April 2021

5 ways to help buyers during a housing shortage

The housing shortage continues in most markets, so your guidance is more important to clients than ever. As peak home buying season makes the market even hotter, here are some tips for helping your clients find and buy the right home at the right price.

Understand what they really need

Getting to know their must-haves and where they’re willing to compromise can help you broaden your search for listings that might work for them. Then set their expectations for what is currently available. Be up front if inventory is especially tight for the type of home they need — they may be able to wait until more options are available.

Ask if their financials are in order

Before they start their search, your clients should have been preapprovedFootnote1 and have cash on hand for an earnest money deposit. If they’re also selling a home, it’s a good idea to have an offer in hand, to avoid the need for a sale and transfer of title contingency.

Be ready to move fast

With homes in some areas selling in just a few days, your clients should be ready to hustle if they see a listing they want to tour. And when they see a home they like, they’ll need to be decisive. Be prepared to help them quickly review the pros and cons so they don’t miss out.

Go beyond the listings

When possible, help clients get ahead of other buyers by connecting them to office exclusives or For Sale by Owner homes. Ask clients to do their part by contacting family or friends who live in their preferred location — they may find a neighbor who plans to sell but hasn’t put their home on the market yet.

Help them prepare a strong offer

Here is where your expertise can make a huge difference. Common strategies include:

  • Talk to the listing agent. Ask if the seller has needs you can address, such as longer or shorter escrow, or if there is already an offer to beat.
  • Make their best offer first. Discourage underbidding, but help them avoid offering more than the home is worth, since a lower appraisal could sink their mortgage approval.
  • Avoid asking for concessions. The more flexible your clients are, the more likely they will appeal to the seller.
  • Waive the mortgage contingency. Clients with large down payments or alternative funds may be confident enough to consider this.
  • Inspect the home before the offer deadline. By doing the inspection first, they may be able to waive the inspection contingency.
  • Suggest more earnest money. A higher earnest money deposit shows how serious your buyers are.
  • Include a personal note. Sometimes, a heartfelt note from your buyers can make their offer stand out.

A housing shortage may make it a race to the finish, but with your guidance, your clients will make it home.

A note from your lending specialist:

When your clients work with Bank of America, they'll have support through every step of the mortgage process. Contact me to see how they can get preapprovedFootnote1 online, by phone or in my office.

1 Final loan approval is subject to satisfactory appraisal and title review and no change in borrower credit and financial condition. Preapproval is subject to terms and conditions and timely submission of required documentation; ask your Lending Specialist for details. Preapproval does not commit to the continued availability of the loan program. The interest rate shown in a preapproval is based on our current pricing and is not locked. You may choose to lock an interest rate after we receive the complete and executed purchase contract. Borrower must submit purchase contract within 90 days of preapproval. If the rate at time of lock is higher, or a rate lock expires prior to funding, or for adjustable-rate loan programs when the index value rises, we must determine your ability to repay the loan at the higher rate, which may lower the loan amount or invalidate the preapproval. Not available on all loan products. Not available on refinance loans.

MAP3465418 | 02/2021

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