Ghosts! A Tale of the Vanishing Buyers. (not a scary tale)

Real Estate Agent with Aspen Properties, Inc. BR511793000



Ghosts! A Tale of the Vanishing Buyers. (not a scary tale) 


Ghost buyers are prospective buyers who call in or show up at your office wanting information about properties and then disappear. We get them a lot in my market. As a second home resort market, we see many who stop in our office to get information about properties available in the area. They are mostly curious and in many cases simply exploring possibilities. They come and go with regularity and no amount of follow up, phone calls, or anything else is going to turn them in to serious buyers. 


Anyone who has worked in this kind of market is used to it. Unlike a “normal” market where you pick up a prospective buyer, get them in your car, and keep them there until they buy. In a resort market you have perhaps 20 minutes to make an impression, get contact information, and a name to add to a drip campaign. They may or may not ever buy a property. I recently closed a sale where I sent listings and showed property to a prospect for over five years before they turned in to a buyer. I knew they would buy, eventually, but it took a long time to find that right property at the right price for them to take action. 


In the White Mountains this is an expected occurrence. People come to our mountain to escape the heat of the desert. They fall in love with our Pine Trees and cooler temperatures. They decide it would be wonderful to have an escape in the mountains on a more permanent basis. They love the area and want a cabin in the woods. We show a few properties and hope they don’t talk themselves out of the idea on the way down the mountains. 


The reality is that home prices in our area are higher than most expect. Our visitors see pretty little cabins tucked back in the trees and think they are going to pick one up inexpensively. This is untrue and prospective buyers are often disappointed that they cannot pick up a little place at a low price. What they may not be aware of is that there is very little land available for private ownership in the White Mountains. In truth, in the State of Arizona if all the land available to own was placed in a box, it would fit in ¼ or ¼ of the entire state. Much of the land in Arizona is Federal, State, or Reservation land.


In the White Mountains we are very limited because we are sandwiched between National Forest and Reservation lands. At the widest point, the amount of land available is probably six miles. In many places it is far less than that. Thus the cost of owning property is high.   It is all about supply and demand. If the supply is limited and demand is high, prices follow suit.


The point here is that ghost buyers are the norm in a market like this. They come and go with regularity for any number of reasons. What I have found is that serious buyers do come back. It may not be next week, next month, or even next year. By keeping in touch, being consistent in sending properties they might like; when they are ready to move forward they do come back. Without those ghosts we wouldn’t have a market and learning to be a “ghostbuster” has helped me build a successful career in Real Estate.


If you are looking for property in the White Mountains, call me. I will help you find the right home at the right price and at terms and conditions that meet your needs. I am at your service. 


Thanks for reading, until next time……


Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, REALTOR®

928.242.0300 Phone or Text

From “Sign Up” to “Sign Down”

EXPERIENCE makes the Difference.





Posted by

Sandra J. Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR, REALTOR®

Pinetop, Arizona

(928) 242-0300


If you are looking to Buy or Sell Property in the White Mountains of Arizona, give me a call.  I have been listing and selling in this area since 2002.  With over 16 years of experience I can assure you I know how to treat a client.  For Service you expect and deserve, call Sandra Paulow. 




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Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRS, Broker, Instructor
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Sandra I understand ghost buyers. I started my career in Flagstaff and we had a lot of walk ins at our office in the country club.  Sometimes I worked with people for a year or two before they decided to buy. Other times, like your market, maybe 20 minutes when they discovered the prices were more expensive than the valley of the sun.


Hope you're having a wonderful summer season! Wish I was there!!

Jul 25, 2016 07:13 AM #1
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

I did not know you started your career in Flagstaff.  You would surely know what I am referring to then.  Thanks for the reply, makes you feel good to know somene read your post. 

Jul 25, 2016 07:44 AM #2
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     We have a vacation home in Highlands, North Carolina.  I know several Realtors there.  They share your experience of "Ghost Buyers"!

Jul 25, 2016 08:23 AM #3
Christina Steinhaus
Coldwell Banker Residential Property - West Palm Beach, FL
Real Estate Agent serving the Palm Beaches

I have experienced this as well!  South Florida is similar to the White Mountains in that visitors fall in love with the place and want to stay permanently.  It sounds great at the time-Plus there are lots of people who want to relocate-eventually. So keep them in the pipeline!

Good advice, and BTW I love Pinetop-been awhile since I've visited!

Aug 02, 2016 04:05 AM #4
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Sandra Paulow

REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR
Find your perfect place in Pinetop, Arizona. Call Sandra today.