One of the toughest things to do when you’re working with buyers, especially first-time buyers, is to manage their expectations of what they can find in their new home. A generation of people who have grown up with HGTV and home and property buying reality television now expect to get things like lots of square footage and high-end finishings on a bargain budget. That’s not usually possible, and in nearly all cases buyers will need to prioritize what is most important to them in a home. When buyers have unrealistic expectations, it can be difficult to get them interested in the homes that they can afford so managing their expectations is very important. Here are a few ways to make sure clients have realistic expectations without being confrontational:
Show Them Exactly What They Want, And What It Costs
Often the best way to bring a buyer’s expectations back to reality is to show them homes that have everything they want. Large homes with lots of bonus space, high-end finishing’s that look great, and in a great location. Then show them what it costs to get all of that. Often buyers might be upset when you do this and say that you shouldn’t show them homes that are over budget. But sometimes you need to do that in order for buyers to have realistic expectations about their buying power. The fact is that they will almost always need to compromise on something.
Have A Talk About Must-Haves
When buyers are telling you what they want in a new home and what their budget is don’t be afraid to tell them that their budget won’t get them everything that they want. Try to put a positive spin on things by stressing what they can get but be clear that not everything on the list is possible and ask them to prioritize what really matters to them. They may decide that an older home that needs updating but that has tons of square footage is less attractive than a small new construction house that has high-end finishes and an open concept floor plan. Or they might choose a fixer-upper with a big yard for kids over a large new construction home on a tiny lot.
Show Them the Function of a Home
Virtual staging and cost estimates from contractors can do wonders for managing client expectations and showing buyers how a home will work for them. If, for example, a buyer is looking at an older home that has massive square footage but needs updating and the buyer can’t see the potential in the house use virtual staging to show the buyer what it would look like to knock down the wall between the kitchen and family room to create an open concept floorplan. Then give the buyer estimates from contractors to show them that it wouldn’t cost much to make the house they can afford the house they want.