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How to Highlight the Community for your Buyers

How much do you really know about your own community?

When a person decides to purchase a house, they’re actually buying far more than the home itself. They’re purchasing the neighborhood, the neighbors themselves, the community the house is located in, and far more. They don’t just want to know the benefits of buying the house, they want to know the advantages–and potential drawbacks–of living in the community surrounding it. So, how should you handle their questions?

Availability of Basic Amenities

No one wants to drive 20 minutes to get to the nearest grocery store.

The majority of buyers want to know all about the amenities surrounding their potential new home. This means you need to be fully aware of what necessities are within walking and driving distance. Schools, grocery stores, and drug stores score big on the necessities category, but what about restaurants and shopping opportunities? These are the questions you may be asked and you’d better have the answers close at hand in order to make the sale.

Is there a police station reasonably nearby the home? What about a fire station? Buyers also might want more detailed information about the crime rate in the area; safety is important and people like to know if there’s decent neighborhood safety in place.

Bonus Amenities

A question you might be confronted with is, “What’s there to do around here?” Community amenities can greatly add value to a home. Obvious things like walking paths, parks, and libraries will make a home even more attractive to a buyer.

Entertainment is important, so make note of any movie theaters, coffee shops, bars, or gyms in the vicinity. If the neighborhood falls short in any of these categories, you can cushion the blow by pointing out a different perk, like the positive reputation of the local school. A big bonus might be the local transit options. Having a subway or bus stop a few steps from the door can open the entire city up to your buyers, so be sure to highlight this whenever the option is there.

Not Immediately Obvious Factors

There are always “unwritten” rules about a community and neighborhood that you might not be aware of, but your buyers will be sure to find out about soon after they move in.

For example, if you discover that a family has a dog, find out if the neighborhood is dog friendly. Are there any leash-free dog parks? Do the local shops put out bowls of water on the sidewalk for dogs on hot days? Dog culture can be a big plus for a dog-loving family.

What about the feeling of community? Are there ever block parties, coordinated yard sales, or neighborhood get togethers?

If you can’t find this information online, you could be brave and knock on the door of a few of the neighbors to ask some questions. Make it about them, saying that you really want to find the “right fit” for THEIR community. A little tact might help the neighbors to open up more readily about the details of the community that only the people who live there really know about.

Do they Have Kids?

Having kids greatly impacts the buying decisions of parents. It isn’t just a matter of the backyard, bathtub, and how many bedrooms there are in the house. Parents want to know far more.

Is there a good local park? How safe is it to play outside? And the biggest question: How many schools are in the area? If they aren’t very nearby, what’s the bussing distance? A neighborhood with easy access to good schools can greatly raise the property values of all of the homes there.

Parents might also want to know the demographic of the neighborhood. Will their kids have anyone to play with, or is the area made up primarily of older professionals? These are the questions that could sink or swim a sale, so you’d better know the answers before they asked!

What Would Make a Person Avoid a Community

Likewise, there are many things that can instantly turn off certain buyers about a community. The old acronym “NIMBY” (Not In My Back Yard) gets a bad rap, but can you really blame your buyers for not wanting a prison in the neighborhood?

The best thing to do in this situation is to be completely honest with your buyers. Don’t try to sugarcoat the truth; just tell them outright about the downsides of a community. They might decide that they can live with the drawbacks, in which case you’ve made a sale. Or they might immediately decide to walk away, in which care you’ve proven to them that you’re honest, can be trusted, and you’re putting their needs first. Either way, it’s a win.

Bringing it Home

When you’re working within a specific community or neighborhood, it’s your job to know every detail, just like you would know every detail about your store if you worked in retail. Proving that you have local knowledge can really make the difference between your clients walking away from you or being impressed. You want to make sure that when they look at your business card, they feel that you’re someone they can trust.