Who is your Buyer?

This was one of several pearls of wisdom this week from our local CB Half Moon Bay office’s, always dynamic guest speaker, Carol Rodoni of Bamboo Consulting and well known real estate expert.

As the market continues its twists, spins, and capricious nature, let me help you understand what market you are really in, Mr/Ms Seller.  In other words, you must know who is YOUR buyer.

  1. Is it the lifestyle market, where buyers can pay all cash to get THAT home in THAT location?

  2. Is it the lender/developer market where sales are increasing but prices are decreasing?

  3. Is it in an area where sales are decreasing and prices are also decreasing, i.e. no investors yet?

  4. Is it the “soft” market where it’s a little bit up or a little bit down and values are all over the board?

If you don’t know where you stand, how can you compete?

Bringing it back to our Half Moon Bay-Coastside market, we MOSTLY (not all areas) fall into the fourth category.  So I’ll address the the most important points for this type of market:

As a seller, your ideal position is to enter the market at the best possible price.  Let me add in the caveat that while price is not everything when listing your home, it is definitely the lion’s share of the equation in this (#4) category.  Back to “best possible price”…What does that mean?  It means you understand what is happening on that street, neighborhood, town around you, know about the 2-4 most comparable homes, and set your list price accordingly.  Otherwise, a seller will begin to get into the “discount business”, according to Carol, and that’s not where you want to be!

Instead of continuing to reduce the price…offer buyers a reason to pay attention to your home.  Does yours stand out in the sea of listings?  If not, why not?  Is your Realtor not discussing ideas with you or are you rejecting them?  Sellers benefit when they can be flexible.  Flexible is a state of mind, an attitude; not carte blanche.

From my own experience, a story.  I went on a listing presentation.  We discussed everything.  This couple planned to interview 2-3 real estate agents.  I went over my price range recommendation and why, along with the marketing plan, the market, etc., etc.  Can an agent guarantee that a listing will sell at the price they recommend…no.  Why, because the market changes daily.  I had an arsenal of ideas…one idea was consider buying down a point as part of the strategy…I think the seller thought I was a little “out there”.  I did not get that listing.  The seller chose another broker, had their home on the market for many months, reduced the price, still no sale, then took it off the market.  Much time and money was lost for all involved.  I smiled to myself when I heard Carol say we could suggest to our sellers that they offer “buy-down” solutions instead of reducing the price.

Buyers and sellers are confused and it is our job to bring clarity, creativity and calm.  Thanks for reading.  More to come…