For most home buyers, buying a property isn’t just about the house, it’s about the neighborhood. Making a decision about where they want to live is a crucial part of the home buying process. In addition to determining if they are going to buy a three bedroom, two bathroom rancher or a 4 bedroom, 2 bath two story, they also have to buy into the lifestyle. Are there parks near by? Playgrounds? Is there a church they can attend? Is the neighborhood safe? Do houses in the neighborhood hold their value?
These are all important questions your prospective buyers are probably searching for. As the neighborhood expert, you’ll be making sure your buyers understand the ins and outs of the neighborhood they select. Here are three ways to educate your buyers on the neighborhood (with a downloadable tip sheet to give to your homebuyers).
Drive them around
Get your buyers in your car and drive them around the community. We tend to take one entrance into a neighborhood, often the pretty one. Are there multiple entrance points? Most likely yes- make sure they see all access points. Show them the neighborhoods on different days, and at different times of the day. Sure backing up to the main street doesn’t sound noisy on a weekday at 10am, but what about at evening rush hour? Drive the surrounding community. Identify parks, shopping centers and other points of interest that your buyers might care about. Make sure your buyers have an opportunity to get a complete picture of the community.
Direct them to resources about neighborhood safety
What one buyer thinks is “safe” is very different from another. I remember when I first moved to San Francisco from Arizona, I thought the neighborhood was “seedy”. The locals considered it “posh”, but I had never lived in a big city before. Be it the local police station or Trulia’s Interactive Crime maps, make sure your buyers are armed with information to help them evaluate the neighborhood and determine what’s “safe” to them.
Give them the stats
Most homeowners will eventually move again. When they go to sell, you want them to call you. Many times we focus on comps for a particular house, but don’t forget about the overall neighborhood. Give them the stats to show how the neighborhood has performed over time relative to other nearby neighborhoods. Sure, it may have seen a dip in home values in recent years, but when we look at the last 20 years, how did it perform? Did it recover faster in the dips or get hit harder? Give your homebuyers a source of comparison. Perhaps it hasn’t performed well, but major revitalization of the area is about to get underway, giving them a larger potential upside. Homebuyers often work on emotion, but make sure to give them the hard numbers too.
Happy, educated buyers yield more client referrals. We’ve put together a handy tip sheet for your home buyers with 5 “need to knows”- download it and share it with them!