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Mind Shift: Try Qualifying the Neighborhood

  • ALISO VIEJO, CA, October 10, 2007 – Today, especially in light of the subprime issue that has everyone’s attention, we hear a great deal about pre-qualifying the buyer. But why do we so often stop there? Aren’t we ignoring a very key element in the buyer’s mind? We should also pre-qualify the neighborhood and house, otherwise we have only have half our duties.

    With the huge amount of information currently available on the web, consumers are lost in a cybermaze of real estate information, be in provided by Zillow, Trulia, RealEstateABC, HomeGain, Terabitz or any of the hundreds of new online, new models, lead generators and information portals.

    For real estate agents its time to step up to the plate and now become real estate professionals of the 21st century. Become smarter than your “websurfing” consumer looking for a home. Previously you may have avoided it by thinking that you can’t provide the information because it was off limits because of Fair Housing. Well now for the agents that want to succeed in the new millennium there is at last a course that has gone the extra mile and strive to pull back the veil on this sticky issue of and show new, legally correct ways to manage, share and distribute many parts of this huge real estate information explosion.

    In the new course especially designed for Gen X and Gen Y type thinking agents, the Certified Neighborhood Specialist (CNS) designation program, among other things, looks at the Top Five Criteria for selecting a neighborhood as determined by a recent survey by the Council of Neighborhood Specialists . Below a short extract from that section that illustrates how simple issues can play a significant role:

    Children – Whether your buyer has children or not, this factor alone is a tremendous influencer. But don’t just assume that buyers without children don’t want to consider homes in the best school districts since. They know that appreciation is often much greater in these neighborhoods.
    Length of Ownership - Short term owners will often put the property itself above the neighborhood. Many believe that they can endure short term inconveniences for anticipated appreciation.
    Proximity to Services – Services desired will vary by buyer, but are almost always an important determining factor. A particular sector of those surveyed wrote in services that were pertinent to the decision. Surprisingly a very high-ranking write-in was the proximity to off-leash dog areas.
    Neighborhood Demographics – Who are the neighbors? More buyers are asking agents for demographic information on the make-up of the neighborhood. Statistics on age, education, income etc. are available from a variety of sources online, including the U.S. Census.
    Traffic – This not only includes the amount of traffic in the area but also access to major roads and whether or not the commute to work would be with or against heavy traffic.
    Information, information and still more information on the web – it’s everywhere and now neighborhoods, which are immensely more complicated and extensive than houses, are starting to play an even more crucial role in selecting a new home to live in.

    Neighborhoods have a demographic element consisting of schools, proximity to services and details that are neighborhood specific. Consider that for most people finding that home starts with a search on the Internet with the primary search criteria being location … followed immediately by price. On the other what makes a house a home are the people that live in it and the neighborhood that surrounds it. No wonder the neighborhood in high on the “desired” list of most buyers. Doesn’t it therefore make sense to search for neighborhood characteristics?

    For a free 28-page whitepaper published by RealSure Publishing on the Real Estate Information Explosion visit http://www.realtyu.com/information_whitepaper.htm and learn more about managing the huge amount of information bombarding the real estate home buying process today.