First-time home buyers make up a big share of the housing market. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, they accounted for about a third of all sales in 2016.
And though a first-time home buyer will typically choose a lower-priced home than a more experienced one (meaning less in commission), they also offer the possibility of repeat business down the line. And more than that, they can also become a great source of referrals—that is, if you deliver a great experience.
But how can you do that? What can you do to ensure they’re happy, satisfied customers? For one, you can arm them with knowledge. First-time buyers don’t know much about the mortgage process or the housing market—and they’re going to have a lot of questions along the way. Be prepared with thorough, clear-cut answers to common inquiries like:
- What can I afford? Point them toward a reputable mortgage lender, and encourage them to get pre-qualified before they begin their home search. This will help them understand what they can afford and guide them toward properties within their price range.
- What’s the best neighborhood? Ask them questions in return about what they’re looking for in a home and their long-time priorities. Will they have pets or children in the home? Do they need good schools or an easy commute? Use this information to point them toward communities that can fit their budget and needs.
- How long will it take? Give them the low-down on today’s tight market. Make sure they know that inventory is strapped and that they’ll need to act fast when they find a home they like. They should be prepared to schedule a showing and make an offer on the same day a home in their desired neighborhood and price range hits the market.
- How much will it cost? Make sure the buyer knows there will be costs aside from the home’s listing price. Break down what closing costs will look like, earnest money, down payment, and other expenses they’ll need to be prepared for. Encourage them to have some savings stowed away just in case.
There will likely be more questions, but these are the big ones that the typical first-time home buyer asks right off the bat. Make communicating with your client a priority, and empower them with knowledge as they traverse this new landscape. The better you guide them, the more likely they’ll use you on future purchases and refer you to friends and family in the area.