The following guest post is about finding buyers by Brabble CEO Patrick Mackaronis of New York City.
Prevent one’s biggest investment from selling at a lower market value by learning about who may purchase the home next. In addition to traditional home staging practices, cater staging to cultural backgrounds. Here’s some information on finding buyers.
There are several often unspoken rules in real estate. It’s important to educate oneself on the beliefs and superstitions of other cultures and prevent offensive situations. There are adjustments that homeowners can make on their home that will help avoid cultural embarrassment, and in turn expand their buyer pool. However some things will not be able to change, but sellers can keep these practices in mind so they know what to expect.
Finding Buyers: Home For Sale With No Offers
For example, a house is for sale. It’s been on the market for 60 days, there were ten showings and no offers. The owners followed their realtor’s expertise and dropped the price 10% from the original asking price to $135,000; and they even planted a St. Joseph’s statue in their front yard to make the house sell, which is a superstition Kelley Chambers explores in her Oklahoma City Journal Record article, “New Realtor Store in OKC Stocks Statuettes That Some Say Can Help.” The backyard is lush and green from bright southern exposure, an ornate formal dining room boasts regal crown molding and the King Kong-sized master suite above the garage is to die for. The address is 4 Cul-De-Sac Court. The owners are doing everything right, right?
As a melting pot, America is full of buyers from other fascinating cultures with strong beliefs. These buyers follow specialized beliefs when selecting the right house to make their home. Homeowners may be unintentionally offending buyers of other cultures and minimizing their potential buyer pools. In the description of the home above, the sellers are doing everything wrong.
The number 8 in some cultures is a sign of luck, prosperity and eternity as Janet Farricelli explains in her article “Reasons Behind Chinese Superstitions.” If a home is listed for $190,000, why not change the listing price to $188,888? A buyer looking for their forever home may see the 8s as a sign of good fortune and the slight adjustment could mean good fortune for the seller too. Another way to incorporate the number 8 is through buyer incentives such as an $888 credit at closing or eight $80 gift cards to home improvement, furnishing and electronic stores.
Finding Buyers: Cultures of Home Buyers
The southern exposure the backyard is thriving on in the example above means that the home is facing north. Unfortunately, some adjustments are entirely out of one’s hands. A number of cultures consider homes that face north bad luck, such as Filipinos, Indonesians and Chinese as Jeffrey Hayes outlines in his “Feng-Shui and Qi Gong” piece at FactsAndDetails.com. If the home is a trailer, it may be more feasible to accommodate this cultural hurdle!
The banquet-sized dining room that is always admired by guests happens to be below an upstairs new bathroom with a low-flow toilet and a smooth river rock shower. People of certain cultures, like the Chinese, have the belief that the room above a dining room cannot contain a toilet. No matter how grand the room may be, this is another feature that would be difficult to change, but Master Feng Shui Consultant, Kathryn Weber’s advice is helpful. Weber goes into detail about this in her Red Lotus Letter, “If a toilet upstairs is over a kitchen or dining room, try to move the table or discontinue using the bathroom.”
Over the garage, the tremendous master bedroom is a happy retreat. Room enough for a California King-sized bed and a sitting area. There may even be a Carrie Bradshaw-sized walk-in closet. Some Filipinos are against the master suite being above a garage, and if they learn this first, these buyers will automatically rule out the home without even setting foot in it. A way to remedy this is to market it as a bonus room as long as there is another bedroom of master-suite quality. This is common as many newer homes have two master suites.
The address being 4 Cul-De-Sac Court sounds harmless enough. There are many things one can change about a house, but keep the first three rules of real estate in mind (Location! Location! Location!). The address cannot be changed. Having a home on a court is a feature most buyers find attractive due to less traffic noise and a safer area for kids to play with a slower speed limit. There are some buyers who want a well-traveled, double yellow-lined road for their home, typically if they have a home business and keen on having street signage and a convenient, easy-to-get-to locale. Then, there are buyers from other backgrounds and cultures that may not mind a quiet road or a high-trafficked one, but the number of the house will be important to them. The number 4 is very unlucky in some of the world’s cultures, including Filipinos.
Finding Buyers: Making Changes to a Home For Sale
If homeowners understand the importance that buyers’ beliefs hold, sellers can empathize and accommodate these cultures. Always remember, a home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Granted the majority of buyers may not follow strict cultural rules; it’s best to make an effort to accommodate all potential buyers, for their benefit and the sellers’!