As a general rule of thumb, first-time homebuyers run a wide gamut when it comes to their flexibility, patience, degree of preparedness, the ability to zoom in on priorities and even agreement on wish list items.
That being said, Regina Real Estate agents who work with first-time homebuyers report consistently high levels of motivation, excitement and nerves — a combination that certainly has the potential to create a perfect storm.
To keep things running smoothly, I have a list of questions first-time homebuyers should ask their Real Estate Professionals. Realtors® who are prepared to answer these inquiries upfront and in detail stand at least one step ahead of the competition and facilitate an overall positive experience.
- ‘How much house can we realistically afford?’
One of the most common ways first-time homebuyers deal with the matter of what they can afford is to save up for a specified down payment — the amount of which suits the parameters of their search.
Mortgage lenders provide countless mortgage calculators with varying estimated payment options. Because these tools are generalized, be sure to present buyers with location-specific home insurance and tax data.
Offer up an idea of what the utilities may be and any items that may need immediate repair. Homebuyers with the big picture in mind are less likely to bite off more than they can chew financially.
- ‘Do you have experience in this area and price range?’
Now that buyers have a well-informed idea of what type of home they can reasonably afford within a specific location, it’s important to display evidence of a strong agent-client match. Point to relevant experience with different types of properties or community awareness information or commuting issues.
- ‘How — and when — can we set up home inspections?’
In my business, I set up all the inspections for my clients. I like to be a one-stop shop for their home buying needs. The inspections are typically made after an offer is accepted.
Sometimes the results of inspections may alter the original terms if both parties are agreeable. If something in the home inspection does not sit well with the buyer, the deal may fall through.
- ‘What should we offer?’
When the search reveals a property that checks most of a client’s boxes, and they’re ready to make an offer, be prepared to delineate the many factors that go into putting forth a strong offer.
Examine the homeowner’s situation.
- Try and uncover any motivation?
- Will there be any repairs or upgrades to the home?
- How long has it been on the market?
Next, look at comparable market data. Is the property in question on the high or low end of area home values? If demand is great, consider presenting as attractive an offer as possible, such as strong cash down payment or one that limits conditions.
Informed bids based on a combination of factors such as research data, market trends and the motivations of both buyer and seller have the highest chance of being accepted.
- ‘How quickly can we complete the process once our bid has been accepted?’
Most contracts revolve around closing dates within 30-45 days of signing. Mortgage approval, satisfactory completion of home inspections and mutual condition agreement all move the timetable along quickly.
- ‘What are closing costs, and how do we compute them?’
Real Estate Professionals will typically tell a client to call 3 lawyers and have the purchase quoted. In my experience I have seen closing costs run between 1-2% of the agreed-upon purchase price.
With this, the perfect storm is averted. Proactive answers to these questions help Realtors® keep first-time homebuyers in the know and feeling confident in their selection of a Regina Realtor®
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