Trying to categorize prospective buyers’ motivations and levels of seriousness is something that’s hard to resist. Many a successful seller will tell you how they originally mistook the ultimate buyer for an unreliable looky-loo (or vice-versa). Still, judging from the articles written on the subject, apparently it’s worthwhile recognizing the different sorts of house hunters and the categories that describe them. Category names vary, but here are six cited most frequently:
- Serious surveyor. The most common variety of house hunter, the serious surveyor has usually viewed the listings online, prepared a budget, and possibly even pre-qualified with a lender. The serious surveyor is patient—if a home fitting their must-have list isn’t available within the budget, they’ll keep hunting until the pieces fall into place.
- Burn-up-the-tracker (aka Relo Express). These house hunters are usually motivated by factors that force a quick decision. They can be in danger of succumbing to the stress of the circumstances, which could result in a less-than-optimal buying decision. If I am their agent, it’s my job to alleviate as much of the stress as possible by making sure that they are exposed expeditiously to the listings that meet their requirements.
- Laid-backer. This house hunter is in no hurry to go beyond the canvassing stage. This can be due to their current housing situation (as when a future purchase can only be finalized after their own home has been sold), or because the laid-backer isn’t totally convinced that they really want to move. This buyer is not to be confused with a true looky-loo, who is not really a buyer at all. On the contrary, many a laid-backer becomes an enthusiastic buyer once they feel educated about the offerings and discover an appealing property.
- Hard Sell. House hunting can be a delightful opportunity to tour homes that are at their best: spit-and-polished for inspection by qualified prospective buyers. For the hard sell buyer, however, it’s likely to be less fun. This house hunter has probably had some bad earlier house hunting experience or other because distrust of almost every detail rules the day. In truth, it’s a fine idea to subscribe to the “trust but verify” school of house hunting—that’s why a home inspection should always be on the agenda. But it’s too bad if there’s no measure of enjoyment to be had in the process.
- Market Buster. Fully aware that in any buyer-seller relationship the buyer-side ultimately makes the important decisions, this house hunter is focused on making a deal that defies market realities. That may be possible—but sometimes the result is more predictable: most properties that can be had at below-market levels are priced that way for a reason.
- Frozen. This is a rarely seen house hunter: frozen in indecision either because of the momentous nature of the decision, a bewildering array of appealing offerings, or a shifting set of their own priorities. Frozen house hunters can become unfrozen if they miss out on a home they realize in retrospect was the one!
You needn’t try to fit into any category to succeed in your own house hunting venture. One step I can guarantee will advance the process: contact me!