February 2021

6 winning strategies for buyer's agents

Digital tools are helpful, but they can't replace a homebuyer's need for personal guidance from an experienced agent. Here are ways, especially during the current seller's market and pandemic, to use your expertise to succeed with buyers.

Start by setting expectations

Even experienced buyers can benefit from knowing how today's unique market conditions might affect their home search. First-time buyers will need a more comprehensive look at the process, including how long it may take and what types of homes are available in their price range. By sharing your knowledge, you can help each buyer design their own home buying strategy.

Understand their needs and wants

Listen to what your buyers think they want, but ask targeted questions that help them focus in on homes that will best meet their needs. Be sure they consider the kind of neighborhood they want, school districts and access to shopping and recreation. It’s also a good idea to see if they're open to a fixer-upper, or if they really need a home that's move-in ready.

Make sure they're ready to buy

In preparation for the coming peak season, it pays to make sure buyers have been preapprovedFootnote1 for a mortgage up front. They'll know what they can afford, sellers will know they’re serious, and you’ll likely have fewer hiccups on the way to closing.

Protect your buyer's interests

While your buyers admire the shiny new kitchen, check out the sellers' disclosures for red flags. Also, point out problem signs like water damage concealed by paint, uneven or bouncy floors, and cracks in the walls or ceiling. Once they choose a home, make sure there's a home inspection, and help them negotiate any repairs the inspector finds.

Help them make a strong offer

Clients may be driven by emotion, but with your local knowledge and experience, you can help them make an offer that makes sense in a competitive market. They will also surely appreciate other tips that can help their offer stand out, such as making a larger deposit, limiting contingencies or writing a personal letter to the seller.

Follow through until closing

Nothing is final until closing, so stay in touch with the listing agent and your buyer's attorney, and keep everyone informed. Especially with first-time homebuyers, remind them not to make big purchases, take out new debt, or do anything else before closing that might affect their credit and cause issues with their mortgage lender.

In the end, the true measure of your success will be satisfied clients — especially if they're willing to pass your name on to friends or family.

A note from your lending specialist

If your buyers aren't preapprovedFootnote1 yet, I'd be happy to help them review their options and be sure they're prepared for their home search.

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 current market rates 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.

MAP3372677 | 12/2020

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