I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard agents say that “Agent X is the neighborhood expert and everyone uses her.”
First of all, not “everyone” uses her or even likes her. Second, she might know the neighborhood well, but she doesn’t have the market cornered.
You can become the neighborhood expert by knowing seven facts about any neighborhood.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about every neighborhood in your market and especially the neighborhoods you want to farm.
Number 1 – Style of Homes
Make it a point to see every house that comes on the market in your target neighborhood.
Are the majority of homes townhouses, single-family or condos?
Are they Colonial, Tudor or Victorian? One level or two or three levels? What’s the age of the homes?
This will give you an idea as to the amount of closet space the homes has and the type of floor plan.
Check to see if there is a half bathroom on the first floor? Is there typically an owner’s suite? Do the homes have basements?
What’s the average square footage?
Number 2 – Price of Homes
When a buyer tells you they want to live in a particular neighborhood, you need to know whether or not that neighborhood is within their price range.
Doing this one thing can save you and your buyer time, energy and frustration.
Take note of the price points for the various styles of homes.
Look to see what renovated homes are going for versus those that need some level of renovation.
Do homes typically sell at the list price? What percentage go over the list price and what percentage sell for less than the list price?
Do sellers typically offer a closing credit?
Number 3 – Days on Market
This is an important fact for buyers to know. How long do homes stay on the market?
This will let them know how quickly they will need to act if they are interested in purchasing in the neighborhood.
They may not be able to wait until the Open House or the weekend to view the property.
You will find that some neighborhoods have very few properties that come on the market in a given year.
Your buyer needs to understand that and be patient and be willing to act quickly.
Number 4 – Amenities and Walkability
Neighborhood amenities can be an important component of the home search. Buyer’s want to know where they can go for all of their essential needs, without jumping in the car.
What grocery stores are in the area and how close are they?
Are there other services available in the neighborhood or close by?
Think, dry cleaners, coffee shops, farmers markets, restaurants and shopping.
Learn what there is to do in the neighborhood.
What’s the vibe of the neighborhood?
Some neighborhoods have cool spots to listen to music, community swimming pool, tennis courts, dog parks, walking and bike trails or playground.
Get out of your car and walk the neighborhood. You’ll see things from a different perspective.
Check to see if public transportation nearby?
Many buyers have given up their cars and depend on the subway system , bike and scooter rentals or buses.
This category speaks to the lifestyle the home buyer is looking for.
Number 5 – Schools
Schools are a difficult topic for real estate agents.
The information you provide clients with in regards to the schools should be limited.
Simply knowing the names of all of the elementary, middle and high schools is enough.
Do NOT get into which school district a house is in.
School districts change all the time and you don’t want to get caught saying something that isn’t true.
It is NOT appropriate for you to talk about which schools are the “best.”
What you think is a great school, may not be the same as someone else’s opinion.
You’re the Neighborhood Expert
You don’t have to be intimidated by other agents who claim to be the “neighborhood expert.”
Knowing these five facts can make you an expert in no time.
When meeting with your buyers, ask the questions that will help you help them find the right home and neighborhood for them.
As you have listing appointments, use this list to prepare.
impress the seller with how much you know about their neighborhood.
What else could you do to be seen as the neighborhood expert? Email me at Candy@RLRETraining.com or write your comments below.
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As an active Realtor licensed in three jurisdictions, I approach real estate training from a different perspective. With over 18 years in the real estate business, I teach agents what it’s really like to be a real estate agent.