After the dinner table is cleared and the sun sets, Ruthie and I wander indoors to watch TV. Like so many others, we tune into HGTV to watch Chip and Joanna or Terek and Christina transform old, worn-out houses into great living spaces.
So do many of our clients, and it is changing the way we all do business.
Buyer expectation levels are at an all-time high. Is it just me? Are you seeing it too? First time homeowners have unrealistic views of homeownership. Most homes we show are not staged well. No new furniture. No fresh paint. No great antique finds. In fact, many homes in West Michigan are happily still living in the 1970’s. And far too many updates are purchased from big box home improvement stores. In a word, they are simply pedestrian.
“Clients seem to come in two different flavors:
The 'I’ll just blow out that wall' type or the equally unrealistic
'I thought I’d find more shiplap.”
Before HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”, I never even knew what shiplap was.
When buyers seem disenchanted because their budget doesn’t align with expectations, it’s time to sit down and have a conversation. There are 3 speeches every buyer needs to hear. (I’ll share those 3 speeches in future posts.) But when disappointment looms, you can help clients define what owning a house really means – making a home.
In our office, we say “Let’s help them put on the "potential" lenses. Many folks just don’t possess the imagination to “see” a home’s possibilities. This is how great agents shine. Tour each room with them. Take time to point out specifics. Find out what your buyer likes and dislikes about each area and help them imagine what it could offer. And don’t be afraid to point out negatives. You will earn trust by doing so. Create a mental list of improvements and budgets. Help your buyer imagine all the improvements they want – right down to the new paint color, so they can start imagining it as their home.
And remind them not to believe everything they see on TV. What appears in a 30 minute episode actually took some time for professionals to accomplish. Building a home is a lifelong endeavor. Something to be dreamed, savored and accomplished over time. It's a journey, not a destination.
Have a comment or question to cover in future posts? I’d love to hear from you. But beware - I reserve the right to delete offensive or off-point posts.
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