Sometimes, house hunting failures are at the fault of the agent or market; other times, its buyers who unknowingly sabotage their search. Pay attention to these pitfalls in this three part series, which will be posted for the next three Mondays.
1. Missing out on the perfect place.
Hundreds of new homes hit the market every day, and buyers who are not using all of the house hunting tools available, could let their dream home could slip by unnoticed —or worse, someone else might snatch it up before they even know that it’s for sale. One of the toughest lessons for a first-time (and, yes, even a second-time) buyer is that in this market, passive house hunting simply will not cut it. No matter what we agents do—and no matter how many e-mails we send showcasing a just listed property that agents would love to show our clients—if the buyer doesn’t make house hunting a top priority, it’s going to be a painful process.
What Agents Can Do:
As soon as you secure your newest buyer clients, set up a time to discuss your house hunting strategy. Ask them what their preferred method of contact is when there is a home that just can’t wait to be seen. Leverage smart free tools like Trulia’s Nearby Home Alerts come in handy. Buyers get an instant notification on their mobile device when new listings near their current location come on the market. Setting up such a strategy will let buyers stress less and think more about window treatments than missing their window of opportunity.
2. Choosing the wrong lender.
Few things are more frustrating (for buyers and agents alike!) than finding the perfect property only to find out that the loan isn’t coming through.
What Agents Can Do:
“We always tell our clients to use our preferred lenders because they’ll get great rates, the VIP treatment, and if there’s a problem they’ll find out on the front end,” says Sweeney. Remind clients that preferred lenders earn their preferred status only after they’ve consistently delivered loan closings. Provide them with a list of preferred lenders, and provide clients with educational materials to help them get their loan situation in order before they hit on their must-have property.