Researching the Market

What You Need to Know

The simplest way to develop a research plan is to start by figuring out the questions you want to answer. What do you need to know to sell your homes as quickly and easily as possible?

You can brainstorm these “research questions” with your marketing and sales team. Here are some possible research topics and questions to get you started:

  • The National and Regional Home Sales Market: What socioeconomic trends are influencing all home sales? How do they compare to your local trends? What can you expect to encounter in terms of buyer expectations, demographics, challenges, etc.?
  • The Current Local Home Sales Market: What local socioeconomic trends are affecting the homeownership market? How many homes in your price range are on the market right now? How long does it take to sell a home? What percent of the asking price do homes typically sell for? How often and by how much do sellers lower their price during the listing period?
  • Competition: What is the competition – what other homes are for sale in your proposed price range and in what neighborhoods? How do (or should) our homes compare on features, location and price?
  • Recent Buyers: Who recently bought a house in the neighborhood(s) where you have homes? Why did they choose the neighborhood and the house? What might that tell you about target markets, home features, pricing and marketing messages?
  • Potential Target Markets: Who are potential target markets for your homes and what do they want? What might be their obstacles to achieving homeownership? How can you reach them with your marketing messages? Are there groups of potentially eligible buyers that you could reach efficiently through an organization, such as major employers?
  • Real Estate Agents: What do agents think of the neighborhood(s) and the homes you propose to sell? How do they think it compares to others on the market? What advice might they give?
  • Product and Market Strengths and Weaknesses: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your homes and their locations (neighborhoods and blocks)?
  • Financing: Who is actively making first mortgages in your community and what are their requirements? How might those requirements affect the way you define your target markets? Are any special financing or subsidies available to increase affordability and/or expand the pool of eligible buyers?