Bryan Vogt: Welcome back. This is Bryan Vogt with Ready, Set, Sold. I’m your host. I left you at the last segment talking about what is the military looking for. The military, it’s best to understand a little bit about what the military is actually having to do. It’s hard maybe for us to imagine, maybe you’ve been in the military, maybe you understand it already and that’s fantastic. We have a lot of military that stay locally, that retire here in the Metro East and the surrounding areas. It’s a great place to live, and that’s fantastic.
Imagine if you’re not military, and you’re told that you have to move to Seattle, Washington. I use Seattle, Washington because I’ve never been there. You pick a town or a city that you’ve never been to and say, not only do you have to move, but you have to move and make a decision in three days. Your spouse may or may not be able to go with you, 50/50. May not work out that way.
Now you’ve got to make decisions, and those decisions you have to find out, make sure the schools are good, make sure the location is good, making sure of that resale value, making sure that the updates, that you’re not going to have to be able to spend too much money on it because you’re going to be moving in anywhere from two, to three, to four, to five years.
Just so you know, you don’t have any choice in this. This is not taking a new job. You know, the hey, my employment is changing, I’ll just get a different job here locally. No, that’s the deal. When you understand a little bit about what the military is going for, it maybe will make more sense when we talk about why these things become so, so important.
There are really three things that we’re going to focus on. There are others, but the three things we’re going to focus on is, what the military’s looking for is updated homes. I’ve often said, if you prepare for the military, you will have fantastic success whether it’s a military person or a local person. They go hand in hand.
In the military, what are they looking for? They are looking for the updates. They can’t afford to change flooring out. They don’t have the time necessary to repaint the house. They don’t have the ability to redo a kitchen or bathroom, because again, they could be moving in two to three years. They don’t know.
These things have to be done, and they know that if they put that money in, chances are they’re not going to get that money out in that short a period of time. Updating becomes almost like steroids, meaning that you have to have these things done. Updates means neutral colors. The military more than any other buyers we’ve ever worked for really focus on neutral colors.
So much so that we had a situation not that long ago, military buyers had a house in Shiloh. I think it was something like $260,000. Beautiful home, had a finished basement, great spacing. Every room in the house was painted a different color. Nice color, but every room in the house was painted a different color. The downstairs, they happened to be Tennessee Volunteer fanatics, when it came to college football. The whole downstairs was painted bright orange in honor of their team.
What happened? The buyers loved the home. They loved the spacing, they loved everything, but they realized that they were going to have to do the painting. Just so you know, many times the military husband will say in this situation, could be the wife if she’s in the military, too, might get stationed elsewhere. It’s going to be left up to this one person to have to make those decisions, and do the painting, and do the neutral colors, and neutralize it.
Instead of buying that home they went to another home that was a little bit higher, like $265,000. Not much higher, but guess what, neutral colors throughout the entire house, and no finished basement. Let me repeat that, no finished basement. I’m not saying this happens every time, but guess which house they bought. The one that they had to do little or no work to. The neutral colors.
They could move in, get ready to go, and guess what, in three years they knew that they could move out again, put their house on the market, and make it happen. That’s why when we talk about painting and things like that, when you’re dealing with the military, why neutral colors are usually going to win the day more times than not.
The other part is again, the updates, the cost of redoing a kitchen can be expensive. They know, for the most part, they’re not going to get that money back. An updated kitchen is so, so important, along with that with the bathrooms. We’ve had military buyers, again, that have looked at homes. They loved the layout, they loved a lot of things about it. They even liked the price pretty well, but they didn’t have the updates. They knew they were going to have to put that money in, and moneys that they didn’t know if they were going to get them back or not. They passed on that.
Whereas another home that, quite frankly, maybe was a little bit more expensive. In this one particular case, it was more expensive. They went for that, because it was less work they have to do. Again, they’ve got to reorganize their life in a very short period of time. The last thing they necessarily want to be doing is working on that house. That’s the last thing that most military buyers want to do. There’s always going to be exceptions with anything, but that’s what we find out more and more times.
Then the third thing is resale value. Resale value is so, so important. Here’s the good news. If you have military people already in your area, that’s a great sign. That’s a great sign. Some do like to go away from the crowd, but many and most like to stay close to the base and close to the military community.
If you have military in there, that’s a fantastic sign. That’s what you want. Military are fantastic to work with, as I mentioned, too. What we see is this once they get into an area, that tells them automatically and they see military in there, guess what. That’s the place they want to live because they see other military buyers.
That’s a good thing. Sometimes people just seeing that, sometimes sellers will kind of freak out because there are for sale signs on. There’s nothing wrong with having for sale signs on, and there might be quite a few of them, as long as those things are going down, buyers are going in. That’s the only thing you need to be concerned with that. Excuse me.
In O’Fallon, Fairview, Shiloh, Swansea, Belleville, Mascouta, all those areas are hot topics and hot places for them to go, and that’s a great thing for you. As I said, the resale value is important. Not having to put money into it. Age of the home, and this, just so you know, they prefer, from our experience, 10 years or newer. Five years is even better, and that’s because of the high maintenance potential on a new roof, a new air conditioning, a new heating system.
Again, for a military buyer, if you have a older home and maybe the air conditioning unit is a little bit older for that, and for any buyer, for that matter, you can offer extension on the home warranty program, so you can put two or three years onto it, so it’s going to at least protect them if it’s looking to go out. That’s a big thing for the military.
A roof, bottom line is, is if your roof is in question for anybody but the military, that’s a non-starter. It just isn’t going to work. Again, these are high things that there is no return on value on. Roofs, appliances, heating and cooling systems. These are maintenance items. The best way to describe it is maybe owning a car. It’s like getting new brakes. There’s not really a cost factor there as far as value goes. Getting new tires.
The reason why you’re getting those things is because they’re worn out and they need to function. Windshield wipers, oil changes, things like that. It doesn’t add value to your car. It’s the same thing with your house, but there are important, essential to need. If you don’t have those things lined up for the military buyer, that’s almost a non-starter.
With that, what we’re going to talk about the next segment is, when we’re talking about pricing and how fast things can move when we’re talking about the pricing aspect of selling your house to a military person. Also, what pricing you should be looking at, and what maybe you shouldn’t be doing if you’re dealing with the military, you want to attract the military.
Hey, go get the book. Readysetsold.org, not .com. Free, easy to read, great information. We’ll be back in a few. This is Bryan Vogt, host of