Selling a House in the Baltimore/Washington Area: Who Will Buy Your Home?

Niecie Draper
Published on August 16, 2017

Selling a House in the Baltimore/Washington Area: Who Will Buy Your Home?

Writers have a target audience in mind as they peck away on the keyboard. Radio DJs are admonished to hold a mental image of their audience (one person of a certain age group, by the way) every time they open the mic. And, the key to success for professional marketers is to “know your audience.”

The latter uses market research to determine what pool of consumers their potential customers will come from. When a home is the product, however, we don’t need expensive research or a crystal ball to determine who will be most interested in it.

Thankfully, the National Association of REALTORS and others have done the legwork for us, so we have a pretty good idea of which demographics drool over which types of homes. Naturally, there are the basic needs that seem to cut across all demographics, but some homes appeal to certain folks.

Once you have a clear picture of your likely Buyer, we can better focus our marketing efforts on selling your  Baltimore/Washington Area home.

The Luxury Home Buyer

High-end home prices soared in the first quarter of 2017 to an average of $1.65 million. Is this a trend? Only time will tell. What we do know, however, is that if you own a high-end (meaning high-priced) home, your most likely Buyer will be a woman and a member of the baby boom generation. This group of Americans, by the way, controls a large share (51.3 percent) of the country’s wealth and that percentage is expected to grow.

According to CBS News Money Watch, “America’s most affluent women are typically in their 50s and 60s,” and a recent survey of Real Estate Agents finds that 62 percent of their luxury home buying clients are between the ages of 45 and 54.

Another survey reveals that most Home Buyers who purchase at the top of the luxury home market – in the $10 million and more price range – are entrepreneurs. Finally, most of the people that will tour your home are local to the area.

By the way, today’s luxury Home Buyer doesn’t necessarily view the purchase as an investment, as was the case before the recession. Instead, it’s more of a lifestyle choice –  a home in which to raise a family and build memories.

This information helps me, as your Listing Agent, narrow my marketing focus (sophisticated and laser-targeted) to appeal to these Baltimore/Washington Area Buyers.

The Condo Buyer

When it comes to condos vs. single-family homes, the Owners of single-family homes will have a better chance of selling. Now, this isn’t to say that condo owners can’t sell their homes. On the contrary.

The condo Buyer will likely be a retiree, seeking to downsize. This is especially true if the condo is located in a walkable area that offers plenty of recreational opportunities.

Urban condos are attractive to young, single professionals who are seeking a home in close proximity to work, school and to social activities. The bonus for them is that condos are generally less expensive than single-family homes and require far less maintenance.

Then, there are the young couples who aren’t planning to start a family right away.

In the Baltimore/Washington Area many jobs require that employees do a lot of travel. As a result, many professionals like condo living because of safety reasons.  It’s not easy to tell that they haven’t been home for a week or 2.

Naturally, the location of your condo and the amenities the community offers will help us narrow down your ideal Buyer pool.

Just a word of caution, be sure to investigate the Condo Association.  Be sure that it is well run and viable. In the Baltimore/Washington Area there have been horror stories of condominium complexes not paying their electric bills and residents being forced to evacuate their homes.  Yup this really happened! There are also stories of condominium association mismanagement that has resulted in complexes not having enough money in reserves to repair deteriorating infrastructure.

In addition, be sure that the condo project is FHA insured.  If not, you may find yourself with a down payment of 10% or more for a conventional home loan vs the regular 3.5% FHA down payment.  In many cases, if the condo project is not insured you can get into a single-family home for much less money than you would pay to get into a townhouse or single-family detached home.  Closing Costs Matter!

The Townhouse And Single-Family, Detached Home Buyer

The single-family, detached home category represents a broad range of homes, from small, starter homes to luxury homes and even ranches on multiple acres. The most popular single-family home, according to NAR, is one that was built in 1991 and has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 1,900 square feet of living space.

Now, most Real Estate Agents will tell you that the home needs to be in move-in condition to sell quickly but recent studies show that millennials actually want a home that needs a little work if it means they don’t have to buy a cookie-cutter home.

What they don’t want are old appliances, dinky master bedrooms, and a one-car (or no-car) garage. Fix those problems and we can market your home to this demographic.

If your home is large, more than 2,000 square feet, and in a quality school district, your Buyer will most likely be a Gen Xer.

“Buyers 37 to 51 are in their peak earning years and thus their incomes are the highest among all generations of Buyer types at $106,600. They are both the generation most likely to be married and most likely to have children under the age of 18 in their home,” according to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report.

I also find that many people in the Baltimore/Washington Area who buy larger single-family homes are well-paid professionals who want to minimize their tax burdens and get more tax write offs. Many are single, childless and have a great job – Single Income No Kids (SINKs).  Taxes are eating them alive, so they buy a house to be able to write off the mortgage interest, lock in their housing prices (the cost of housing goes up over time) and build a nest egg by investing in real estate.

Why Does It Matter?

Earlier, we mentioned that knowing who your likely Buyer is will help us hone our marketing efforts. While we won’t exclude other possible Buyers, if your home fits a certain demographic’s wants and needs perfectly, it only makes sense to stage the home and craft marketing pieces to attract them.

As you’ve probably guessed, marketing a home for sale entails so much more than entering the details into the MLS database and pounding a sign into the front yard. We’re happy to discuss our marketing plan with you when you’re ready to sell your home.

Powered by WPeMatico

You'll love it!