In a tough sellers' market, homeowners looking for the best possible sale sometimes consider marketing to out-of-town, out-of-state and even out-of-country buyers. So, how do you attract buyers from out of your area?
Statistically, homes most often sell to local buyers. But if you are in a prime growth area with new industry to attract jobseekers willing to relocate, you may want to market your home toward the newcomers to your community. There are many people moving to Washington state for the job market, the great outdoors, or the lack of state income tax. Your real estate agent is in the trenches everyday and has a good handle on what areas people are moving to Washington state from.
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If your employer moves you to a new city, a relocation service can help you sell your old home. Working with agents familiar with employer relocation services (relo for short) can market your home directly through the company to those employees. In recent years, as many as 1.5 million sellers utilized employer-assisted relocation services to sell their homes.
If your home happens to be in a prime retirement area, your agent will know that best options for promoting your home to retirees. Before you consider marketing directly to seniors, however, you may need to retrofit your home to meet their needs as they age. Consider widening doorways to 36 inches to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers and other medical aids. One useful option is to change out a tub for a step-in shower enclosure that can accommodate a medical shower stool and add grab bars to showers and near toilets. When possible, create a master suite on the main floor. If your home has steps into the entryway, look for options to make the entry easier to maneuver. Simple changes such as rocker switches in place of toggle switches, and lever handles on doors in place of knobs make simple daily tasks easier for people suffering from arthritis and other age-related afflictions.
Marketing your home to investors is another option. Of course, investors always look for the best deal, so don't expect to get top dollar, but if your home is located in a prime area, marketing to investors may get your home sold more quickly. When you work with investors, they are not going to ask you to make upgrades to the home and investors can close quickly. When considering this option, know that your buyer is looking for the best break-even home price. That means between the monthly mortgage, upgrades required, taxes and insurance, the buyer can rent the home and still break even, or better yet, make a profit.
International buyers on the lookout for vacation or investment property in the United States probably won't just respond to an MLS listing. Your online exposure is the biggest tool you have to attract foreign buyers. They want to see lots of high quality images and well-done video of the home, neighborhood and community. They need lots of extra information because they're not easily able to visit your home in person.
Some agent specialize in promoting your property to foreign buyers while others align themselves with real estate groups that have international reach. Often, international buyers cluster in areas so that they have familiar shopping, dining and worship centers nearby. When your area already hosts international residents, promoting your property to that nationality can give your property great exposure.
If you're interested in promoting your home to out-of-town, senior, relocating or international buyers, make sure your agent or broker knows so that he can pursue the best marketing plan for you.
Contact me for more information about how to best sell your home to out-of-town buyers.
Keller Williams NWRE, LLC
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