SI Drive? Level Side walks? Curtains that Convey? Really??

About a year ago, my wife decided she wanted a Subaru Outback.  We looked at a few on used car lots.  I did a lot of research to find out what trim level we had to get for her to have the sunroof and heated leather seats that she wanted.  There really weren’t a lot of used Outbacks in or around Lexington at that time.  Then, one day, I found a classified ad that said “2008 Subaru Outback, SI Drive” with the price and the seller’s phone number.  Not a lot of info to work with.  Definitely nothing to make the guy’s phone start ringing.  But to me, this car having “SI Drive” told me a whole lot more about it.  Having done a lot of research, I knew that was only offered on the top trim level, having the giant sunroof, heated leather interior, and the bigger engine.  When we went to see the car, all the seller kept talking about the “SI Drive”.  I could tell it was very important to him.

A lot of home sellers are like that too.  They want to focus on what is important to them when selling their house, rather than focusing on things that are important to the buyer.  I see it a lot in marketing remarks of For Sale By Owner houses.  I once read a flyer where the seller spent a lot of space talking about how level the sidewalks are and never mentioned that his model of house had an open floor plan, which is something that is important to most buyers these days……especially since anybody picking up the flyer can see what is outside of the house, but knows nothing about the inside yet?

I sold a house to a family that I have since become friends with.  They found the house by driving around the neighborhood.  They would have never come to see it if they had only seen it online.  Why?  Because of the marketing remarks.  Instead of mentioning the hardwood floors, instead of mentioning that one of the upstairs bedrooms was huge, or that there were bedrooms on both levels of the house, or that the backyard was an awesome park-like oasis, the agent used that space to tell you that the exterior was maintenance free, that the curtains stayed with the house, and that there was an allowance for water-proofing the basement as well as mitigating radon……..Hardly anything to make somebody fall in love with a house that had a leaking basement and a high radon level!  The marketing remarks could only have been better if they said  “Must see!……You get to keep the seller’s curtains AND fix some major problems with this house, but at least you’ll never have to paint the outside!!  NOT a drive by!”

The hardest thing about real estate is getting sellers to think like a buyer and a buyer to think like a seller.  I think if that ever were to happen, I’d probably be out of a job!  Being a realtor these days is as much about mediation, negotiation and understanding differing perspectives as it is about houses.

BTW, “SI Drive” is a feature that has 3 settings for throttle response and transmission shift points.

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