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Understanding Buyers 101, A Primer for Selling Your Home

If you are thinking of selling a home in the greater New Milford, CT area you may want to take my short "Understanding Buyers 101 Course". It's free, don't worry about it. Just read below!

Understanding Buyers 101 (a primer for sellers)

Understanding Buyers 101, A primer for sellersFirst let me say, data is not just for sellers. Data is supposed to give us clear information and help us to make informed decisions. Charts and graphs should tell a story that allows us to see past and current trends. But as we all know, we cannot extrapolate future trends from data where the housing market is concerned. We can only make a guess. And if you are listing now, you need to work with what has just happened and what is happening at this moment in time. Not trying to figure out what will happen in the next few months. The data I use to help me price a house is the same data the buyers are looking at! They use it to fuel that buyers bus they are driving!

Although data is very important, it is not everything. Let me take you into the mind of a real buyer.

When I take buyers out we have a price range. Within that price range they have picked out homes they want to see, a minimum and a maximum. Here is a day taken out of one of my showing days:

House number 1 is at their max price range, but at the max price it is the smallest square footage. We walk up to the front door and realize the siding is a mess, the windows have rotted in spots and were repaired very poorly, not a good first impression. They are already skeptical of what we will find inside. We walk in, the house smells like cat pee, the house is dirty, the kitchen appears to be a DIY job gone bad. They feel it is overpriced by a minimum of $60,000!

House number 2 is at the lower end of their price range. The house is small but wow, it shows well, it has made use of small space for great storage, it is priced for its size, condition and location. Although the garage really can't be used as a garage because it is too small, they feel they can deal with that because.. it is priced to reflect that too. My buyers are very impressed. It is clean, neat, clearly well cared for. It makes the short list.

House number 3 is one I call "smoke and mirrors". There is a flashy kitchen, which they are taken by, AT FIRST. But the house falls apart after that. The flow is choppy, the rooms are small, the basement is a walkout that can't be made into useable space due to mechanical locations. Again, this house was at the top of their budget anyway. I have to say I think the price was based on the kitchen. Nope... not happening for these buyers.

Our trip told them the most modest home in price, size and location is the leader from that trip. Why? The sellers are very realistic about what their home is. They have done everything right before putting it on the market, they have made it warm and inviting, they have cleared the clutter, they have cleaned it up, showing off its best features. No smoke and mirrors, no pretension, no illusion. Clearly this house is owned by people who are interested in selling!

Buyers are driving the real estate bus these days. They are not going to stop for your house if you are not realistic about selling. And remember, many of you that are selling are going to be buying another house. And you can sit in the drivers seat then and drive the big shiny bus! My guess is your outlook will do a 180 when you are in the buyers seat.

Originally posted at "Understanding Buyers 101, a primer for selling your home"

Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 38 commentsAndrea Swiedler • October 07 2011 10:10PM


Hi Andrea, This is a great illustration for sellers, they need to think like the buyers.  I like your footer, I am need to work on mine.

Posted by Kathy Stoltman, Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793 (Rockwood Realty) almost 9 years ago

Andrea - I loved reading your story and it's like the show on HGTV where the buyers are picking from 3 different homes - very fun read! To your point a clean, decluttered, organized home tells buyers you care for your home and there won't be any big surprises like the roof leaking. You get a big SUGGEST from me!

Posted by Kristine Ginsberg, NJ Home Stager (Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC) almost 9 years ago


Sellers who care sell first.... great post!

Ann Hayden in Wildwood, MO

Posted by Ann Hayden 636-399-7544, (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri) almost 9 years ago

Nice post, it's good to view things from your prospective buyer's perspective.

Posted by Valarie Swanson, San Diego Real Estate (CENTURY 21 Award) almost 9 years ago

Kathy, thank you! And about your signature, head over to Craig Daniels blog, he has some great suggestions about that.

Kristine, oh, like HGTV you say? Thank you! If you lose them at the front door you have a problem.

Ann, thank you. You are right, I like that.

Valarie, what I find interesting is that sellers often become buyers and oh boy do things change then!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 9 years ago

Great post with spot on examples. If you take the time to walk in the buyer's shoes almost by default you become a better seller.

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) almost 9 years ago

Andrea, This is a fabulous post - thanks!!!

Posted by Christian Bastian, Christian Bastian - Douglas Elliman Real Estate (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

I often try to talk with my sellers and try to get them to think like a buyer.  It's really important if you want to make to the sold list and not the expired list.  Great Post

Posted by Jeremy Joslin, Professional Real Estate Marketing and Sales (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Andrea I always tell sellers to think like a buyer and sometimes this cause them to adjust their expectations.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) almost 9 years ago

Charlie, it is true, a seller must look at their home through the eyes of a buyer. Not always easy to get them to do as they are emotionally attached.

Christian, and thank you!

Jeremy, It is the hardest thing to do, but so important. Thank you very much.

Jennifer, adjusting expectations is a must, the buyer will tell them what their home is worth, and the appraiser...

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 9 years ago

Andrea, if only all sellers would get the mantra of thinking like a seller...we would be better off and have less inventory...great share post...

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Andrea, you hit the nail on the head. Sellers need to put themselves in the buyers shoes.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 9 years ago

Andrea - great narrative of helping sellers to see themselves as buyers. I have to tell you also how much I really like the updated blog signature! really terrific! :)

Posted by Craig Daniels, Technology Instructor/Project Consultant (Tech Training for You!) almost 9 years ago


I have always contended that buyers know a lot more a bout true market  value than sellers. After all, they see a lot more houses, see their location, condition, etc. After a while, they get a feel for where a house should be price-wise!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 9 years ago

Sellers must fully beward of who are buying homes and the home must be priced to move in this market

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) almost 9 years ago

Good post. I always tell sellers to think like buyers and ask them would they buy their home if the competition were in better condition or better priced .

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 9 years ago

Andrea - If you don't price the house realistically for the current market, the wheels on the buyer's bus will go round and round, round and round... right to the next house! ;-)

Posted by Judy Jennings, Tap into Judy's real estate expertise & resources. (Top Agent Plus) almost 9 years ago


A great post, I wish more of our sellers would put as much effort into planning for the sale of their property as they do mulling over current real estate sales data. I use what I define as the "Three P" strategy when discussing a potential listing with a client, Price, Presentation and Perceived Value. As you are well aware, the latter two items most often receive the least amount of attention by sellers. Our greatest challenge with today's market is breaking old paradigms as it relates to sellers behavior. Let's continue as an industry to educate our sellers and buyers, making sure we a real estate professionals present the new paradigms which now control buyer and seller behavior.     

Posted by Sharon Miller almost 9 years ago

Thats exactly what buyers do.  It if its work they triple what it actually costs to fix it.  They normally like the cleaniest one.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) almost 9 years ago
Andrea it is funny that your buyers are just like my buyers even though we are a thousand miles apart. And the houses to be shown in your market are just like the houses in my market, amazing. Sellers, listen up, buyers have choices. Will they have good reasons to choose your house over the others available?
Posted by David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation, Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential (Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC ) almost 9 years ago

I just had to return to say - see I know a FEATURE post when I read one! Congrats Andrea - so glad this was featured!

Posted by Kristine Ginsberg, NJ Home Stager (Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC) almost 9 years ago

The question ..would you buy this house in this neighborhood during this market with available terms for this price...? holds if one answers honestly and without emotion. What is good for the goose is good for the gander

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 9 years ago

Buyers and Sellers all have dual personalities. I did a listing presentation to a seller recently, and I was the third agent to be interviewed. Both prior agents wanted to price the home over what was fair market, and all the seller kept saying to me was that he did not want to leave any money on the table. But, when I ask him when he sells where does he want to go and he said New Mexico, and without taking a breath he said I am going to get the best deal possible and he went on to give me what as a buyer he would be wanting in a deal.

So, sellers and buyers each wear different hats depending on the position they are in with the real estate market.





Posted by Lorraine or Loretta Kratz, Certified Negotiation Consultants (Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.) almost 9 years ago

I am finding more so then ever before that the house has got to be in good condition and priced well if it is to get any love in this market! Other things like location and poor floor plans are just something else that could be contributing to a slower sale for these sellers as well! People realize they can be just a little more picky and I guess why shouldn't they be!! Have a nice weekend Andrea and thanks for helping me out the other night! Did you get your pictures of the windows done yet?

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) almost 9 years ago


Lots of insight here. This makes a lot of sense. Before listing sellers should go out and see some homes.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) almost 9 years ago

Hi Andrea,  Cool way to approach the post.  I was looking for the issue which most attracted your buyers and there it was

"The sellers are very realistic..."   Most listings have a price ppoint at which they become attractive to a buyer !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) almost 9 years ago

Andrea, maybe the sellers should get on that buyer's tour and see what their competition might be and be honest with themselves about it as well.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 9 years ago

Excellent post for sellers to help them understand the thought process of buyers in today's market.

Posted by Dawn Crawley, Find Pinehurst Homes (Dawn Crawley Realty) almost 9 years ago

Great post and tutorial for all potential sellers out there.

Posted by Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO, Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ (Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan) almost 9 years ago

Hi Andrea,

A wonderful post that tells it like it is. Cpngrats on the feature..well deserved :).

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 9 years ago


I am bookmarking this post so my sellers can see the reasons they need to price their homes correctly, not what they wish they could get

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) almost 9 years ago

Andrea, this is a great advice for sellers. Yes, the sellers should always put themselves in buyers' shoes and look at their own home from that perspective. Congratulations on a feature. 

Posted by Elizabeth Byrne, Arlington Virginia Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

This is good advice for sellers. Congrats on the feature. Thanks for posting.

Posted by Laurie Clark CRB Angel Realty LLC Your Monument Realtor 719-502-6572, Angel Realty, LLC (CRB-CCSS-ASD-HBS-RSD-Denver Short Sale Agents) almost 9 years ago


This was a great read, and one that sellers really need to take a look at. I always talk with sellers about buyer behavior and try to get them to look at their home, pricing, etc. from the buyers perspective, which is not an easy thing to do.

You have done an admirable job of presenting the home search from a buyer's perspective. Sellers too soon forget what they might have been like as buyers.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) almost 9 years ago

So true Andrea.  Most Realtors can help sellers make their home look like your best example, unfortunately not all of them are willing to do the work.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 9 years ago

Great information for sellers to have! Thanks for providing this....

Posted by Sussie Sutton, David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers (David Tracy Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Monday is my Happiness Day.
I visit as many blog posts as I can throughout the day
and spread happiness, which means I probably didn’t read this post.
I just stopped by to spread some happiness.
Feel free to delete this comment if it doesn’t make you happy.

Happy Day!

Posted by Not a real person almost 9 years ago

Andrea, what a fantastic post. It is amazing what sellers can learn from buyers and vice versa. It is another reason folks hire us. With this kind of knowledge you will be able to help sellers actually list at a price which it will sell at. Thanks.


Posted by Cal Yoder, Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744 (Keller Williams Elite) almost 9 years ago