Successfully helping buyers understand the benefits of ownership and time their purchase correctly hinges, not only on an agent’s reassuring tone, but the information he or she offers buyers. Today buyer agents are just as much counselors/educators as they are sales people.
Check out the following 4 ways (along with a few resources) you can use to empower buyers to make the right decision and take advantage of today’s market.
Give them the Facts
Facts and numbers are an agent’s best resource when it comes to buyer counseling.
Jay Garrett , Agent at RE/MAX Champions, Freehold, NJ says “Very often the amount [buyers would] pay for rent is more than forecasted depreciation [for homes].” It’s important that agent point out these facts.
Garret says, “Recent comps, a “cost of waiting” analysis for first time buyers, and news articles” can be helpful as well.
Recent data shows that in many areas buying outweighs renting by large margins. To show consumers how your area shapes up, check out Trulia’s Quarterly Rent vs. Buy Interactive Index or the U.S. Census Burea’s American Community Survey Brief.
2) Explain the Tax Advantages and Fiscal Benefits
“The financial and tax benefits of owning a home vs. renting are very clear,” according to the National Association of Realtors Field Guide to the Social Benefits of Homeownership.
Real estate taxes, mortgage interest, and certain home improvements can all mean significant savings (and potential refunds) for homeowners. Agents can help their potential clients understand these benefits.
To get up to speed on the basics, check out NAR’s Guide or check out this free quick guide from the American Institute of CPA’s on the Tax Advantages of Home Ownership.
3) Show them Interest Rate History
To help her clients take advantage of today’s opportunities, – Melissa Kellerman, Agent at RE/Max Properties, Inc. Colorado Springs, CO says, “I talk to [buyers] about the record low mortgage rates”.
To make your own custom snapshots of long term interest rates, check out the interactive Historical Treasury Rate published by the U.S. Treasury.
4) Ask the Real Question
Serious buyers make serious moves. “It all boils down to their motivation,” says Arnold Celis, III, Agent at Celis Properties under Casa Grande Realty
“One of the best questions I learned is ‘If I find you a perfect house within the next 2 to 3 days is there anything that would stop you from buying it?’” he says.
Arnold’s question is an important one for agents to consider. Understanding the level and reasoning behind a potential buyer’s motivation can be valuable in helping clients make the best real estate decision.
At the end of the day, the decision to make the leap into home ownerships rests in the client’s hands. A smart agent’s job is to make sure prospective owners have the right information to make their assessment and understand the unique opportunities today’s markets presents.