Buying a home (especially) for a first-time buyer is an extreme life experience bringing with it an intense range of emotions for the buyer. So consider this. Are you providing all the Realtor advice that first-time buyers need to alleviate their associated stress? Would it help to know where you might be falling short? Your goal of course should be educating your buyer how they can be more effective purchasing a home.
After all, it’s the unknown that causes us anxiety. You can enhance the home buying experience by enlightening buyers on what to expect – to ensure a seamless transition from one step to the next.
Sure, there are Buyer Checklists for this, How-To articles for that. But how complete are they? And where does that insight come from? Are Realtors or Agents interviewing first-time buyers to find out how they can fill in the gaps to deliver usable, comprehensive and reassuring guides?
Right From The Buyer’s Mouth
To find out what kind of Realtor advice is being dispersed, I talked with my friend Tasha – a first-time home buyer – about her buyer experience and expectations from the agent she’s entrusting to guide her through the process.
Tasha, you’ve been on the market for your first home for about a year now. You’re 22, have been living on your own for a few years and are ready to make the jump from apartment living to owning your own home.
Tell me what kind of emotions this experience creates for you?
Well, honestly I am quite nervous about the whole thing. I realize how big of a commitment it is to own a home, and how time consuming this process may be.
But I am also very excited because it is a new chapter in my life. I feel I am ready to begin. It’s also exciting to think about owning something so large, as opposed to throwing my money away to a landlord (i.e. apartment renting).
You’ve visited a few homes, and used two different agents. How have they helped you fulfill your search criteria?
Well, the first agent I dealt with wasn’t very helpful. He just didn’t seem very confident. I didn’t give him a second shot.
The current agent I am using is more helpful. He asked me what I was looking for, and how much I have been pre-approved for (for a mortgage).
With the information I gave him, he does his best to find me not only a wonderful home, but also the best deal on a home in my price point.
What kind of helpful Realtor advice have they provided for this process, to make things easier? (ex: Have they told you what you can expect? Provided documentation that helps, or a website to visit for more info?)
Honestly, neither one provided me with any great first time home buying tips. My current agent is very helpful answering my questions, but isn’t proactive about sharing a lot of Realtor advice upfront unless he’s asked.
Most Realtors and Agents are forthcoming with information, but it’s the unknown that creates apprehension in the buyer’s mind. When questions go unanswered, it generates objections, and great angst.
Having said that, what additional Realtor advice do you feel could be shared to make this very emotional experience easier or smoother for you? (i.e. what would create better clarity about what to expect)?
I feel that when dealing with a first time home buyer like myself, it would also be nice to know how long this process can take. I was unaware that it can take a while to find a home you and your partner both agree on. It can also be hard to recognize when you’ve found the right home.
Now, I’m big on creating checklists and systems in my own profession as I work with clients. It helps keep things consistent and allows me to recognize areas that need to improve to deliver better results. And I know from my association with successful Realtors and Agents, most work with proven systems too. So I asked Tasha…
What kind of checklist do you think would be beneficial to first-time buyers, to help ease the stress of the home buying process?
I feel it would also be useful to have a checklist of what to watch out for (during a visit) that could indicate needed repairs in the future. I’m fortunate to have someone with knowledge and experience to point those things out when I look at the homes. But not everyone has such a trusted resource to count on.
The issue here is that some folks accept that a home may require some repairs (ex: the owner has not done them prior to putting the home up for sale). Perhaps the lower sale price might be taking into account the need for those repairs.
However, most folks are not aware that some of those repairs can result in major expenses and so they don’t plan for them (financially). Knowing what to watch out for allows the buyer to be prepared and potentially work these expenses into their overall mortgage total.
What information have your agents shared about the entire process, from A to Z (so you have an idea of what to expect at each stage, and what you need to do to move on to the next)?
My current agent has been helpful on some steps to follow to find a home that my partner and I both like.
But it would also be nice to be aware of ALL the steps from the start. For example, from finding a home, and what to do after you find the home you love and want to follow through with an offer, etc. Now that would be the ultimate in Realtor advice.
Do you feel knowing these details would alleviate the anxiety level?
Certainly! I am the kind of person who needs to know everything before beginning a project. I want something that I can check off as I go along, and be aware of what comes next. That would help me a lot.
How would you envision your next search, if you had all the Realtor advice you need to make an informed decision? What would you do differently?
I would have a much better idea of what I am actually looking for.
I feel that one of my biggest issues is I haven’t figured out exactly what I want. So when I see a home and visit it, it turns out it’s not what I want after all.
Then I start at square one again. Having the time and resources to actually figure out my needs vs. my wants would probably make the process much smoother.
So you see, knowledge brings confidence, and calmness. The better-informed buyers are, the easier the process is for them.
The Checklist of Buyer Serenity
So, perhaps this is where Realtor advice in the form of a comprehensive Checklist for first-time buyers is the solution (i.e. a guide for what you should know; what you need to have in place; what to expect; and what steps are involved – for the entire process).
As I mentioned earlier, buying a home is an experience wrought with excitement, worry, anxiety, stress, happiness, and finally, relief.
The job of a Realtor or Agent is to help make that journey as smooth and stress-free as possible by sharing expertise and Realtor advice to guide buyers through the process from start to finish.
If you’re not already doing this, the solution is in front of you. All you have to do is be willing to go beyond the norm. Fill in the gaps for your client. Why not create your own Buyer’s Checklist of What To Expect (or something similar).
In doing so, you become THE go-to Realtor for that timid and nervous first-time buyer. And if you’re not sure where/how to start, or need help to develop an outline, reach out. I’ve got a Checklist for that.
Many thanks to Tasha for sharing her personal insights and first-hand Realtor advice from her home buying experience.
About the author: Shelly Moreau is a professional copywriter, and writes for the Real Estate industry, specializing in creating enhanced listing descriptions. In addition, Shelly is the author of four publications (and counting) on the subjects of copywriting principles, real estate writing, and direct mail marketing. To learn more about Shelly Moreau, her writing services and resources, check out her website, or connect with her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org