While the real estate market is slowly morphing from an unprecedentedly strong sellers’ market into more of a buyers’ market, buyers continue to face unrelenting headwinds. Because of a historically high housing shortage, demand remains high, along with interest rates. Because of this dichotomy, home prices in many areas remain stubbornly high. However, there are a number of ways you can help your buyers minimize costs when it comes to buying a home. Following are four essential steps you can take to get your buyers the best deal:
STEP ONE: Know your Buyers
Interview and really get to know your buyers. Make sure you understand their timeline. Concentrate on their hobbies, lifestyle, recreational activities, pets, and where they spend most of their time when they’re at home. Then you can have a more informed discussion about location, price, and bedroom-bath count. Knowing all these things will help you zero in on your search criteria and get your buyers the best fit.
STEP TWO: Fine Tune your Search
Learn how to search listings on the market like a ninja. In addition to actives, search expireds and price reductions. Really do your homework to gain mastery over your market’s inventory. This way you can quickly spot a great deal over a so-so deal and let your buyers know.
Technology that can help you better gain expertise in your market includes the “property value” tool on Realtor.com, which provides handy pricing charts. This helps you track how a property has changed in value over time, and learn what the predictions are in the coming months. (Note that when the valuation provider estimates are almost identical, the price is probably very close to a true or “correct” value.)
STEP THREE: Make sure Buyers are Loan-Ready
A Pre-Approval is nice, but an Underwritten Pre-Approval is better. This can go along with the Pre-Approval and be an impressive combination. An Underwritten Pre-Approval means that some of the heavy lifting has been done beforehand, like the lender has run the buyer’s credit and should be able to fund once the appraisal and title work is complete. This helps your buyers close with a set rate, and further reinforces their ability to get a loan (and thereby get their offer accepted).
STEP FOUR: Protect your Buyers and your Reputation
Invest in a home warranty on behalf of your buyers as part of the closing package. A home warranty protects your buyers against many unforeseen repair issues after closing and thereby protects you from unhappy clients and out-of-pocket expenses. Better yet, it protects your reputation for the long-term and makes a memorable closing gift that is likely to bear fruit in the future.
The hypermarket craziness that has marked the last two-years in real estate saw valuations shoot up almost overnight. Home valuations are just now starting to normalize. Knowing what that “new normal” is going to be is key when it comes to working with your buyers.