March 2020

Simple ways to help first-time buyers focus their home search

If you've been in real estate for a while, you've seen it before. Your first-time homebuyers are looking for the perfect house — but their dreams are too much for their budget. Here are some tips to help them separate wants from needs so you can deliver a home they'll love.

Start with some key questions

Inexperienced buyers may start with not much more than a location and a number of beds and baths. They may not even be sure how much they can afford. Help them think through details like commuting distance, nearby shopping and recreation, school districts, and so on. Preparing a checklist of key considerations can be a good way to be sure the bases are covered. And be sure to see if they've been prequalified by a lender!

Look for the "why"

Sometimes the reason clients want something is critical to understanding their needs. For instance, you may think that a fold-out couch in the den would be fine for guests, and cheaper than a home with a dedicated guest room. But your clients know that Grandma visits frequently, and her back can't take a fold-out couch. Understanding why clients want a particular thing can help you clarify the options that are available.

See what's negotiable

As you go through your client's wish list, separate the "must-haves" from the "nice-to-haves." This will help you focus in on the right homes, plus help your clients decide when and where they may have to compromise. For instance, if separate bedrooms for the kids is a must-have, they may have to accept a longer commute or a different school district to find an affordable home. By understanding and helping them balance their needs, you can be sure your clients will soon be satisfied homeowners.

A note from your lending specialist

Keep in mind that Bank of America has mortgage options for many different needs. I'll be happy to help your clients get prequalifiedFootnote1 and find a home loan that's right for them.

1 Prequalification is neither preapproval nor a commitment to lend; borrower must submit additional information for review and approval.

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