December 2019

Be the first choice for first-time buyers

Helping new homebuyers is both an art and a science. Here are some key areas where your expertise can make a huge difference for your clients, helping them make good decisions and ensuring they’ll be happy with their home for years to come. Plus, your guidance will help build a relationship that could even last until their next home purchase.

  1. Get to know their needs.

    Clients are usually upfront about the basics like a price range and how many beds and baths they need. But it pays to take the time to dig a little deeper with questions about where they work or what they do for fun. Plus, many first-time homebuyers are millennials. If they’re starting a family, does the house have room to grow? Showing them how their preferences and lifestyle can affect their home choices will build their confidence that you really care about their concerns.

  2. Help them focus their home search.

    Most people — especially younger buyers — start looking for homes online. It’s a great way to get a quick look at lots of properties, but don’t let clients be misled by a well-designed listing. Encourage them to look beyond the nicely staged photos and check out details about the neighborhood, local amenities, real estate taxes and possible homeowners association fees. Then be sure they visit their top prospects in person.

  3. Be upfront about the condition of the homes you visit.

    When your clients fall in love with a home, help them keep their feet on the ground. Share any information you have about the home’s condition such as the age of the roof or when any home improvements were done. Then help them look at details such as the quality of a home’s fixtures, from plumbing to electrical to HVAC.

  4. Connect your client to a respected home inspector.

    Emphasize the importance of hiring a reputable inspector by ensuring your clients choose a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors.Footnote1 Explain what a home inspector does to look for hidden problems in the home before closing, including signs of mold, asbestos or radon, and that the seller is usually responsible for repairs.

  5. Point out the home’s investment potential.

    Many buyers are focused on their present needs; you can help them understand a home’s long-term potential. Point them toward the future by reviewing current comps and documented price changes to give them a feel for how this investment may grow, especially if they’re thinking about home improvements.

As your client’s advocate, these are some of the more important things you can do for them. The more informed and forthcoming you are, the more your clients will trust you, and the more likely they’ll be to pass the word about their favorite agent.

As a Bank of America lending specialist, I’d be happy to talk to your clients about the home buying process. You can also connect them to our First-Time Homebuyer Online Edu‑Series™ at Bankofamerica.com/firsthouse. This series of videos helps take the mystery out of home buying and features Bank of America specialists in conversation with BuzzFeed’s Hannah Williams.

1

20 Things to Do Before Buying a House,” RE/MAX®, MAXIMUM EXPOSURE REAL ESTATE, Bill Gassett, March 14, 2016

More from this month's issue