How to Simplify the Home Buying Process for First-Time Buyers

Apr 11, 2022
5 min

It’s easy to feel the excitement of your clients when they’re first-time buyers. But, it’s also important to recognize their uncertainty. 

Let’s face it, the average buyer hasn’t had all of the licensing and training we’ve had. 

Without that background knowledge, everything that goes into buying a home can get confusing. It’s not a simple transaction like going to a store and just buying what you like.

To avoid your client becoming overwhelmed as a first-time home buyer, you can (and should) help them understand the process. 

Before the search begins

When a client first comes to you to help them find their dream home, you should be prepared with as many questions as they likely have. 

Be ready to give a basic overview of what they can expect on the journey and what a typical home search looks like. From there, they can ask any specific questions about different steps in the process.  

Determine what they can afford

Affordability is a huge factor in the home buying process. Helping your client with this can be as simple as having them come prepared with their financial information to calculate how expensive of a house they can afford

After this has been determined, you can exclusively show them homes within their price range.

To take affordability a step further, you should have a conversation with the prospective buyer about the differences between pre-approval and pre-qualified loans. 

Encourage them to take at least one of these extra steps before they begin house hunting to make the actual buying process easier. Not to mention, a pre-approval will give them extra peace of mind to know that they’re able to secure a specific amount in a mortgage. 

Help them understand what they’re looking for

After financing has been discussed and you have a budget to work with, you need to help the buyers understand what they’re looking for in a house. 

An important distinction to help them understand is their wants versus their needs. 

First, your client will need to let you know things like their family size, how much time they spend at home and any home-based activities that are important to them. This will help you and them determine what their just-right size home is. 

Next, you’ll want to get an idea of what type of neighborhood they’re looking for. 

Living in a more rural area is completely different from a cul-de-sac. Plus, it’s important to remind them that these different neighborhoods will have different property taxes to contend with.

All of this information plays a significant role in the properties you’ll choose to show them once you begin house hunting. 

As you’re house hunting

House hunting is supposed to be the fun part of this journey. So, keep an upbeat attitude as you search with your clients.

When taking your prospective buyers to look at houses, you should also remind them of a few key things to make the process easier: 

Reminder #1: Don’t fall in love with every property

It’s easy to see a house and immediately fall in love with it. It could be the size, location, price, aesthetic, or any other reason.

But, your client must remember that their fate is ultimately in the hands of the seller. 

If the seller receives a better offer or likes another potential buyer better for some reason, then they can decide not to sell you their house. 

This is why it’s important to keep your buyer’s minds open and to encourage them to not fall completely in love with every property they see. 

Reminder #2: Look with a critical eye

Looking at homes is exciting for buyers. They tend to look through rose colored glasses and overlook potential issues. 

Be honest with them when you see something wrong with a property, and point out things that could be changed for the better. 

To avoid them having to spend a significant amount of money on repairs, you can even show them the easy home repairs they can do themselves. They’ll appreciate both your honesty and attempt at saving them money in the long run.  

Reminder #3: Know your power

Remind your client to know where they have power and where they don’t. 

This particularly comes into play when thinking about the current market. With the current seller’s market, your client will have less power than they would in a buyer’s market. 

Still, there are circumstances where they’ll have some power even in the current market.

This is most true with a house that’s been on the market for a long time. By accepting that there may be significant repairs needed, your client can make a lowball offer to secure the house if there’s something else about it that they love. 

You can even encourage your client to gain some power as they write their house offer letter to the seller. 

Including personal details and their hopes for their future in the home can help them appeal to the sentimental side of the seller and potentially gain them something they want (maybe even an inspection or faster closing).

When closing on a house

Closing will be the most confusing part of the home buying process for your client. With so many legal aspects involved, it’s easy to understand why.

Be patient with them at this stage, as their mixture of confusion with the process and excitement to move into their new home will often get the best of them. 

If they show an interest, try to explain more in depth about what’s happening at this stage. Otherwise, offer a high-level overview to keep them informed. 

Communication will be of the utmost importance here. Especially if things get complicated.

Adding in contingencies

You should try your best to both explain and actually add in contingencies on the sale of the home. Adding in even one of the most common real estate contingencies into your client’s contract can help protect them. 

You should also remind them that closing is equally dependent on the seller to complete their part of the agreement. 

Knowing that you have their best interest at heart will help make them more accepting of any delays in closing. 

Final thoughts on simplifying the home buying process for first-time buyers

First-time buyers are equally excited and nervous about beginning the home buying process. 

As the expert, you can help to calm their anxieties and keep them from becoming overwhelmed by simplifying the process for them. 

Sometimes all it takes is spending time to explain what’s happening and what they can expect. By doing that, you can all find the process to be successful in the end.

TL;DR: Anticipate your client's needs ahead of time and think of what could go wrong or hold up the process. Seek out these needs as an opportunity to make the homebuyer process easier.

Apr 11, 2022
How To
5 min