Finding Buyers: First Time Homebuyers

The key to finding real estate buyers is knowing exactly who you’re trying to pinpoint. The biggest reason investors (and even Realtors®) have a hard time when it comes to finding real estate buyers is that they simply believe in the concept of casting the widest net and hoping for the best.

While this may seem the most logical way to find real estate buyers, it’s actually putting you at a disadvantage. You need to focus on a specific type of buyer so that you can speak directly to his/her wants and needs in the homebuying process.

There are dozens of “types” of real estate buyers our there, but for the sake of STAYING narrow, in this article, we’re going to focus on the first time home buyers.

Why First Time Homebuyers?

It’s simple really… With the current economy and market conditions, coupled with government programs and tax incentives, they’re one of the best types of buyers because the financing programs are leaning in their favor and they’re also wanting to take advantage of the housing market affordability so they can get in on their piece of the American Dream.

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 47% of the market was made up of first time home buyers.

So, let’s define the first time homebuyers so you can target them more closely.

Who ARE the First Time Home Buyers?

Here are 4 demographics that you can use to pinpoint first time homebuyers and market to them effectively.

Age: More than half of all first time homebuyers are between the ages of 24-34 and 12% are younger than 24.

Location: According to this report, 22% want to buy a home in an urban area while 52% prefer to buy in the suburbs.

Marital Status: Nearly 25% of all first time homebuyers are single women and 49% are married. Single men only account for 12% of all first time homebuyer purchases.

Diversity: More and more first time homebuyers are part of a minority group and/or were not born in the United States. In fact, 22% are part of minority group an 6% speak a language other than English.

NOTE: First time homebuyers are more open to the idea of buying a foreclosure or short sale. In fact 56% considered buying a property in this category whereas only 41% of repeat buyers considered a property in foreclosure. So, if you’re focusing on foreclosures, shortsales, or REOs, this could be an extremely lucrative buyer market for you (and very few people really know how to target them)

The best part about knowing these demographics is the ease of targeting them.

Once you know precisely WHO you’re looking for, it becomes much easier to locate them, and to give them the message that is important to them. Consider using online media like Facebook or targeted direct mail campaigns.

Just keep in mind that a first time homebuyer takes an average of 12 weeks to make a decision, so it’s best to start building your buyers list early and keep growing it while you go out and find the deals.

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