By Darin Windham, Realtor
Keyfinders Group RE/Max Alliance
House-hunting can be overwhelming for first-time and seasoned homebuyers alike. That’s why it’s important to address their questions early on in your relationship. Here are four topics to share with your new clients:
- Explain why research is essential.
Advise your clients to decide what’s most important to them in a home – in other words, the “must-haves” – and what’s negotiable. A list of must-haves might include master bedroom on the first floor, walk-in pantry, hardwood floors, recessed lighting, etc. Many clients today are interested in the energy efficient homes, for example those with an Energy Star rating, and homes that have GREEN features and are environmentally friendly. The same applies to their preferred neighborhoods. A homebuyer might prefer a certain school district, commute time to work, nearby walking parks or dog parks, proximity to restaurants and shopping, etc.
- Be realistic.
Ensure clients understand that the perfect home doesn’t exist. Instead, suggest they follow the “triangle concept”: price, features, and location. They can often find a home that meets two sides. But it may be difficult to find that dream home that meets all three.
- Review finances and credit.
Ensure your clients understand they need enough money for a down payment and have them check their credit scores. Be sure to remind them that a basic FICO score is not the same as a mortgage FICO. Any errors in credit reports need to be corrected before they start the homebuying process.
- Get prequalified for financing first.
Clients need to know the advantages of a loan pre-qualification before they begin viewing homes, and a lender can provide these quickly and easily. A “pre-qual” letter tells them what they can afford and enables them to concentrate their search on homes within their price range. Remember, a good realtor is your best friend. A good lender is your “next” best friend.
So, when house-hunting, the more research and preparation you do on the front end will help lead to a much more pleasant home buying experience. And it might help you find that “near perfect” home!
“Happy Clients Are The Key To Our Success”