Helping clients find and purchase their first home can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying transactions that real estate professionals handle. While first-time buyers may require a little extra time and a few additional explanations, they are also often eager and excited to become homeowners. Knowing that you played a role in a home purchase that they’ll remember forever can be both humbling and exhilarating. Here are some things to keep in mind when working with first-time buyers:
Be prepared to answer financial and mortgage-related questions. You may want to refer your first-time clients to a qualified mortgage or financial specialist to help set their housing budget and to seek loan pre-approval.
It’s often helpful to outline the steps and timeline of a typical real estate transaction for first-time buyers so they’ll know what to expect. Explain how offers, contracts, negotiations, inspections, appraisals, and other steps of a typical home transaction work and how long each step takes.
Don’t assume that first-time buyers always understand real estate and financial terminology. Be ready to explain common industry terms, especially acronyms.
Explain your agent and broker fees and how they are paid on the front end. First-time buyers may not know about commission percentages and who pays them. While you’re talking about your fees, also tell your buyers what they can expect from your service and how you represent their interests during the transaction.
Help your buyers understand what their budget can buy in your market and how to narrow down their priorities for a property, including size, location, and desired features.
While first-time buyers usually plan to stay in their home for a while to build equity, they also need to consider potential resale value. Explain resale value and why it can be important when they are ready for their next home purchase.
Talk about the purpose and process of a home inspection. If possible, encourage your buyers to be present at the time of inspection so they can learn important information about the systems and structure of the property.
Well in advance of closing, make sure your first-time buyers understand estimated closing fees and who is responsible for payment so there are no surprises at the closing table.
First-time home buyers often stretch their budgets to afford a down payment, mortgage, and moving costs. They may be nervous about how their budget might be affected by the costs of unexpected home system repairs or replacements soon after closing, and they may be unfamiliar with home systems and the maintenance required. These are good reasons why HSA Home Warranties can be particularly valuable for first-time buyers. HSA can help safeguard against the expenses of covered system and appliance failures, providing reassurance as well as a repair resource. Your local Account Executive can tell you more about the benefits for first-time buyers and for real estate professionals.
Be sure to stay in touch with your first-time buyers after closing. You’ll want to hear about how they are enjoying their new home and their status as homeowners. First-time buyers can also turn into repeat clients down the road and may refer you to their friends and family. In fact, they may even turn into clients — and friends — for life.