Navona Hart, broker - owner and real estate agent of Real Living Cornerstone in Farmville Virginia shared this interesting information about consumers "Conservative Approach" to home buying.
Real Living Cornerstone is Real Living HER's cousin in Farmville VA (Farmville like Facebook???? don't you love that?) Are people still playing Farmville on Facebook?
Thanks to Navona for allowing her post to be Re-Blogged. I think this is interesting for buyers... but also for home sellers. A lot of what is true in Farmville VA about Buyers New Conservative Approach to Home Buying may be true in Columbus, OH too.
The Sabrina's Farm image of Farmville is from Sabrina Dent's Flickr Photostream Love the bunnies.
I know that price is a driving force in this market. I know that condition is a driving force in this market. What I am also seeing is something that I believe to be a LARGER FORCE. The consumer's conservative approach to home buying. My buyers are putting interesting restraints on what they will or will not buy.
Price is important and always has been. Is the property priced fairly is often the number one asked question. The buyers are more concerned than every about are they paying too much. Sellers need to consider this before putting a price tag on their house--assuming a buyer will just make an offer. The message the buyers are actually receiving is the seller is unrealistic, wants too much for their home, is hard to work with. The buyers do not believe in the "make an offer just because it is a nice house" approach.
Condition is a primary consideration. If a home is not well maintained the buyers are more cautious. They are less likely to believe that they can fix it, and if they assume they can fix it they are also assuming it will cost a lot more money than it might actually cost to fix. The message for the seller is fix your plumbing, electrical, & mechanical concerns.
So here is the twist, the buyers are thinking about the finances of a home much deeper then they ever have before. They do not want to lose their home, they do not want to be financially strapped, they do not trust that their lender is qualifying them for an amount they can actually afford. First time home-buyers are coming in with detailed home finance budgets.
Buyers are putting a ceiling on their purchase price that is significantly below what they qualify for. Buyers are pushing back if they feel they are being pushed into a price that they do not want to pay. Buyers want agents to respect their pricing limits and to help them achieve their goals.
The buyers are approaching a home with a 10 year maintenance plan. The buyers are thinking thru their budgets that far in advance. The buyers are considering large items like a roof, heating and cooling systems and making sure that if something were to come up that it would fit in their budget to repair. When a home is going to need major overhaul on several systems in the first 5 years that is causing buyers to pause and rethink their home purchase choices.
The buyers are asking for history of utilities as a pre-requirement of contract writing.
The buyers are getting quotes on insurance before they purchase.
This new buyer approach is a welcome approach in my business. If buyers years ago had a budget and had considered some of these items we may not have the crisis in home ownership that we are seeing now.
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