Buyers, now’s the time to update your buying strategies

Anyone who is buying – or just checking out – a house in our unique Northeast PA market is likely to find that some of the rules of the “buyers market” game seem to have shifted.

As the latest housing statistics continue to paint an upbeat picture, at least when it comes to bargain-priced properties, the days of multiple bids and ‘offers over asking’ are showing some new appearance. And, if you are – rightfully – considering buying a house in our area before interest rates and prices rise in earnest, it would be useful to take a look at some strategies that work — and some that virtually never do:

1)                  Blanket low-balling – Running around writing up a bunch of low-ball offers is a surefire way to get yourself ignored, or worse, miss out on an otherwise great property. A better approach?  Work with a knowledgeable agent whose expertise in area neighborhoods will allow you to check on the most recent comps, then write a serious offer.

2)                  Dismissing Imperfect Properties – The degree of your success in buying a house in town can depend on starting out with a reality check: only very rarely is a property totally perfect for you and priced absolutely right.

3)                  Highest and Best – Unfortunately, the tempting low prices listed for some local bank-owned homes also means that it’s increasingly common to encounter the dreaded “multiple offer situation.”  If you find yourself there, be prepared to submit your highest and best offer first — you may not have another shot.

This changing market doesn’t mean we are headed into the kind of fever-induced ‘bubble’ we saw in the mid- 2000’s.  But for those seeking a deal and waiting for the bottom of the market before buying a house in town, the market does not seem to be waiting. 2013 is clearly the time to jump in!



There’s more psychology in selling homes in our Northeast PA real estate than you think………

When you’re ready to choose the local real estate agent, you are choosing someone who must fill a variety of roles: marketer, stager, tour guide, negotiator.  And don’t leave out another role — psychology major!

To build – and maintain – our kind of successful track record, a great real estate agent needs to understand the way prospective buyers think about their search for a home, how they may react to presentation forms, and what builds – or detracts – from the value they assign to your property. It’s psychology, all right — and it’s usually a vital part of any sales or marketing success.

There was a very revealing study conducted at the University of Texas that looked at how psychology can affect a real estate transaction. A couple of years ago, they began conducting psychological studies, with one of them using statistical tools and a huge sample of real estate transactions.  What was interesting is what they discovered about using the word “new”. Agents who marketed homes with phrases like “new paint,” new carpets,” wound up selling them for slightly less than those who did not?!

Their explanation for this was that with homes that aren’t brand new, highlighting “all new” features seems to call attention to the fact that the items mentioned needed to be replaced. It unnecessarily opened the door to suspicions about what went wrong that made replacement necessary.

I favor the tactic that under-promises and over-delivers. So, rather than trying to convince buyers how “new” an older home is, do the renewal work, but don’t brag about it.  Then when potential buyers walk into the home, they will be impressed by the new carpets and fresh paint.  It’s the approach that uber-successful Zappos company founder Tony Hsieh calls “surprise and delight.” What is effective for leading a company and retaining customers can also be psychologically effective for selling a local home.

I am constantly reminded of how important it is to never stop learning. If you are considering selling your home and are looking for marketing success with a psychological-edge, I hope you’ll contact me for a complimentary consultation!

Warm Regards, Lauren Bianco, Realtor

Helping you Find your way Home!