It’s no secret that the real estate market is unstable right now. Prices and interest rates are up, and it can be difficult to know how to make the right choice. For first-time homebuyers, this can be especially disheartening. That’s where real estate agents come in. By providing advice and support, agents can help buyers navigate these uncertain waters and make the best decision for their families. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best ways agents support first-time homebuyers who are traversing a tricky housing market. Let’s dive in!
Clarity in Criteria and Affordability
Buying a home is a big decision, and it’s important that buyers know what they’re looking for before they start the search. Real estate agents can help by encouraging clients to be clear about their housing criteria. What type of home are they looking for? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do they need? What style of home do they prefer?
Once buyers have a good idea of their must-haves, they can start to narrow down their search. In addition, agents can help buyers to figure out what they can afford. What’s their budget for monthly mortgage payments? What other costs are they willing to cover, such as repairs and renovations? By being clear about what they want and what they can afford, buyers will be in a much better position to find the right home for their needs.
Brochures for the Latest Market Data
PDF brochures are a versatile way to share information about homes with potential buyers, and real estate agents use them to great effect when working with first-time homebuyers. PDFs can be easily shared via email or social media, and they can be viewed on a variety of devices, making them a convenient option for busy buyers who are often on the go.
What’s more, PDFs can be easily customized to highlight specific features of a property that may appeal to first-time buyers, such as proximity to schools or public transportation.
Real estate agents also use brochures to help first-time homebuyers navigate the purchasing process. Brochures can provide an overview of the steps involved in buying a home, from applying for a mortgage to negotiating with sellers.
Rate Research and a Lock
Agents typically encourage clients to check mortgage rates regularly so they can be sure to get the best possible deal.
There are a few different ways to check mortgage rates. Buyers can speak to their bank or credit union, use an online tool like Ratehub, or consult with a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers are experts in the field, and they can provide buyers with tailored advice to help them get the best possible rate. No matter which method buyers choose, it’s important to check rates frequently so they can lock in a low rate as soon as possible.
There are several benefits to locking in a low mortgage rate. First, it gives buyers some peace of mind, knowing that their payments won’t go up down the road. Second, it makes budgeting easier, since buyers will know exactly how much their mortgage payments will be each month. And finally, locking in a low rate can save buyers thousands of dollars over the life of their loan. As soon as an offer is imminent, buyers should immediately talk to their lender about locking in a rate. Bear in mind that a rate lock lasts anywhere from 15-60 days, and anything beyond that could require a fee.
Careful Lender Shopping
Of course, before an offer can be made or a rate locked in, agents will encourage buyers to shop around for a lender. There are many lenders out there, and each one offers different rates and terms. It’s important that buyers fully understand the benefits of comparing multiple lenders to get the best deal possible.
Ideally, savvy agents will also counsel their clients against predatory lenders. These lenders often target first-time home buyers and offer loans with very high interest rates. They may also charge hidden fees or require borrowers to purchase unnecessary insurance products. Predatory lenders can trap borrowers in a cycle of debt, so it’s important for buyers to have an awareness of these tactics.
Be More Open-Minded
First-time home buyers are likely to have difficulty finding an affordable home in a low-inventory market. Most of the time, they already have a set idea of what they want in a home. However, in a tough market, buyers face a heavier burden to find homes that check all the boxes on their list. Fortunately, a great agent can help buyers expand their search area and property criteria to include more options. A good agent will also introduce them to new neighborhoods and types of properties that they may not have considered otherwise. Additionally, agents will have knowledge of upcoming listings and can help first-time buyers get their offers in quickly before a house is sold to someone else.
It’s no small undertaking to navigate an unstable housing market as a first-time homebuyer. Low inventory, high interest rates, and pricey homes can make it feel nearly impossible to find a property. However, with careful planning and some help from an experienced and shrewd real estate agent, it is definitely possible to find a home that fits the bill and is offer-worthy.