Real estate agents have a lot on their plate these days. In addition to understanding the demands and trends of the real estate market, you must be able to guide your clients through the homebuying process. Under more typical market conditions, this can be challenging enough. But in today’s competitive, complex, and shifting real estate market, that process can be particularly challenging for your clients. Here are three big things you can do as an agent to help homebuyers avoid common mistakes and successfully navigate a hot housing market.
Know the market, and educate them about it
Clients who move from a higher-priced to a lower-priced housing market—and vice-versa— often don’t understand the market. They typically expect to find homes comparable in size and budget to what they know, and they’re often disappointed when they don’t. Other clients simply don’t understand how quickly properties are moving in today’s fast-paced market. They believe they can take their time and be particular about finding their dream home. One of your most important roles is to be a strategic advisor to your clients as their real estate agent. Know your numbers, the marketplace, the situation with interest rates, and all the available options, and be able to explain it to your clients.
For all your clients, even those who think they are knowledgeable about today’s market, it’s best to spend time early on educating your clients about the realities of a hot sellers’ market. It will be more productive if you explain why the market is the way it is and what strategies you plan to use to find their ideal property.
Help them be ready to move fast but smart
Saying the current market is moving fast is an understatement. Speed and the pace of sales are contributing factors to today’s competitive housing landscape. When homes are selling fast, it’s important to stay on top of the market and be ready to move quickly. Along with educating your clients about the market, help them understand that they need to be ready to follow your lead and move fast when an idea situation arises for them. Help them stay up to date on the latest listings in your market. Speed is often of the essence because your clients will likely be up against other offers. Help them put their best foot forward with a strong but fair offer from the start. Your expertise can help make this offer as enticing as possible for the seller.
Urge them to set a spending limit
Most buyers know the current market conditions, with all their pressures and complexities. This can lead many buyers to a feeling of desperation to find a home quickly, an emotion that can sometimes override their reason and logic. One of the biggest mistakes that can arise from this desperation is overpaying, a common mistake in a hot real estate market. In an attempt to compete with other buyers, or simply because they have fallen head over heels for a home, buyers may throw their budget to the wind, paying too much for a property, then owning a home they can’t afford. Work in advance with your clients to set a maximum amount for what they are willing to spend. Counsel them to consider their budget and comps in the area market. What they are pre-approved for may differ from what they can practically afford so remind them to stay in their comfort zone and why they set a spending limit in the first place.
The Bottom Line
Your ultimate role as a real estate agent is to be your clients’ best resource and advocate in their homebuying process. Knowing the market and its trends can help them understand their current situation and where they want to be. You are also in the best position to help them find their ideal home and then secure it with a sound offer. Your clients will be grateful that you have been working alongside them in their homebuying experience.