When I was buying a home a couple of years ago, I met with an agent at a nearby Starbucks. His entire buyer’s consultation consisted of trying to get me to sign a buyer’s agreement.
No matter what I asked him about, from current market conditions to requesting a referral to a lender, it always came back to me having a pen shoved in my direction.
No, he didn’t win me over as a client.
Sure, it’s important to many buyers’ agents to get a signature on that agreement. But a little foreplay would’ve been nice and probably would’ve resulted in getting my signature.
You have a lot of valuable information to impart, especially to first-time buyers. Providing excellent customer service demands that you share this information with potential clients. The payoff is a more relaxed client and a smoother transaction.
The pandemic has us all going a bit stir crazy, but using the time to prepare yourself to be more customer-service oriented when it’s over is a wise move.
Here’s a list of parts of the homebuyer process that confuse buyers the most. Use explanations of them in your consultation.
What’s the local market like?
Establish yourself as the local expert right out of the gate. Explain to your buyers that what they read in the national news about the housing market doesn’t necessarily pertain to the local market.
Outline the difference between a buyers’ and sellers’ market and how they come about. Dive into current local market conditions and how it pertains to their home-shopping process. What will you do to help alleviate any market conditions that may be challenging for them?
Finally, a thorough, easy-to-understand explanation of market value is in order. And, no, you don’t need to present these facts orally. An infographic or text explanation that they can take with them is even better.
Mortgages confuse first-time homebuyers
Nearly a quarter of first-time buyers haven’t seen a lender. They don’t know if they can even qualify for a mortgage let alone how much they can spend.
Yet, they are out looking at homes for sale, according to a survey commissioned by Discover Financial Services.
Crazy, right? Why are listing agents allowing non pre-approved buyers to tour their clients’ homes? Why aren’t buyers’ agents counselling their clients about the importance of seeing a lender?
The dangers in the latter include buyers not knowing that they shouldn’t apply for credit or buy anything on credit. They don’t get that they shouldn’t change jobs and areg clueless about that second credit pull just before closing
From application to underwriting and closing, your buying clients deserve an in-depth explanation of the mortgage process. If your preferred lender doesn’t supply this (and most don’t), then it’s up to you to do so.
That downright scary home inspection report
The chances are pretty good that most first-time homebuyers have never seen a home inspection report. Pity, because it would help prepare them for what is to come.
From photos enlarged to super-giant-size to technical jargon that nobody outside of the construction industry understands, the results of a home inspection appear to most buyers as big, fat dollar signs flying out the window.
Let your buying clients know that:
- Although the report may seem nit-picky, the inspector is tasked with being thorough.
- Problems in photos may appear far worse than they actually are.
- If something big does turn up, “we can handle it.” Let your clients know their options (walking away from the deal, negotiating with the seller for repairs, etc.).
HOAs and their documents
Gotta love that mountain of paperwork the HOA provides buyers of homes in managed communities.
Filled with legalese, it’s almost impossible for the average buyer to know, first, what to look for, and, second, how to decipher the information when she finds it.
As an agent, your best course of action is to outline the typical docs in a HOA package, highlighting the ones that buyers should pay close attention to.
Then, urge them to run the whole package by an attorney. Unless you are one, of course.
Staying home, as we’ve all been urged to do, doesn’t have to be filled with long days binging on Netflix or catching up on home maintenance chores. Take some time to work on the parts of your real estate business that you’ve let fall by the wayside.
Send a The Clean-Your-Plate-Pancake recipe postcard from the COVID-19 Series to an area where you want more listings.
Need help targeting a specific niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!
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