[FREE DOWNLOAD] Walk Your Clients Through the 8 Steps of Buying a Home
The Buyers Timeline is a tool you can use to create a foundation for what your buyer can expect and, at the same time, it supplementals your value. Going through this and then practicing your delivery will help you be better prepared and sound like a pro.
So many people aren’t educated—doesn’t matter if they are a first-time buyer or a move-up buyer. Buying a home can be really complicated, so you want your buyers to feel comfortable and limit the amount of confusion they may feel. With any deal, there will be surprises, but this is your opportunity to prepare your buyer for the possibility of those surprises.
With this guide, your goal is to shrink the buying process down into 8 simple steps and set crystal clear expectations. Your client needs to know exactly what to expect from you but you can also want to talk about what you expect from them.
STEPS 1 & 2
The first two steps are essential to help you articulate your value and set the tone. This is where you explain that buying a home can be stressful and there’s a lot that happens from start to close. This is why they need you—a top Realtor. Your buyer has some big decisions to make about where they want to look and what their priorities are. How many bedrooms? Do they want a yard? A fixer-upper or move-in ready? (This is also a good opportunity to bring up pre-qualifying.)
Your buyers may already be preapproved (and a lender may have already gone through this with them) but you want to talk about the preapproval process because you are the project manager of this transaction and preapproval is a big part of buying a home. This is also an opportunity to find out if your buyer has a lender (and to make sure that their lender is quality). You should always refer your preferred lender.
Additionally, step three is when you want to talk about what the buyers should be prepared to pay for: the appraisal, inspections, the downpayment, etc.
For home buyers, this is the most fun step. This is where you explain how you would like them to search for homes. You don’t want them out in internet-land using third-party apps. You want them using your portal. If you don’t have your own portal, talk to your brokerage. Your MLS likely has a way to set up your buyer’s criteria so they are getting listings. If your buyer insists, don’t fight them. The method behind my madness is that I don’t want my client being contacted or bothered by other Realtors. I’m the straw that stirs the drink!
Before you talk about what making an offer looks like, you want to let your client know that it’s ok if they look at properties without you. But give them the forewarning that Realtors are like vultures. Give them a stack of your business cards and tell your buyers to give agents your card. That way the agent can always follow up with you instead of harassing your buyer.
When it comes to making an offer, you want to assure your client that you have the best skills to close the deal. Not only do you make the offer but you do thorough research to make sure your buyer gets the best value.
Being under contract sets up the foundation for the close. This is the point where you need to explain how this is where urgency is paramount. Talk about the various inspections that may need to be scheduled (and purchased) during this time. This will lead into analyzing the inspections, knowing what’s normal and that this is when there might be an opportunity for negotiation depending on what, if anything, needs to be done to the home. Explain that inspections let you know what’s under the hood so that your buyer knows what they are getting into.
This is also when you’ll explain contingencies. Again, timing is of the essence here and your buyer’s deposit depends on getting inspections done and contingencies removed.
Step seven is pretty basic but it’s not a bad idea to mention the final walk-through and following up to check on any repairs. As a Realtor, you want to articulate that you’re there to help ensure that repairs and updates have been made. You also want to mention what happens at the signing and that once again, there may be some costs (like closing costs). Again, it’s all about keeping your buyer prepared.
Your relationship doesn’t stop when you client gets their keys. You don’t want to cut ties with your client. If anything you want to explain all the things you do after the deal is closed. Do you host a house warming party? Do you provide any moving services? Mention that you always send a closing statement to all of your clients at the first of the year (which they will need for tax purposes).
You should also mention your awesome network of service providers (plumbers, painters, and landscapers) that you can recommend if they need anything after they move in.
You have to practice your presentation and be confident in articulating your value. Use the timeline as a tool to supplement the amazing services you provide. Personalize the experience for your clients.