picture themselves living in the home.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 9 years ago

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