How Real Estate Agents Can Help Home Buyers
Immovable agents are there to make buying a home easier, whether you are representing buyers or sellers. You are not just there to research MLS. You’re there to walk people through the home buying process and help them find the right home. Here are some ways real estate agents can help home buyers.
Create break-up lists before shopping at home
Too many real estate agents ask people to describe their dream home and nothing else. You can save everyone time and heartache by asking what would be a broken deal before you go looking for accommodation. Are they ready to move into a move-in ready home? Then they should agree that they don’t want to buy a fixer rod. Do they view swimming pools or fancy gardens as an unwanted chore? Would having a front yard or driveway opening onto a main thoroughfare put them at risk? Create a list of market breakers, so you don’t waste their time showing them homes that clearly don’t match or will leave them struggling to choose between several sub-optimal properties.
Understand their personal needs. Do they have to move into the house by a certain date because their lease is about to expire? Do they want to move to the area to enroll children in the local school district? Know what needs to happen to close, or you won’t make the sale.
This information allows you to cross properties from the prospect list before creating a short list of properties to show them. You and your clients will save time because you don’t spend hours visiting properties that don’t match.
Explain all the other costs of owning a home
Homeowners don’t just pay for their home and utilities each month. They have to pay property taxes, home insurance and maintenance costs. Taxes and insurance can be handled through an escrow service, or you can pay them directly. Depending on the property, you may also need to pay Homeowner’s Association or HOA dues.
When a person determines how much they can afford, they need to factor in all of these costs. More importantly, these costs should be up to 25% or less of their take-home pay, as it’s easy to underestimate the costs of maintaining a home. While lenders can lend you more, they don’t care if you end up in a poor house as long as you’re likely to make the payments.
Help them figure out how much they can actually afford, both in terms of monthly payment and total purchase price. This will ensure that the house of their dreams does not turn into a nightmare. And you’ll prevent them from being turned down when they apply for a home loan that’s more than they can afford.
Help them get their Mortgage Funded
Very few home buyers have enough cash on hand to pay for it up front. This means that most home buyers need a mortgage to pay off the property. Realtors can recommend mortgage lenders like the silver store to their customers. Explain the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved. Too many people get a prequalification letter from their bank and think it means they can close the property. Help them get pre-approved for a mortgage. Explain how serious sellers will make pre-approval a requirement to show them the house and why pre-approval speeds up the closing process.