As a buyer's agent in Tucson,Arizona I work with many buyers and view hundreds of properties a year (I view 400+properties a year). Over the years I have noticed there are different types and stages of buyers. Listed below are the stages of buying I have observed:
Stages of Buying
1. Intense Stage – Triggered by an event such as a new job, transfer, birth, death, divorce, marriage, child accepted to U of A, graduation, etc.
2. Investigative Stage – Normally buyers will stay in this stage until they find an agent. Some will start searches on free sites like Zillow.com, start viewing open houses, etc.
3. Committed Stage – Buyers have made the decision and are in search of a house. They will stay in this stage until they find a house to make an offer. I am seeing more and more buyers that have already "narrowed" down the houses they want to view and are ready to consider making an offer on.
Length of search for a home by first-time buyers and experienced (repeat) buyers will be different. Plus each buyer is different in that some need to view many properties, while other times I have had to insist we look at more than the first home I show them as they are ready to make an offer. The more properties a buyer views, the better off they will be. I firmly believe buyers learn more by seeing what they don't like, what will not work for them compared to walking into their "deam" home. All buyers, in all price ranges have to make compromise(S). If I had to sum up the buying process in one word, it is compromise.
1st time buyers= 12 weeks, 3 weeks before contacting an agent
Repeat buyers= 10 weeks, 2 weeks before contacting an agent
According to 2013 National Assoication of Realtors = 45% of home buyers go to open houses to see what’s on the market. 95% used the internet as one of the information sources in the search process. 53% look for yard signs. 40% referred to an agent by a friend, relative or neighbor. 11% found an agent on the internet. I personally think this last number should be higher as I get contacted by a larger percentage than this, a lot larger.
Also, from NAR:
Sellers – How many agents did the consumer contact/interview to find the listing agent?
65% 1 agent
20% 2 agents
11% 3 agents
4% 4 or more agents
Buyers - How many agents did the consumer contact/interview to find an agent?
66% 1 agent
20% 2 agents
8% 3 agents
6% 4 or more agents
Some agents balk at having to "interview" with buyers, in fact I have had several buyers that told me after we met, interviewed, and started working together that some agents flat out refused to interview. No matter how successful I am or will be, I am happy to interview with potential clients. As an experienced buyers agent we are starting a relationship together. It takes time to establish TRUST, it must be earned. Each time it is like starting over, working with new buyers, starting the process and earning their trust over and over again. It is worth it. Arguably we are helping them with the largest investment in their live's. Not just a financial investment, as a home is more than just numbers, figures, interest rates, etc.
Do you enjoy working with buyers? What do you like the most or dislike the most about it?