To prepare novices for the realities of a home search, Tracie DeMars helps them avoid making the kinds of mistakes she herself made as a first-time buyer. The RE/MAX Sales Associate with RE/MAX Equity Group – Van Mall Office in Vancouver, Wash., offers free workshops, and many of her students become clients.
DeMars shares her top five tips for educating first-time buyers, demystifying the requirements and encouraging them throughout the process:
1. “I’m the guide, but you’re the driver.” Explain that an agent is there to advise, assist and offer a general direction but that it’s the client who remains in the driver’s seat. In the event you hit a dead end, the agent recalculates, and both of you move on.
2. “Buying a home is a journey.” It’s an adventure. Remind them not to let anyone push them or dictate their direction. They should stick to their own time frame and decide to buy only when they’re 100 percent certain they’ve found the right home.
3. “Bidding wars aren’t fun.” Make it clear that price wars can prompt buyers to spend more than they intended, or result in them ending up with a house they’re less than thrilled with.
4. “Three must-haves is realistic; make the rest nice-to-haves.” Ask them to keep their must-haves to just three top items. Unless your clients have an unusually large budget, explain that a long wish list will only limit their options.
5. “Get excited when we find the right one!” If the home isn’t “speaking” to the clients, if they don’t feel a sense of excitement about it, give them permission to walk away. As an agent, I see myself as a matchmaker. I don’t want market forces or significant compromises to push people into a home they won’t love.
Do you have tips that have resonated with first-time buyers? Share them below!