When preparing your home for sale, it’s important to define who the potential buyer will be. You want to stage your home specifically for them so they feel loved and feel engaged in each scene. So how do you get to know your customer or buyer? Generally speaking, most staging is just a blank slate. People will come in with a little boilermaker template and they’ll continually stage the same way without stopping to ask who’s going to be buying their home. When you stop and truly define who your buyer is, you can stage much more effectively and get results, which is why you’re reading this book. So the first thing you want to know is who your buyer is. Below you will find a list of typical categories that should act as a guideline to help you further define your buyer.
- A young family, first-time homebuyer. Maybe they are newlyweds or are about to be married. Childless or with a toddler and/or one on the way.
- A family with the parents in their 30’s or 40’s with 2-3 children and possibly one on the way.
- A young single executive, possibly only looking to be in the area for a few years
- Empty nesters that are downsizing or buying the home of their dreams
- A single parent home
- Second home or vacation home buyers
- Upgrading to the next step
You have to stop and ask, “Who is buying my home? Who are these people? How old are they? How many people will live here? What’s the makeup of my buyer? How do you do that? How do you find out who they are?
Look around the neighborhood. Walk through your neighborhood and determine who has bought homes in the last three years. If you’re not familiar with who’s bought homes in the last three years, then you can go to a title company or a real estate agent and ask them to help you in determining who purchased homes in your neighborhood within the last three years and what trends they can decipher from those purchases. You can even go to your local county planning office to determine what the plans will be over the next five years for this area. They will show you what has been slated thus far which will, in turn, give you a very strong indication as to who is moving into your neighborhood.
When you are ready to define your buyer, look at what surrounds the neighborhood. Is it an office complex or a downtown environment? If so, chances are you’re going to have young up and coming executives in the area. Is it malls, grocery stores, schools and churches? Then you’re probably talking about Middle Class. Take a look at the kinds of stores located there. Are they Nordstrom’s and Saks Fifth Avenue? You’re talking about a more affluent client and, generally speaking, affluency means they’ve been around a little bit longer. Of course this is a generalization, but chances are your buyers are going to be in their 40s, 50s or 60s.
To further research, take a look at the schools. What types of schools are in your neighborhood? Is it a nursery school? Is it a grade school? Is it a high school? By knowing the types of schools in the area now you know the age group of the kids of the families that will be moving in. Now take a look at the churches. What sort of churches are in your neighborhood? How many churches? This will tell you a great deal about buyer. If there are several of one denomination it tells you about the beliefs of an entire community. If there are a wide variety of different types of churches this indicates an eclectic or possibly a multi ethnic community. How accessible are you to conveniences or are you in a remote area? Is your house on a lake? Perhaps it would be a second home. So take a look at your environment. Talk to a real estate agent, talk to other people in the neighborhood and ask them what trends they’ve seen. People like to live where they work, play and connect with others. Once you understand their needs and present your home accordingly, your sale will be a cakewalk!
The next thing to do once you determine who your buyer will be is to ask yourself, “What do they like?” You have to understand what they like in order to set the stage for selling, effectively. Let’s use the example of the young family that we reviewed earlier. We have a mom and dad in their late 30s and three children under the age of 10. Chances are they’re probably going to do a little bit of TV watching, game playing or have family movie nights. You might want to think about staging with love using a big flat screen TV. This flat screen TV can be the existing TV of the family that’s living there if the home is occupied, or it can be brought in by a home stager, or you can bring it in yourself as well. You can also use a resource called Box Props or Turbo Props and use a fake TV, that’s absolutely fine as well. Sometimes this can even present itself as fun and intriguing. You can create a great scene with the TV, some movies and popcorn and stage a fun family night scene. It is important to thoroughly understand what your family likes. Because they have three kids under the age of ten, they might like bicycles, sports equipment or great meals in the kitchen. You must determine who they are, what they do and what they like. Then, because you know who they are and what they like, you can stage with love and give them what they like.
What is important to them, what do they cherish? If their children are really important to them, which of course they are, then you want to speak directly to the children as well. Focus on what you can give to each of the children in their individual bedrooms and tie it in to an overall theme so the parents can enjoy the experience as well. Sometimes it can be about telling them of the activities in the neighborhood, the community and the schools. Or it might just be about the really amazing features of the home such as a pool, tree house and big backyard.
Look at other defining facts. What kind of car do they drive up in? Is it a big fancy car, if so they might be a bit of a car aficionado? You might have some kind of an emblem, photo, or logo item of a Mercedes, Jaguar or Lexus in the house to speak to this car buff and possibly more affluent client. There is no detail too small when it comes to clearly defining your buyer.
For questions about buying or selling a home in Woodland Park or Colorado Springs, call Karen Schaefer with KSS Real Estate at RE/MAX Properties, Inc., at 719-244-342, www.KSSRealEstate.com, email: Karen@KSSRealEstate.com. Please be sure to ask about a complimentary copy of her Amazon #1 Best Selling Real Estate Book, ‘Love Sells; How to get every buyer to fall in Love with YOUR home!’