Your phone rings and you hear those magic words…”I want to buy a house”. What is the first thing you think of when this happens? How much commission will you make or helping the buyer find the right home and build a solid relationship with your new client?
I hope you are saying the later because in this week’s blog we are talking about taking care of your buyer, the client.
The biggest part of creating your Client Connection is providing them with service they will appreciate for many years to come. Having clients that value the service you provide will put more dollars in your pocket over the life of your career through repeat business and referrals than if you rush them through their buying experience and don’t educate them fully on the process.
The first chance you have to provide clients with exemplary service is when they are buying their house. You are the expert on houses, and it is your job to educate your clients on what they can expect both during the sale and even more so after the sale. Buying a house is a big responsibility but taking care of your house while you own it is the biggest responsibility. A buyer needs to be educated on everything that comes with taking care of a house. It’s important to understand what you might encounter while you own your home, so you aren’t surprised by the things that come up later.
What can you do to educate a buyer to be a great homeowner?
Impress upon your buyers the extreme importance of home maintenance and the role it can play in the value of their home. It is essential they understand how critical it is to take good care of their home. Owning a home goes well beyond paying a mortgage and utility bills, mowing the lawn and buying furniture. All homes require some maintenance, but you need to evaluate what has been done recently versus what will need to be done in the coming years. Putting together a handout for buyers with the average lifespan of the different systems in their home can be a great resource to share with them.
Buyers usually work with their lender to determine their housing budget but don’t be afraid to discuss this with them as well. While you can’t tell them the size of the mortgage they will be approved for, make sure they are building a household budget that leaves them enough money every month after all their expenses to set aside some for future needs. When their air conditioner goes out in July and can’t be fixed, they will want to have a savings to tap into so they can pay new one. If they are setting aside a portion of money each month for future repairs or upgrades they want to make, they will be better prepared to handle a new air conditioner unit or a busted water heater than someone that hasn’t planned for that.
Another thing to discuss with a buyer is a home warranty. Take the time to explain how a home warranty works and let them decide if it would be beneficial to them. It won’t cover everything and doesn’t cover routine maintenance but may cover many other items and save them some money without too much of an expense.
Are they used to calling a landlord for every little thing? Do they understand that from now on when the toilet is clogged or the roof leaks they will have to either fix it themselves or call a professional? Another way to help prepare them for the inevitable time they will need to call for help is to provide them with a list of your trusted experts that they can call when they need someone. They need the list from day one not just when an emergency presents itself.
While buying a house can be a short process, owning a home is a long-term commitment. Prepare your buyers for this and help them understand the obligations that come along with the American Dream.
When you help your buyers understand the responsibility of home ownership it prepares them for those “things that happen” so educate them, help them understand it is important to have an emergency fund set up for home expenses and maybe give them a vendor’s list of services you recommend in the area as part of the closing gift.
Another thing you can do for your buyer is to have them sit down with their mortgage lender to learn how the loan process works and what they need to focus on when it comes to buying a house. Being a pre-qualified buyer gives them more buying power and everyone can now start seriously looking for that perfect home.
I am constantly telling my coaching clients they must get comfortable with having the potential buyer sign the Buyer Representation Agreement before they step foot in your car. So, while you have them complete the Client Information Sheet, Wants and Needs Sheet have the Buyer Agreement together and tell them that you must have these two items before you can start showing them property.
If you take the time to educate your buyer clients for what to be prepared for in home ownership it will create a relationship that will be very rewarding in the future.
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