Buyer’s Market Misconception

Here is the gist of a current phone conversation I had with a potential buyer exhibiting a total lack of understanding as to what the term buyer’s market really means.

The phone rings on an evening after 9:00 pm.

Me: “Thank you for calling our builder today, my name is Leah, how may I help you?”

Caller: “I’m looking at your community online and I want a 1 story house.”

Me: “Great, we do have homes with a downstairs master, however there are no ranch style homes being built in that community. And who am I speaking with?”

Caller: Already has annoyance in his voice, “We don’t want an upstairs, we live in that right now and we don’t use the upstairs in our home.” (Purposely still leaving out his name since it’s okay to be anonymous on the phone at 9pm especially if you are about to pick a fight with someone who is just trying to help you with the call you have made.)

Me: “Oh, okay tell me what area you live in right now.”

Caller: “We live in Suffolk.”

Me: “I see, well, are you strictly looking in Virginia Beach or would you be interested in something out in Suffolk. Since we do have some homes in Suffolk that may fit your needs better.”

Caller: “Just Virginia Beach.” Terse response.

Me: “Great what price range would you like to be in?”

Caller: “We don’t want to go higher than the mid $300’s.”

Me: “Well I wish we could help you, we do have a ranch style home in a custom community in the $500’s but that won’t fit your price range.”

Caller: With indignant sound in his voice, “If I wanted to pay that much for a home I wouldn’t pay it for a vinyl home, it would have to be brick.”

Me: Well you can find brick ranch style homes in the resale market in Virginia Beach in your price point. But you aren’t going to find new. With the cost of land it’s more expensive now to build ranch style homes as they need larger lots, than it is to build a 2-story. The older homes you see were built at a time when land was not at a premium and builders could afford to build 1 story homes.”

Caller: “Well I don’t want any of the resale homes that are in that area, in that price point they all need a lot of work and updating.” Now this line was spoken to me as if *Duh* I’m an idiot. We don’t want what we can afford, we want what we want and we want you to give it to us.

Me: “We’ll that’s the trade off in trying to find something in that price point, in that area, and in that home style…I’m not sure that I know any new home builders in the area that can meet your requirements unless you are in the 55 and up age range.”

Caller: (Now very annoyed with me because we don’t build what he wants.) “I’m not that old, and I know what I want and why should I buy something I don’t want…”

Me: At this point I’m thinking, really what can I do for you…I’ve politely told him we don’t have what he’s looking for…”I really do wish I could help you but we just don’t build what you are looking for. I wish you luck on your home search and if your parameters should change please feel free to contact me.”

Caller: “Nothing is going to change about what I’m looking for.” (Unreasonable annoyance in his voice.)

Me: “If you’d like me to put you in touch with a resale agent to help you find the ranch you are looking for in Virginia Beach, I’d be glad to refer you to someone.”

Caller: *Click*

Me: To empty phone line. “Thank you very much for rudely hanging up on me when all I’m doing is trying to help you out with the call you made to me…..” (Sometimes you need that last satisfying line to end a rude conversation…even if you are talking to the air.)

It’s conversations like these that make me realize buyers don’t understand what a buyer’s market means.

  • It’s doesn’t mean that it’s open season on sales agents.
  • It doesn’t mean you can throw all common courtesy out the window just because you want what you want when you want it.
  • It doesn’t mean that you can pout and cry and get your way.
  • They don’t understand that in order to stay in business there is a fair price for everything.
  • They don’t understand that no amount of bullying will eventually get them their way when what they are looking for doesn’t exist.
  • Just because you think something should be available and cost a certain price doesn’t mean that’s so.

Anyway, just an example of buyers market misconceptions and how not to treat someone trying to help you over the phone at any hour of the day or night.