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What Do Buyers Want?

By Paul Harsch
iBerkshires Columnist

If you're a seller in this market it is crucial you and your representative take carefully into account what buyers are looking for or chances are less than ideal for a favorable sale or a sale at all for that matter.

If you're a buyer you know what you want and as such you aren't going to waste your valuable time on any listing or any real estate agent that doesn't offer it.

Here's what buyers want:

The best property they can purchase for their budget meaning great value.

• A real estate licensee who is forthright, honest, diligent, pleasant and above all knowledgeable
• Unless they specifically want a fixer-upper to flip, buyers want as close to move-in condition as possible. The more that needs doing from paint, to floors, to bathrooms, kitchens, repairs the quicker the house will fall off the list of possibilities … unless of course it’s a steal.
• Energy efficiency
• A desirable location
• There are a number of "wants" that fall lower in priority but which can tip the scales between two similarly priced properties such as nice view, level usable yard, quiet neighborhood, attractive exterior, good floor plan.

Here's what buyers don't want:

• Overpriced property
• Poor upkeep and condition
• Highly personalized decoration or property features
• Significant projects such as repairs, major upgrades
• Pushy, evasive, flaky, disinterested, distracted, part-time or brand-new agent
• Anything that is significantly different from what they described they are looking for

I find the Golden Rule works really well in real estate as in virtually any aspect of life. In other words, sellers who can put themselves in the buyers' shoes, who can be more objective and see their house as a buyer might view it have already improved their chances of selling.

One of the hardest steps for sellers to take is to separate emotionally from their property, let it go, when they place it on the market. So often sellers will be expecting buyers to pay a premium (of course the sellers don't think of it as a premium) for the property because of the enjoyment and satisfaction that property has given them over the years. All buyers will have a different perception and perspective and will not pay for the sellers' emotional ties.

If as a seller you can offer what buyers want your property won’t last long on the market and they don't.

Paul Harsch, president and founder of Harsch Associates, a Berkshire County based real estate brokerage firm, is a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont, serving a diverse residential, business, commercial and land client base for 40 years.

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Paul Harsch, president and founder of Harsch Associates, a Berkshire County based real estate brokerage firm, is a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont, serving a diverse residential, business, commercial and land client base for 40 years. He has achieved personal career sales exceeding $131 million and company sales from 1979 will top $500 million in 2014. Harsch is a member of the Berkshire, Massachusetts, Southwestern Vermont and National associations of realtors, is a licensed Massachusetts real estate instructor and earned the CRB, CRS, GRI and CBI designations. Harsch is a 1969 graduate of Williams College.

To submit comments, questions or requests for future blog topics write him at paul@harschrealestate.com.



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