4 Tips to Make Finding A Home Easier for First Time Buyers

Now that the U.S economy is on track for the strongest annual job growth since the late 1990’s and housing markets across the country are seeing significant recoveries in home prices, Millennials are finally making a big push towards homeownership. For most, this will be their first experience with buying a home and they will be relying on your for guidance through the entire process.

While discussing financing options and recommending home inspections will be valuable, there are a few small pieces of advice that tend to get overlooked when it comes to dealing with these “first timers.” Here are 4 simple tips that you can share with first time buyers to simplify the buying process and to ensure they find the right home!

1. Plan Ahead

One of the most important parts of planning ahead is formulating an exit strategy that will allow your clients to maximize their investment in the home. They will want to consider factors such as school districts, demographics of the neighborhood or any new developments that may be occurring in the area, as they will all affect how attractive their home will be to those buyers or renters of the property in the future. Ask them what their plans are at the very beginning, it will allow you to show them properties that will match their long-term goals.

2. Make a list of “must haves”

When most people begin searching for a home, they already have certain criteria that a property must meet in order for them to even consider purchasing it. But after tirelessly visiting properties for months and with so many other things to consider when purchasing a home, first time buyers can lose sight of these priorities.

Although you want to make it to closing as quickly as possible, it’s important that your clients find a home that they are truly satisfied with.  With this in mind, recommend that they create a checklist of “must haves” and bring it with them to each showing. This will keep them from jumping on a property solely because it has a good listing price and will ensure that they choose a home that’s perfect for them and includes everything they are looking for.

3. Budget for more than what meets the eye

After years of experience in real estate, you know better than anyone that there are far more expenses to budget for than just the costs associated with the purchase of a home. Unfortunately, first time homebuyers are usually “in the dark” when it comes to understanding this.

Costs of commuting, utilities, property taxes and so on can really add up and may hinder their ability to afford the property they are interested in. Help them out here by providing a list of expenses that you feel tend to be overlooked by first time buyers or a resource like the Home Buying Guide from Homes.com that highlights just about anything they can expect during the home buying process. This will not only show your expertise, but it will also show that you have their best interests in mind and will help create a better relationship with these clients in the long run.

4. Clarify the contract

So they’ve found the right home and have made an offer, the seller has agreed to the price and you’re finally making the move to closing. First time buyers will undoubtedly be ready to complete the process as soon as they can and finally move into their new home, but it’s important that they understand all of the terms and conditions included in the contract.

This serves as another opportunity for you to show off your expertise by educating them on everything that goes into a closing contract. Odds are that a lot of the information will be a little overwhelming or downright confusing, so be sure that you explain it in a way that will put their minds at ease. Remember that personal recommendations are one of the top ways that buyers and sellers are finding a real estate professional to work with. By making the closing process as carefree as possible for your current clients, they’ll feel more comfortable with recommending you to their friends and family.

Looking for even more ways to provide value to your clients? Check out the Homes.com’s library of FREE learning resources that includes everything from a Mortgage Checklist for first-time buyers to entertainment guides that will help them enjoy their home even more!

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15 thoughts on “4 Tips to Make Finding A Home Easier for First Time Buyers

  1. Thanks for the post. My wife and I are first time home buyers, and this is really helpful information. I really like that you posted about budgeting. I think that is really important to plan for. I agree that we should budget for more than we thin we will need. I would rather budget over than under; considering I’m new to all this. Thanks again.

  2. My husband and I are planning on buying our first home this summer and so I am sure that these four tips are going to come to great use for us as we have yet to actually find the home that we want. The tip that I think is going to be the most useful for us, though, is the one about budgeting for more that what the house is listed for. How can we learn about and calculate the property taxes that we will be expected to pay?

    • Great question, Faylinn! Your property tax depends on your area. Head over to Homes.com’s Q&A page to connect with real estate agents in your area! They can help you answer these kinds of questions.

  3. I thought the advice about budgeting more than meets the eye. I just think it’s a smart move to begin with because you never know what other costs may come up. Even for something smaller like looking for apartments is that way. I’ve moved to a place and realized that the utilities were a lot more expensive than I calculated them to be. I was still okay, but wasn’t thrilled spending more out of my budget. Great tips. Thanks!

  4. My wife and I are just about to begin the journey of searching for our first home! It is exciting, but there are so many things that I just have no ideas about. I think that it is really important to have a list of must-haves (and not just, “oh that would be nice”) and stick with it. I like that you said to clarify the contract with first-time home buyers. I know that is something that we will need. Thanks for posting!

  5. My husband and I live in an apartment, but we are finally ready to start investing in real estate. We are looking for our first home, and I love your tip about making a list of must haves. If we are going to spend that much money on a home, we want to make sure that we are getting exactly what we want. I think this will help us get in to a great home. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I did have easier time buying my first house because of this post. I am sharing the info as well, so they can use the same working technique.

  7. Great tips here. The one I like best is: “Plan Ahead.” Doing this one thing can save you a substantial amount of money and a lot of future headaches. Thanks for posting this useful resource!

  8. Keeping those “must haves” in mind is crucial. Otherwise, you are settling after looking around so much. That’s a good point that people should remember that they will be charged property taxes and stuff like that after buying a home. We will have to make sure there is enough in our budget to cover that as well as a mortgage.

  9. I really want to find a good home to buy, so this is a really helpful list of suggestions for how I can do this. One thing that will be really great for me to do is to make a list of “must haves.” I already know that there are a few things I really want, such as an open kitchen and an office room. As I begin looking around, I will be sure to keep a list with me of things to look for. Thank you for the great post!

  10. These are great tips, thanks! My husband and I are planning on buying a house soon. I really like your suggestion to make a list of “must haves,” and to keep it in mind throughout our search. Since buying a home is such a big deal, it makes sense to be sure to find something that has the most important things. When we do buy a house, I will also be sure to clarify any confusion we may have in the contract.

  11. I liked your tip to make a list of features that your new home must have. It seems like it would be a lot easier finding the right home for you and your family if you know what you want. It would also make it a lot easier for an agent who’s helping you to know what you want in a home so that they can find a good selection of homes to show you.

  12. Making a list for must haves is like making a budget: you have to stick to those guidelines and not deviate. My wife and I were looking for new homes and separated “must haves” from “wants” and went from there. It made the whole process easier, and especially saved on time.

  13. Thanks for the tips. Right now, I’m considering buying a condo than a house. But still, I will follow your tips when I change my mind buying a condo to buying a house. Thanks again! Got a tweet from me!