Where Are We Now?
Today we find increasing numbers of all-cash buyers, and often the developer-investor actually pays a premium in order to succeed in out-bidding all other buyers, reflecting the need for properties in their inventory to build on.
There can be numerous advantages to a seller to receive offers from developers. For example, a developer is often able to provide a quick and easy closing of escrow, even as short as 10 to 15 days. They are also more flexible in the time that they need to take possession of the property.
This can enable an owner to stay there for a number of weeks or perhaps even months while negotiating and arranging for a purchase of their next home. Of course one of the main advantages of selling to an investor who will be either replacing or substantially remodeling the home is that the purchase really is “as-is”.
Growing Group of First-Time Home Buyers
Another large and growing group of buyers in today’s market is the “first-time homebuyer.” These buyers are much more cautious than previous generations. They are completely familiar with and naturally expert with high-speed Internet, mobile apps, and instant access to information. Having a high level of technological familiarity, they expect technology to be included throughout their home buying process.
Because they are so skillful in information and research gathering, they have a high degree of confidence in their knowledge of facts. Unless a real estate agent is very knowledgeable and a local expert able to provide quick and accurate answers, the new generation of buyers can quickly lose confidence in their agent. This increases the need to fully investigate the expertise of the listing agent a seller engages to sell their property.
It is also essential that the seller disclose all issues that can come up during the purchase process. Especially first-time buyers can become emotionally put off or disenchanted upon discovering what they feel the seller should have disclosed. The result is often a cancellation of their contract, without the seller having further opportunity to address the issue. This in turn reflects on the agent as the buyer considers it to be the responsibility of the seller’s agent to provide all disclosure information. The feeling of distrust that can result is difficult to reverse.
Be Proactive, Be Responsive
Sellers can be prepared to relate more effectively with this new group of buyers by being proactive and as quickly responsive as possible through the entire process. It may be very helpful to have pre-inspections done on their property before placing it on the market and asking their agent to prepare all disclosures and obtain all necessary reports that are to be given to buyers in advance.
It can also be extremely important to have the agent compile an accurate set of comparable sales records to provide to any serious buyer for them to see that the value is substantiated. If this has not been done prior to marketing, then at least it can be completed during the offer and counter-offer process.