As agents, we need to be strong leaders to guide our buyers through the process of purchasing a home. Every buyer has different needs, and it’s our job as their advisers to assess those needs to help buyers stay on course.

There are several steps we can take as agents to help guide our clients. Below are four simple steps to help clients stay on task when buying a home.

1. Define their budget.

The excitement of buying a home can have buyers behaving like starving people in a buffet line. A buyer’s budget does not always equal the dollar amount printed on their preapproval letter.

Buyers can quickly lose sight of what their actual budget limitations are if we are not there to help them by asking some questions early.

Asking your buyers questions such as if their budget includes: maintenance costs, homeowners association (HOA) fees or other ancillary expenses that might cause their price point to be adjusted.

This information will allow you to look for properties that are within their actual budget and help them stay focused on what they can realistically afford.

2. Identify their “big three.”

Big three as in the top three things your buyer feels they must have in the home they purchase. Acknowledging their needs will help them analyze what they are looking for and keep them from losing sight of what they want.

I often remind buyers they can change carpet or paint. But you can’t move a kitchen to the other side of a house or a desired home to a different neighborhood.

3. Offer guidance and expertise.

Especially if they are new to the process, buyers will look to you for your leadership and know-how. Be the person they can turn to as an adviser — someone looking out for their interests.

We are there to provide information so they can make an educated and informed decision. During the buying process, this might include running comparable sales to see where the asking price is positioned for a home they want.

You also might discuss potential resale obstacles for a particular area or examine updates that will bring the most value for a specific property.

4. Put their needs above your wants.

Put the needs of your buyer above what you think they need to be doing. This task is difficult to do when you are passionate about a client and feel that they should be looking at a different area or a different property.

It is our responsibility to keep our personal feelings and agendas out of our client’s home purchase. We have a responsibility to our clients to counsel and educate them so they can make informed and educated decisions. It is not our job to push them into a property or encourage a decision because we would benefit from it.

Use these four tips to be the strong leader your clients need as they work through the long and exciting process of buying a home.

Kellie Tinnin is a real estate agent in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Follow Kellie on Twitter @KellieTinnin.

Email Kellie Tinnin.

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