When buying your first home, you will be looking at a lot of property listings online and (hopefully) in person. Real estate agents have been around for a very long time and as with any old profession, we have developed some tricks to get buyers into the home to look at a property. As with any sales profession, it is the presentation that counts the most. Buyers should keep this in mind as they look through properties because what they see on the surface, either in the online listings or in person, might not be the realty underneath. Property inspections will uncover most all hidden defects, but it is always a good idea to know when buying your first home that some showmanship is involved in selling a home. Here are the three common ways that agents lure buyers into homes.
Staging a home – One of the best ways for a listing agent to show off a home is to have the seller stage the home. What does this mean? Staging a home puts a home in its best light by strategically placing furniture, wall hangings, floor coverings, etc. If you have ever visited a model home in a new development, this is staging at its best. Listing agents want you to be able to visualize the home as yours. Many sellers will even hire a specialist to come into the home to stage it properly and even rent new furniture from the staging expert. Why do they do this? Staging a home sells homes so much more quickly. Some studies have shown homes go from an average of being on the market for 90 days to less than two weeks when staging occurs. Sometime agents will stage a home strictly for taking pictures so you might see a stellar house online that looks less so in realty.
Open House – Open houses go along with selling a home like baseball and hot dogs. Open houses are events with standing invitations for anyone to come into the home to look it over without having an agent with them. For a buyer, it is a great way to see several homes quickly over an afternoon without having to engage with an agent. Sellers like open houses because it means more buyers will see their homes with the possibility of one of them purchasing the property. Listing agents especially like open houses because it gives them access to a buyers who might not be represented by an agent, resulting in the listing agent gaining a new customer. As with staging, agents have learned a few tricks to lure the buyers into the home. Some will offer refreshments while others will have a drawing for door prizes. Some of them even provide entertainment, like piano players, during an open house. Open houses, however, does not work nearly as well as staging when it comes to selling a home. Studies have shown that less five percent of homes are ever sold at an actual open house.
Price a home below market price – This trick is not always employed by agents because the market is not right for it to happen. If the market favors buyers by having more homes than buyers, agents will refrain from intentionally marking homes below market prices. However, if the market is favoring sellers, this is a handy technique many agents will use to drive up demand for a house until it becomes a bidding situation. After all, how can you walk away from a good deal on a home if it is marked five to ten thousand below market price. In cases like this, many buyers will many offers driving up the price of the home to its market value, or even higher. Is this unethical for an agent to do? Many might think so, but it is a bit sales showmanship that will work wonders for a property selling well above its value, especially if you are in a tight inventory, and it will usually attract many buyers to visit the home.