Buying and selling a home can be a complex process.
According to Sharon Friedman, broker, associate and Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty in Moreland Hills; and Realtors Peggy Garr and Adam Kaufman with Howard Hanna in Pepper Pike, selling and buying requires knowledge of one’s goals.
The process should start with categorizing oneself as a buyer or a seller.
“(Individuals should know) it’s a completely opposite process,” Kaufman said. “When a buyer is buying a house, they want it to appeal to them. The only thing they care about is they like the house. But when a seller is selling the house, their goal is to appeal to the masses. The more buyers interested in a house, the faster it will sell.”
Friedman added, “The process differs because they are two separate transactions under one umbrella. As a buyer, one needs to make sure they are financially fit to purchase, like having the income and credit requirements necessary. On the selling end, is the home ready for sale? Does it need to be updated, painted or staged? There are all sorts of decisions that go into it.”
Garr said a Realtor’s responsibilities change depending on the type of client.
“If you’re representing the buyer, you’re going to be working in the buyer’s best interests,” she explained. “You want to make sure you’re getting the best buy for them. And for the seller, you want to make sure it’s the best outcome for them. You don’t want transactions to be one-sided, but you also want to make sure your client is covered.”
When buying or selling a house in the winter instead of summer, and vice-versa, the professionals said the processes don’t differ very much.
“To sell a house, you have to make it look the best you can no matter the season,” Garr said. “But in the winter, you need to make sure the walkway and the driveway is shoveled. And in the spring, make sure your lawn looks great. The strategy is the same, but the small details differ.”
Both Kaufman and Friedman added some homes show better in specific seasons.
“Most homes generally show better in the spring and summer, but we can’t always depend on sunshine in Northeast Ohio,” Friedman noted. “But, it is smart to get photos of the home seasonally, so you can always have photos ready if the home is ready for the market.”
Kaufman added having pictures of the home in different seasons can assist with a buyer’s vision of the home.
When it comes to buying a house, the professionals said it is their job to know what a client wants.
“Their agent is going to lead them in the right direction,” Garr said. “When you’re looking at a house, you don’t want to buy it because it has a color you like. You have to dissect the house and the neighborhood. People have to be realistic. When you’re buying a house, you’re also paying for the location.”
Kaufman added, “A lot of the time, buyers have a preconceived notion of what they want and the house they end up with tends to be very different. That is the typical buyer. Professionals have to key into their body language. Sometimes, it is what they aren’t saying that is more important than what they are.”
Friedman said one thing buyers can do is manage their expectations.
“HGTV and many of the shows (on the channel) have spoiled the buying public to think everything is perfect, when it’s not,” she said. “So, it’s best to know what you want to accomplish going into buying a home. You need to be able to look beyond what is in front of you.”