Real Estate

An Agent’s Guide: Must have tips for first-time homebuyers and first-time home sellers

According to the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group’s, 2021 Homebuyers & Sellers Generational Trends Report, first-time buyers make up more than 30 percent of all homebuyers.

Here are four tips to guide first-time homebuyers on their real estate journey

1. Understand what clients can afford.

The gap between how much a client qualifies to borrow and how much they can comfortably afford for housing can be wide. Nicole Peterson of Cleveland Realtor® Group, stresses the importance for first time homebuyers to create a wants vs. needs list. Adding that creating such a list, “helps reduce the risk of emotional buying and allows us to act quickly when the right house comes along.”

2. Help them plan for emergencies.

One common reason many first-time homebuyers have buyer’s remorse is that they didn’t anticipate spending money on repairs and maintenance. In addition, first-time buyers don’t know where to look for contractors to help them.

3. Demonstrate why an agent is important.

It’s best to contact an agent who can compare your budget, your needs, and available homes to make a match. In some markets, the OneHome platform* is available with quick yet in-depth listing information for buyers.

4. Avoid competition with a fall house hunt.

While the spring market often has the most listings, it may also have the most buyers. If your clients can wait for the fall, you’re likely to face less competition and possibly see price reductions from motivated sellers who want to close before the end of the year.

Four tips for helping first-time home sellers

While your clients may be experienced as homebuyers, selling a home requires a different mindset. You’ll need to coach them on how to detach emotionally from the home and carefully position it for new owners. These steps can help:

1. Start with a refresh.

As soon as they are ready to sell, your clients should start to eliminate clutter. Carefully tour their home with them to see it through a buyer’s eyes. It’s important to be considerate of the stress your clients might be feeling. Meghan Wasinger of Wasinger & Co. Properties highlights that this process can be both “psychologically and physically draining” and adds that “from de-cluttering to packing, to having to eat out all the time…it’s all exhausting!” You can also share resources such as recommendations on which improvements can help generate value and use the Marketplace in OneHome* to compare home renovation costs.

2. Get the visuals right.

About 90% of buyers search online for a home. That means your photos, videos, and virtual tours will probably make the first impression on most potential buyers. A professional photographer available through HomeVisit* can capture the home at the right time of day and at its best angles. Help your clients choose the first photo buyers will see online for maximum impact.

3. Hire a staging and marketing pro.

Buyer expectations, honed by years of reality TV and model homes, means sellers need their home to look immaculate, yet appealing. A stager can also have the hard conversations about decluttering and depersonalizing a property, helping you be the trusted advisor.

4. Aim for an early spring sale.

If your clients prep the house in winter and list it in March, they are likely to reach the largest number of motivated buyers who want to beat the competition that heats later in the year. But, keep in mind that photos will often look better if they’re taken later in spring or summer.

Professionals from agents to contractors and stagers to photographers offer essential support to buyers and sellers, particularly when the housing market continues to move at an ever-faster pace. CoreLogic helps make home finding and selling experiences possible. Find out more.

*OneHome and HomeVisit are available in select markets, and access is available through participating real estate professionals.

CORELOGIC, the CoreLogic logo, ONEHOME, and HOMEVISIT are trademarks of CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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