Tuesday, June 14, 2016 / by Jeff Stoffel
Single and ready to…own a home? Today, more and more people are looking to buy a home before they enter into relationships. In 2015, singles made up over 20% of the home buying market, and that number may grow this year. As a real estate agent, are you ready to cater to this growing demographic? Here are some things to remember that may help you navigate this type of home buyer.
Their Safety is Top Priority
While most people generally value their safety, singles may make it a higher priority since they will more likely be leaving and returning home on their own. When showing a home to potential home buyers, make sure to highlight aspects that may make them feel more secure. These can include structural features such as an attached garage and window locks, as well as neighborhood qualities like well-lit streets and bustling businesses nearby. Guide them towards properties in close-knit communities, since neighbors there may be more on the lookout for each other’s well-being.
They’re Not High Maintenance
With only one source of income, potential home buyers may not want to spend the money on home maintenance tasks. While this may differ from client to client, start with listings that won’t require too much upkeep. For example, show houses with no paint siding, which cuts down on the need for additional coats. Also consider simple landscaping, so a homeowner won’t have to do much more than mow the lawn and water a small garden occasionally. Something more intricate outside of the house may look nice, but can involve more gardening than one’s willing to commit to financially.
They Like to Have Fun
Unlike their coupled counterparts, single homeowners may not be ready to settle down and stay in at night. After all, with no tykes to tuck in early, they can stay out late. Show them properties in areas that have a nightlife or cultural scene, such as one with bars, restaurants, museums, or recreation centers. To narrow down on their interests, ask single clients about their hobbies and how they like to meet new people. Their answers may help you gauge which businesses they would like to have nearby.
An Agent Relationship is Key
Couples who buy a home together can turn to each other to bounce ideas and seek advice. However, a single home buyer who doesn’t have the same access to a sound second opinion must rely on you for advice. Most experienced single homeowners have stated that they left agents because they didn’t listen to what he or she was saying, ranging from home preferences to safety concerns. Combat this stereotype by hearing out your clients and restating their messages back to them so nothing gets lost. If you focus more on the nature of your relationship with a specific client, he or she may feel more comfortable when it comes time to make a decision.
These considerations should serve as a guide, but they are not all inclusive. All clients are different, so remember to talk to yours and listen to their needs in order to figure out what is best for them.