Tips for working with single buyers
A recent report found that single buyers made up a quarter of all home sales last year! Whether these homeowners are planning to live alone or share the space with a roommate or partner, working with an individual buyer presents a different dynamic for a real estate agent than working with a couple or a family.
Here are our top tips for working with single buyers:
→ Be careful about the words that come out of your mouth. Don’t make assumptions about your buyer. Why they are single or how long they plan to be single is none of your business. Avoid making assumptions like, “Oh, this buyer doesn’t need a big kitchen” or “Well, they won’t be here that long anyway.” Ask single clients the same questions you would ask any other buyers about their ideal home.
→ Single buyers may shop alone, but they may also bring a trusted friend or family member to be a second set of eyes. While your attention should remained focused on your buyer, make eye contact with this person as well and take the time to answer their questions, if any. Your buyer obviously respects this individual, so it’s critical to make a good impression. You don’t want them advising your buyer to switch agents after your meeting!
→ On the other hand, you also want to avoid paying too much attention to your buyer’s companion. For example if your client is a young woman who brought along an older man to view a listing with her, she may very well be offended if you address the man more than you talk with her. Always remember who your client is.
→ Be prepared to be spontaneous. Many single buyers have more room for flexibility than a family would in terms of number of bedrooms, amount of outdoor space and neighborhood or school district. Your buyer may say that s/he wants one thing, but then may ask to see a listing they found online that is completely different. Help your buyer by being ready to discuss the short- and long-term pros and cons of a variety of different housing types.
Are you seeing more or less single buyers this year?