Builder’s Corner

Everything A Builder Should Know About Attracting Buyers And Closing The Sale

BlueprintsistockBased on our extensive experience in Real Estate, including new construction and housing developments, EXIT Realty Black Rock has assembled these helpful hints to assist builders in dealing with the marketing and sales phases of new homes and developments.  Planning ahead before beginning to build can save you time and money, and make selling out your community a manageable and straightforward process!

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Buyers will choose to invest in your community because of:

  •  Price:  Believe it or not, price ranks higher than location in most studies.
  •  Floor plan:  Today’s buyers are looking for convenience and open floor plans that maximize the use of space.  Make sure you are receptive to what buyers are looking for and tailor your layouts to attract the most buyers possible.  Floor plans should be readily available at the office and on your website.  If your website is getting hits, it means a potential customer wants more info.  Make sure the details are easily accessible.
  •  Your Reputation:  Building homes is a customer service business and your reputation rests not only on your work, but also on your attitude and treatment of customers.  If you want to succeed in the building industry, you must treat your buyers with respect and empathize with the many emotions they will experience during the planning and building process.  Customers are making one of the largest purchases in their lives and they expect the best.  You need to exceed this expectation.
  •  The Agent:  The sales agent you choose plays an important role in the success of your community.  Most experienced builders have learned that it’s not worth trying to sell homes themselves.  Like many “For Sale By Owner” listings, about 90% fail. This is why most builders turn to a Realtor for professional help.  Don’t think all real estate companies are created equal… they are NOT!  When choosing a Listing Agent, you want to ask what experience they have had with new construction.  Starting a community and selling one successfully requires a lot of experience and training, so you need to find an agent that has both.

Something else to look for in an agent for is a “can do” attitude.  Choose someone who is personable, but also willing and able to deal with customers’ questions and concerns  in a timely and effective manner.  Nothing is more frustrating for a potential buyer than having to wait for days or even weeks for an answer to a simple question.  Remember that your agent is usually the “face” of your development; their attitude and ability to deal with customers is crucial to your success.

  •  Neighborhood:  Pride of ownership, homogeneity of the area, physical attractiveness of the neighborhood, etc., are all factors that potential buyers consider.  When you are looking to purchase land, put yourself in the buyers shoes and ask yourself “Would I live here?”
  •  Schools:  Highly rated and diverse schools in the area add to the overall market demand, especially for home buyers with school age children.
  •  Work:  Buyers will look for proximity to, diversity of and overall stability of jobs in or near surrounding towns.

More Hints To Ensure Sales:

  •  Pricing the Property:  Compare your properties to comparable properties before setting prices.  If you overprice your homes, it will cost you more money!  Look particularly at homes that have sold/closed in the last 60-90 days.  The real estate market is dynamic and you must be flexible to flow with the market conditions.  Stay current about the local, state and national economic picture with emphasis on the employment and population growth.  Pay close attention to interest rates, housing supply and how quickly other properties are selling.  Don’t forget that you control the pricing of your homes, how they look and the overall marketing plan of your community.  But, it the buyers who control value.  If no one will pay your price, the home remains yours.

Don’t worry about setting the price too low.  If a home is priced too low or priced under the competition, then you should receive multiple offers to drive up the price to market value.  So there is little danger in pricing a home too low.  The danger lies in pricing it too high.  The best builders will often start the first phase of their sales priced slightly under market value to generate excitement and sales.  They refer to these initial sales as “pre-construction” pricing.

  •  Customer Service:  Treat all your customers fairly and equally.  Create clearly defined options and pricing on-line as well as printed and available for all potential buyers.  You should also have systems and rules in place so your buyers have clear expectations about custom changes.
  •  Warranties:  Create and offer a detailed home warranty that is better than the one year warranty that the State of Connecticut mandates.  Buyers want to feel safe when purchasing a new home and a good warranty will eliminate concerns about unexpected repair costs and may also add confidence to the buying decision.  A home warranty policy will also offer a competitive edge over the competition in the current marketplace.
  •  Keep it Clean:  During the construction phase, maintain a clean and safe workplace.  Regardless of your attempts to keep people out of homes under construction, you can not completely control or stop them.  Keeping your homes clean shows you have pride in building.  Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression.  Curb appeal, construction and cleanliness comprise your “first impression.”  Make it a great one.
  •  Saleability:  It is especially important to pull out all the stops and make your homes stand out among the sea of inventory on the market.  Curb appeal is VERY, VERY important, and fully decorated and furnished model homes will add to the sale-ability of your community.  Maintain plenty of clearly-marked directional signs to make it easy for potential customers to find your community.  Most individuals are visual, so floor plans can often be daunting to understand.  The more pictures and visual aids that are made available, the easier it is for buyers to grasp ideas and concepts regarding your designs.  If you are selling single family homes, it’s a great idea to stake your lots so buyers see the boundaries.
  •  Choosing an Agent:  Be wary of agents who are willing to work for less than their competitors.  There is always a reason why a broker or real estate agent chooses to discount a real estate fee.  Usually it’s the only way they feel they can compete in a highly competitive business, because they can’t compete on service, knowledge or negotiation skills.  If the main benefit an agent brings to the table is a cheap fee, you should ask your self “why?”  A desperate-for-business or unqualified agent may actually cost you sales!

Some agents promise to sell your homes for more than market value.  This is just not possible, especially in our current economy.  Unfortunately, uninformed builders often choose a listing agent based on which one suggests the highest list price.  Properly pricing the homes in your community is an art, and you should be able to rely on an experienced agent to get it right from the beginning.  If homes are priced too high, buyers won’t walk in the door.

The best time to create momentum and encourage sales is within the first 30 days of a home being on the market.  Unless you are able to generate interest and sales quickly, potential buyers will shun your homes and you may be forced to reduce the price — leading buyers to wonder what is wrong with your property.  So make sure you engage a professional agent who will be able to meet all your marketing and sales needs and be able to assist your customers in a manner that puts your property in the best possible position.

  •  On-line Access:  Your agent should create a user-friendly website dedicated to all your floor plans, options and other information about the homes and surrounding community.  Tech-savvy buyers are on-line seven days a week, 24 hours a day looking at listings, so your website should stand out and all basic information, including contacts, should be available at the click of a mouse.

Another Option:

  •  Choose EXIT Realty Black Rock:  If you find that these tips are helpful, consider hiring the professionals at EXIT Realty Black Rock, as the selling agent for your new home or community. With EXIT Realty Black Rock on your side, you are guaranteed success!

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