Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Barbra Curtiss, the owner/broker of Barbra Curtiss Realty, Inc., who shared with us her tips for working with first-time homebuyers.
10. Educate them on home warranties to help save money in repairs.
9. Educate them on various lender specials, like the HUD $100 down program in Georgia.
8. Educate them on all the possibilities of homeownership ups and downs.
7. Be their mentor, and they will in return send you many referrals.
6. Remind your clients to look at the big picture. While buying a house is a great way to build wealth, maintaining your investment can be labor-intensive and expensive. When unexpected costs for new appliances, roof repairs and plumbing problems crop up, there’s no landlord to turn to, and these costs can drain your bank account. Shop around and get information on various home warranty providers.
5. Look at your client’s budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28 percent of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30 percent and they risk becoming house poor.
4. Call a local insurance agent for an estimate on the amount your clients are prequalified to spend.
3. Find out how much your clients will likely pay in closing costs from your lender.
2. See what your client can afford, get qualified through a qualified lender and find out what the client’s total monthly housing cost would be, including taxes and homeowners insurance.
1. The most important thing an agent can do is educate and mentor their first-time homebuyer. Be their source for information as well as guidance in order to assure a smooth homebuying experience for all involved. In return, your buyer will be a loyal customer for life and a great source for future referrals.
Barbra Curtiss, the owner/broker of Barbra Curtiss Realty, Inc. and a 24-year veteran of the real estate industry, is also the CEO of the National Society of Female REO Agents, or NSFRA and a director of the newly formed Atlanta Chapter of The National Association for Female Executives, or NAFE.