One of the biggest concerns voiced by first-time homebuyers is whether or not they can afford to buy a home. Although they are eager to take advantage of all-time low interest rates as well as favorable market prices, first-time homebuyers are investing a lot of thought and research before they make their move.
So while we would love to see them knocking down our door, an agent’s job is more complex than ever to get these prospective buyers off of the fence.
An agent in today’s real estate market must express that, even in the most dynamic markets, real estate was and continues to be a great investment. In fact, many newspapers including USA Today and the Washington Post are writing about signs of a housing recovery.
Legendary investor Warren Buffett feels so strongly about today’s market that he said,
“If I had a way of buying a couple hundred thousand single-family homes, I would load up on them.”
There is positive energy surrounding the market today. Bringing this information to our prospective clients will allow them to make an educated and informed decision. Remaining up–to-date on market conditions and having a willingness and ability to share this news—and put it into context—with first-time homebuyers is critical.
Help First-Time Homebuyers Off the Fence
As buyers continue to weigh their options, there are many who believe that holding off is still the best decision. In fact, a recent study by Marcus and Millichap stresses the importance of understanding the reality of the market vs. perception.
Many prospective homebuyers believe that remaining in a rental situation is a cost effective solution. However, based on this current study, they may find that the long-term cost far outweighs that of a purchase. The study examined the significant rise seen in the cost to rent from 2009 to 2011. Marcus and Millichap also project that rental prices will continue to climb through 2013.
This means that if a first-time homebuyer believes that waiting is the best conclusion, they may not be making the best long-term decision. Each day they continue to rent means an increase in their overall cost and a possible lost opportunity. An agent’s responsibility is to assist that potential homebuyer in understanding the pros and cons in purchasing a home as well as the overall big picture.
Spread the Good News
Even though you may feel redundant in dispensing the many reasons why now is the time to buy a home, we encourage you to take advantage of a year when you can shed light on the true state of the housing market. Provide valuable context to your potential clients—help them understand the data and information to which they are being exposed.
Become an evangelist of the housing market. If you own, share the value in owning your own home and believing that now really is the time to buy!
The Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate reality series “Home, First Home” will begin airing on The Better Show March 15th and will continue through June 28th. Tune in to check out our own Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate agents as they guide actual customers through the process of buying their first home.