Few real estate clients have the unparalleled enthusiasm and endless questions of first-time home buyers. With incentives such as five percent or no money down mortgage loans, an increasing number of people are want to buy real estate rather than rent it. Use these tips for agents to help first-timers looking for a house to buy so they get the right deal for their lifestyle and budget.
What Comes First – The Agent Or the Lender?
Should first-time buyers contact a mortgage lender or an agent first? Qualified buyers get pre-approved for a mortgage before house shopping, so they know how much they can afford to spend on a property. However, it can be difficult for first-timers to get competitive mortgage loan terms, depending on their income and credit rating. The best agents have a list of mortgage lenders and bankers for all types of buyers. First-timers may get discouraged after one or two disappointments, and give up on finding a lender or a home. Providing a list of lenders gives them resources and hope to secure a pre-approval, so they can start looking for a house to buy.
Define the Current Target Market
Less than two years ago, millennials were a significant part of the first-time buyer target market. Today this market looks different, with the average age of a first-time buyer at 32. Find out the types of buyers who want to buy real estate for the first time. Then perform keyword research to determine how they search for available homes. Choose keywords based on relevancy, volume, and traffic, with a mix of long-tail and short-tail terms. Create content that answers the common question first-time buyers ask, and include keywords in the content, title tag, and metadata. Maximize the potential of your content by sharing it on social media, offering a real estate newsletter, and sending links via text message and email.
Advertise as a Buyers Agent
Clients who are new to the real estate market may not realize a sellers agent presents listings. The listing agent represents the seller, which means his or her job is to get the most money for the house. While a listing agent can show the home to potential buyers, they are not there to protect the buyers’ interests. However, a buyers agent helps buyers find suitable properties and negotiate the best possible price for them. Define this distinction in your agent profile, and offer to help first-timers find the home of their dreams without breaking the bank. Affiliated Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agents have access to a variety of marketing tools to reach out to a wide audience.
Get on the PAIGE Buyers Prefer
First-timers are unsure, hesitant, and reluctant to trust anyone as they make the most significant investment of their lifetime. The acronym PAIGE represents the core values of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agents. The letters stand for passion, authenticity, inclusivity, growth, and excellence. Passionate agents inspire clients and gain their trust with an authentic and inclusive approach to servicing their unique needs. Ongoing growth ensures clients always have access to a knowledgeable real estate professional who believes in excellence. These values provide the reassurance first-time buyers need to choose an agent, view homes, and take action.
Make the Process Easy
When people buy a home for the first time, the process is new and confusing. An agent who makes it easy is sure to get future business and referrals. Ask buyers to complete a checklist to outline their needs and wants in a home as well as their budget. Create useful handouts to share with clients during integral phases of the home buying journey, such as a closing checklist and moving checklist. Have a comprehensive list of resources such as mortgage lenders, termite inspectors, appraisers, attorneys, home staging services, cleaning services, landscapers, and contractors with contact information. Encourage buyers to refer to the list when they need the help of another professional. Ask the providers on your list to send reciprocal referrals to build your business while you assist first-timers looking for a house to buy.
Be the Voice of Reason
First-time buyers want to see every house on the market and imagine themselves living a life of luxury. If they have the money, it’s no problem. But most first-timers need to stick to a budget and consider practical factors. Be the voice of reason that reminds them of their pre-approval amount and what they need in a home versus what they want. While having three bedrooms might be a necessity, a backyard swimming pool is usually a desirable amenity. Gently guide buyers into viewing homes that fit their criteria rather than taking them to properties that could end in frustration and disappointment. They will thank you for it after the closing.
A patient agent can help first-timers get the confidence to dive into house hunting with enthusiasm rather than fear. Offer ongoing assistance and resources to make the process transparent and straightforward. The rewards for dedicated agents include helping people find their dream homes – and the referrals that come with providing the highest level of service.