Helping out of town buyers

Well, I’ve got several out of town buyers busting into Lex soon.  Kinda got to thinking about how an out of town buyer is a little different that somebody that already lives in the area.

Obviously, they know nothing about Lex, traffic, schools, neighborhoods, the market.  They are kind of lost.  What they need is somebody that can be feeding them all that info before the drive or hop on a plane to look at houses.  I guess in the old days, and still today if you’ve got an old school agent, you didn’t really do anything except wash your car before they got here.  Didn’t have much choice before e-mail, satellite views, and the internet.

The beauty of all the info that is just clicks away is that a buyer can sit wherever home currently is for them and narrow down what school district they want to be in, see if the lot for a house they like is odd shaped, or backs to something undesirable, etc.  I guess I could also turn this post into why a house needs to be presented well online to even get anybody to come out in person to see it, but this is about out of town buyers………..maybe the next one.

I guess what I have learned to do is to work even harder BEFORE they get here.  Moving is stressful, but can you imagine coming to a town you know nothing about?  Lay in bed at night and wonder if you can really find a house you like in the short period of time you’ll be there?  Worry that you’ll make a bad decision just because you are pressed for time?  Run out of time because you’ve wasted so much of it looking at houses that won’t work for you?  All that really sucks.

So, what I try to do is narrow down the search to certain parts of town.  Usually a job or a school are the biggest things buyers need to work around.  From there, of course comes price range, old or new house, amenities they want, and the million other things they have in mind.  I usually spend a lot of time e-mailing answers to questions, telling them about neighborhoods, sending links for more info.  One thing that has really been sweet is that I bought a HD camcorder.  It is so cool to answer their questions with video.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and most realtors including me can probably go past that, so I guess it is also a real time saver too.

I’ve got some cool peeps coming to town this week.  I am excited to meet them in person.  I got a Facebook friend request, so this is actually going to be the first time I’ll know what an out of town client looks like when I arrive to pick them up.  I usually wonder around a motel lobby, make eye contact with anybody around until one of them smiles at me, then I say “Are you______?” 

I’m hoping after all the e-mails, all the previewing houses with the camcorder, all the info I have given them, that they will come to town and kind of feel like they already know enough to make a good decision.  That when they do see the houses, they feel like they kinda have already been there.  To me, that is really what it is all about:  Making it easy for them to make this huge decision…………and have fun when they get here!

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