The benefits of working with a real estate team are many. You get to work with various agents who bring their own area of expertise and specialization, there are usually a wide array of listings to view and working with a team can make buying a home extremely efficient. Teams also excel in one vital area, helping first-time homebuyers. Here’s how teams help newbies and how you can improve the home-buying experience for those going through it for the first time.
First-time buyers can be a challenge, but they are great to work with because of their excitement and enthusiasm. Be ready for plenty of questions ahead of time because they are looking at you to be not just a Realtor, but a teacher. Don’t let their eagerness become a disadvantage, realize you’re helping them understand how to buy a home.
A good approach is to have a lengthy sit down meeting very early on to educate the buyer on the different facets involved in completing the home-buying process. Don’t be shocked when you’re asked more about money and financing than things related to the house they choose. Many buyers, not just first time buyers, do not understand how mortgages and loans work. They get confused with tax rates, HOA fees, closing costs mortgage insurance. Be sure to have your lender on speed dial.
One successful strategy for helping first-time homebuyers is to use a tag-team approach. You can also think of it as good cop, bad cop. This method can be beneficial when first-time homebuyers start looking at houses. Have one agent point out the positives in a home, while the “bad cop” shows them potential stumbling blocks and highlights questions they should be asking.
When inspection times rolls around, this approach can be crucial. One agent can direct them to potential pitfalls with things like expensive HVAC repairs, roofing problems, water heater issues and other large ticket items typically seen on an inspection report, while the “good cop” can motivate the clients to remind them that they made the right decision in the home they chose and are close to owning their dream home.
These agent roles are also helpful when the lender asks for items to complete the prequalification letter. Since this list can get quite lengthy, one agent can help reinforce the first-time buyer’s as each item is submitted. The other can politely remind them of the leftover pieces that still need to be done to complete the lending process. There are a lot of moving parts to manage when purchasing a home, and your team is there to help buyers to the finish line.
Although it can be frustrating, make sure to slow things down and be patient when dealing with first-time homebuyers. Taking your time and explaining things in as much detail as possible will help everyone avoid issues as you move toward closing. While clients may deal with several people on a team, it’s important to remember to build personal relationships throughout the process. It’s key for Realtor success that new homebuyers know you and your team.
Buying your first home is a considerable achievement. It’s a sign of financial success and achievement. Everyone remembers the pride they had in opening the front door of THEIR home for the first time. As a team, you have an opportunity to make a lasting impression on them as well.
Jay Dongieux, co-founder of The Dongieux Team, is an experienced real estate agent in Austin, Texas.