Working with a first-time homebuyer is an exciting time for everyone involved. Not only are you seeking to negotiate a favorable purchase, but you’re helping a new client make memories that will last a lifetime. As a real estate agent, you also have the unique opportunity to become the authority on all things housing for your client. To take advantage of it, you need to be prepared for the most common misconceptions you’re likely to face when working with a first-time buyer.
Finding the Dream Home
Many people dive into the home buying process with the expectation that they need to find their dream home, the one they’ll live in for the next thirty years. Not only is this unrealistic with current job trends, but it puts a lot of pressure on the REALTOR, bringing some heavy emotions to the table.
You should use your very first meeting with a new homebuyer to help them understand both what their budget can buy them as well as getting them comfortable with the idea of a starter home that can help them build equity for a dream home down the line.
Getting Pre-Qualified for a Loan
Loan pre-qualification is an important step in learning that process. This will let your client know exactly how much house they can afford. It will also help you set expectations on square footage, home features and location, better directing your efforts in finding the right houses for your client to view.
Making Compromises and Missing an Offer
Whether your client needs to marry their own desires with a partner’s or face negotiation at the offer phase, an integral part of purchasing a home is compromise. By explaining this in your initial meeting, you can better prepare your client for what they’re likely to face as you begin to help them find a home. They may have to trade their ideal location for an extra bath or a two-car garage, or they may find that the best schools are in a county they weren’t considering.
Similarly, you can help your client know what to expect when making specific asks in an offer letter, including potentially losing a house to another buyer. At the time of offer, emotions are running high. Your client is excited, and you’re working to get a reasonable offer to the selling agent as quickly as possible. If you’ve already discussed the likelihood of being beat out by another buyer, it will be less of a blow to both of you when it happens.
Trusting the Expert
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to buying a house, and when you’re working with a first-time buyer, you may find their parents want to be involved. Though your client’s friends and family have good intentions, they don’t understand the ins and outs of the local market like a REALTOR does.
Talk to your client about this. Explain the basics of current market conditions to better prepare them to answer questions from a concerned parent and keep that parent from derailing the process.
Choosing the Right Agency
For both the home buyer and the REALTOR, the agency can make a big difference in helping turn contracts efficiently. At Benchmark, our full-time compliance broker reviews the language of every contract, giving our agents peace-of-mind. Find out if you’re a fit for the Benchmark team by taking a quick, online assessment today.
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