Buying a house, an apartment, or a condo can feel like a daunting task, especially for first-time homebuyers. A skilled real estate agent can play a major role in guiding these fledgling property owners through the maze that is a real estate transaction.
Dale Schaechterle, the founding partner and CEO at Realty Executives Integrity, shares with Forbes that the services of a good real estate agent are essential for a first-time home buyer given the complicated network of mortgage rates and tax laws that they will have to navigate. The following are some guidelines about how to help first-time homebuyers have a positive experience when purchasing their first home.
The majority of respondents on this NAR report said they valued honesty and trustworthiness above all else. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers who may be coming into this experience with more questions and a need for guidance. Schaechterle suggests that part of developing trust is by setting up clear expectations for a new home buyer. How far will their budget truly go? What are they willing to sacrifice? What can they afford realistically?
Location, Location, Location
In an interview with Entrepreneur, property experts say that a real estate agent can make or break a home-buying experience. An experienced real estate agent is with their buyer from the beginning until closing, and maybe even beyond that. They are honest about what the client can afford, and they are willing to go to bat for them. A good agent is willing to share their knowledge of different areas, as well as share their contacts regarding loan officers, essential documentation that shows sellers the buyers are serious, among other services.
In their guide to first-time homeownership, the National Association of Realtors suggests a number of questions that potential buyers ask their real estate agent. These include how to choose a real estate agent and ask questions about their qualifications and continuing education. “They help you to find homes in your budget that meet your requirements as well as help you to negotiate the best deal possible in your housing market,” the guide reads. Buyers are also advised to make a list of what they want in their future home or apartments, including size, neighborhood, school district, appliances, bedrooms, and the size of the yard. Narrowing down the answers to these questions will make the journey ahead much smoother.
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Mariko Baerg, a real estate agent at the Bridgewell Real Estate Group writes in their guide for homebuyers that the role of an agent would be to help her clients avoid potential pitfalls. Baerg encourages people to ask specific questions about neighborhood schools and their rankings, crime rates in the area, transportation options, demographics, entertainment, and the average price homes are selling for.
Baerg also cautions that there are often many financial responsibilities that new buyers may not be aware of. A good agent will be able to demystify this process and ensure that home buyers are able to afford all the costs of owning their new home. She added that a pivotal role for the agent would be to put the buyer in touch with the right professional to get mortgages approved, finalize home inspections, and get a contract drawn up that protects all parties involved. She adds that agents are invaluable in assisting buyers to do due diligence on a property and to help iron out any problems that occur during the process.
Explain About Closing
There are also certain steps that an agent must take to ensure a smooth closing and transfer of the property. Many of these questions should be answered prior to closing, such as a breakdown of the mortgage loan and all financial obligations for the buyer, title transfers, and fund disbursements. Buying a home for the first time is not only full of overwhelming information, but it is also a highly emotional process. Helping first-time buyers have a positive experience can lead to new referrals down the road.
About the author: Remya Menon is the editor of Bayut, the leading property portal of the UAE, Bayut.com is being led by one of the leading business minds in Dubai.