This ‘new’ trend group is growing, wealthy and ready to buy – are you prepared?

by Olivia D'Orazio27 Oct 2014
First-time buyers are finding it hard to get enough funds to buy a property, Gen Y are happy hanging on at home for a few more years and upsizing is, well, pretty expensive for many. But there’s a growing demographic that appears, for now, to have been largely overlooked.

You know all about the needs of first-time buyers and property investors, but how about those of the newest trend group, empty nesters?

We spoke to Barry Lebow, a real estate expert in adult transitioning, about the nuances of working with down-sizing baby boomers. Here are his tips for taking care of empty nesters – on both sides of the transaction.
1 – Find the decision makers
Lebow says agents should first sniff out the family’s key decision maker. That person will have the greatest pull in the final choice of everything – whether or not to buy or sell, and whether or not to list with you. But don’t be surprised if that person isn’t who you think it is.

“Sometimes it is one of the children,” Lebow says. “You’ll find the kid has to be present. The thing is that you have to know that upfront.”
2 – Slow down
Most empty nesters likely haven’t purchased a house in 20, 30 or 40 years – sometimes even longer. For that reason, they won’t be as quick to jump into the market. Lebow says agents should slow down the process for boomers.

“You cannot walk in the property and get the listing and walk out the door,” he says. “You’ll spend a lot more time there. I’ve [visited a property] as many as six times before I got the listing.”
3 – Education
Because it’s been so long since empty nesters have purchased property, you’ll also need to educate them about today’s real estate market. Lebow says empty nesters won’t have considered some simple concepts, such as agency, and you’ll be the one to explain these things to them.

“You’re not a sales person as much as you’re [there to] guide them through the process,” he says. “If you push for the listing you won’t get it; you need to work in their interest.”
There are also three more crucial things to consider when dealing with this important demographic (continued…)

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