Why Sellers Need to Think Like Buyers

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

Why Carlsbad Sellers Need to Think Like Buyers


Photo of an ugly houseIt’s not easy being a Carlsbad seller, whether you are experienced or not.


There is all the preparation for selling (e.g., decluttering, dealing with all that deferred maintenance), making critical (and potentially life-changing) decisions about hiring the right real estate professional, determining the right price for your property, marketing to the right buyers, always being prepared for showings, and so much more.


The goal, of course, is to sell your home for the best price, terms and conditions and in a timely manner.


But here’s something else to consider...


You need to think like a buyer when you are a seller.


Here are a few reasons why.


Buyers look at dollars differently than sellers doBuyers look at your home from a very different perspective than you do. You want to sell for the most $$$, but THEY want to pay the least.  You think it’s special and warrants a higher price, they see it as a poor value.


The buyer market will determine what your home will sell for, not what you necessarily want or need. Would YOU buy your house for this price?


Is your home ready for your first open house…online? Those photos buyers insist on seeing can make or break your showing potential. Look at the photos your agent takes, or take some of your own. It’s amazing how differently a room can look when viewed, like a buyer does, on the computer than when you are sitting there in person. You might think your home looks great but on the big screen it might say yuck, what a mess.


Curb appeal is critical - how is YOURS?Curb appeal is critical. Buyers often will ignore a house if curb appeal sucks. And sometimes, too, if the surrounding homes are unappealing, or worse.


You can’t do much about the neighbors but you can make sure YOUR home has great curb appeal.


Stand out at the end of your drive or across the street – what do you see? Ugly grass? Dirty unattractive door? Shoddy or missing landscaping? Be objective. You think buyers won’t care? Hah. Think like a buyer.


You need to understand buyer behavior and what’s happening in your particular local market – your agent can help with this. Is there lots of competition? Are homes selling at or above asking or mostly below? You need to expect a low ball offer – it may not happen but it seems that these happen in all markets. Buyers look for defects and reasons to discount. Think like a buyer.


Are you searching for a new home too?No doubt many of you Carlsbad sellers are also going to buy. The roles of seller and buyer are not mutually exclusive.


You need to be thinking about buying (what, when, where, how), in many cases while you are selling, unless you financially don’t have to sell to buy or can make alternative arrangements after you sell before buying your new home.


And how will what you want as a seller (price, closing date, terms and conditions) interface with your desires as a buyer?! Is there a conflict?





So take a few moments to walk in the shoes of potential buyers.


You'll be glad you took time for a different perspective.


Comments (11)

Andrew Payne Realtor® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~
Piedmont Real Estate - Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRES®, NAR Green

Having sellers put themselves in the shoes of buyers is very helpful.  Cleaning up and decluttering are so important!

Oct 02, 2013 06:31 AM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Jeff, it's the battle we face every day...getting the seller to put themselves in the buyers shoes.  And once again..."it's not necessarily what you want or need" that determines what a home will sell for.

Oct 02, 2013 06:36 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Awesome information for anyone selling a home in Carlsbad - would be a good idea for sellers to call you so you can show them why buyers are looking for!

Oct 02, 2013 06:44 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Andrew - I think it can be difficult for some sellers to think that way, unless they have bought fairly recently. But looking at it from another perspective than your own is essential. We can help

Nick - it's so true. I understand why sellers may be thinking that way but it is just not the way the RE market works. And never has, especially when there is competition

John - I talk with sellers alot about buyer behavior and what to expect. And there are other things, too, like showing times/availability, and showing condition. BTW how did things go with your exam?


Oct 02, 2013 07:03 AM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

So true!  I often ask sellers to imagine themselves as the buyers of their own home and be critical.  It's a small shift in perspective but gives them the opportunity to see the other side.

Oct 02, 2013 07:49 AM
Jean Hanley
Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters - Hemet, CA
Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes

Jeff, this is a wonderful article.  Great presentation of what sellers really do need to think about when getting ready to list their home for sale.

Oct 02, 2013 08:01 AM
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Jeff - Love the photo--perfect example of what buyers do not want to see when they look at a house for sale.  

Oct 02, 2013 08:32 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jeff- this is a great way to get sellers to realize how important it is for them to prepare their home for sale. 

Oct 02, 2013 10:12 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Margaret - it's an excellent discussion to have with all sellers. Some are pretty aware of what to expect from buyers and concerned about that first impression, but others are less aware, or perhaps just don't realize how important it can be

Thanks, Jean. There IS a lot to do and it is NOT easy by any means. But it's important, and certainly useful, to understand the other side of the transaction since that persepctive can be so different. While we all want to get to the closing table, the route is not the same for everyone.

Norma - and I and my buyers were certainly rather surprised to see this mess, especially since people were still living there. Needless to say this does not convey a positive impression, in a photo online or in real life

Kathy - having been on both sides of the fence, and working with both buyers and sellers I get it. But it is NOT an easy thing to do.


Oct 02, 2013 11:37 AM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

It would be wonderful if both buyer and seller could put themselves in each other's shoes.  The perfect world.

Oct 03, 2013 07:04 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


That would be perfect. Some are better at this than others. And of course one cannot completely understand the other's persepctive.


Oct 03, 2013 11:07 AM