Helping First Time Home Buyers

by Matt CoupApril 16, 2010

Recently BBVA Compass, a Sunbelt-based financial institution, conducted a survey of first time home buyers. Some of the results they found are helpful in assisting first time home buyers who are unfamiliar with the home purchasing process. Learning some of these tips will set agents apart from their competition. Here are some key statistics and some tips for how you can help your first time homebuyers prepare:

  • “Nearly one-third of first time homebuyers have anxiety over the affordability of owning a home.”

    There are many tools available to help new homebuyers calculate the cost of renting versus owning a home. Help them set a comfortable budget and be sure they understand the real cost of owning a home as well. Any repairs or maintenance will come from their pocket, not a landlord’s. This is something many first time home buyers forget to take into account.

  • “87% of first time homebuyers said that they changed their lifestyle as a result of the additional expenses.”

    For many people who’ve owned a home for many years, not to mention real estate agents who are not used to working with first time home buyers, this statement seems obvious. However, many first time home buyers simply are not prepared for the new expenses of homeownership. There may be appliances that need to be bought or replaced. The home may need a new coat of paint or some minor repair work done. These seemingly small expenses can and will add up quickly.

  • “…potential first time home buyers indicated that when looking for financing on their new home purchase, the item that was most important to them, but was also likely the most confusing, was just understanding the process.”

    While real estate agents do not provide financing for home purchases; all real estate agents should understand the process. It’s important to help your client through the process and maybe even suggest websites or people who can also help them understand. It may even be easiest for you to set up an agreement where you refer all of your clients to the same person or company.

Remember these few tips when working with your next first time homebuyer. Being prepared will help you calm many of their fears, not to mention portray you as a competent, caring real estate agent. Most first time home buyers have friends or family who are also at this life stage and they may end up recommending you to their friends and family as well.

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Matt Coup