Have you ever breathed a sigh of relief when you find out that your new client isn’t a first-time buyer?
We get that many agents love working with them. But, let’s face it, first-timers are time-consuming and quite labor-intensive.
For agents who don’t frequently work with this type of client, it’s all too easy to forget that they know nothing about the process. Which only causes more problems for both of you.
We’ve put together a list of the homebuying processes that most elude or confuse first-time homebuyers. Feel free to make your own, based on ours, and do include it in your first-time home buyers’ consultations.
Providing an explanation of the mortgage process, in plain, everyday English, should be required of all mortgage professionals during first-time home buyers’ consultations.
Alas, it’s not, so it falls to the buyer’s agent to provide it. And provide it you must since 22 percent of homebuyers surveyed by Discover Financial Services claim that they hadn’t seen a lender.
And, they had already started looking at homes, most without an agent and without knowing how much they could spend.
Additionally, these people don’t even know if they can buy a home, since they haven’t been pre-approved.
While buyers’ agents know better than to work with those who aren’t pre-approved, many do nothing to clear up confusion about the mortgage process.
Do your buyers know about that second credit pull just before closing? Do they know not to apply for credit and not to buy anything on credit until after closing? Do they understand the ramifications of changing jobs and moving money around?
Write up a quick explanation of the mortgage process, from application to underwriting to closing, and hand it out during the buyer consultation.
If you’ve been in the business a minute you’ve had those buyers who feel that they absolutely must lowball when making an offer. Presenting those offers is beyond embarrassing; it’s a waste of time.
If you haven’t explained market value and outlined current market conditions, you are part of the problem. Especially in a hot sellers’ market, first-time buyers need to know with certainty that this tactic will most likely lead to losing the home. So be sure to discuss this during your first-time home buyers’ consultations.
3. The home inspection report
Prepare your first-time buyers for the fact that home inspection reports are often scary. Photos are blown up so that even a cracked, plastic electrical outlet plate looks like a million-dollar repair.
If you take the time in your first-time home buyers’ consultations to walk them through this process, they will be less likely to freak out over the report. Let them know that:
The inspector’s job is to be thorough and some take that mandate to the extreme
Because the photos are often enlarged, a problem may appear far worse than it is
Any problems of concern to the buyer can be handled by opening negotiations with the seller.
If your first-timers are pursuing the purchase of a condo or a home in a managed community, warn them about the HOA docs package. Not just about how huge it is, either, but about the complexity of each document.
Most will merely skim over the documents, not at all understanding what they’re reading. Ensure that you have time during your consultation to let them know how a thorough understanding of these documents is vital not only to their future enjoyment of the property but to their pocketbooks as well.
Since you are most likely not an attorney, urge them to hire one to go over the documents, look for danger points, and explain them.
Help them fall in love with their new home with these tips.
Working with first-time buyers doesn’t have to be exhausting. Make it easier on everyone by providing thorough pre-purchase home buyers’ consultations, encouraging questions, and easing their concerns upfront.