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How do you ease homebuyers’ stress?

By: Kelly Leighton on in

Nearly one-third of recent homebuyers in Pennsylvania found closing or financing issues as the most stressful part of the home buying process, according to the most recent Welcome Home survey results, conducted by Keystone Analytics®

As a Realtor®, how can you make that process easier for your clients?

To ease his clients’ anxieties, PAR President Todd Polinchock said when first meeting a client, he begins by thoroughly explaining what is happening and when it is happening.

“I explain when things are needed and why. I explain the importance of timeliness with the new rules, and that they were put in place to protect the buyer. I explain that I will keep them ahead of the process. It is usually a fear of the unknown that bothers them.  Shedding a little light on how it all works usually does the trick. Remember, we do this all the time, they have probably only done this one or maybe two times,” he advised.

Beyond closing issues, nearly a quarter of respondents said that financing questions caused them the most distress. Nearly one-third of millennials cited financing as their biggest stressor.

For those homebuyers stressed about financing issues, PAR First Vice President Todd Umbenhauer said he provides potential homebuyers a list of what lenders will need from them during the loan application process.

“Why not start putting all that information together right away rather than waiting until an Agreement of Sale has been signed and there are limited time periods with which to contend? Anyone who wants to buy a home should discuss mortgage qualifications with a qualified lender before scheduling appointments to visit homes for sale. This is an excellent time to determine what information and documentation a lender might need in particular scenarios. That way the buyer can set about collecting what is needed while there is still plenty of time to do so,” he suggested.

PAR President-Elect Kathy McQuilkin said she provides clients with the PAR Consumer Guide so they know what to expect in the homebuying process in the state.

“Minimize any surprises and keep a smooth, informed transaction by having an educated consumer,” she said. “I continue the discussions on financing, inspections and construction concerns as we actually consider properties. Discussing these details and procedures while they are actually in the car touring homes, viewing interiors and walking grounds helps them visualize the importance of inspections and contingencies.”

PAR Treasurer Bill McFalls said he likes to ask clients about any “horror stories” they have had heard about the homebuying process, and then he helps “walk them back from the cliff and explain how we will avoid those evils.”

“Just lay out the simple process of a home purchase during the first meeting,” added McFalls.

Something Breaks, Floods or Needs Repair Right Before Closing… Now What?

Closing is scheduled for tomorrow morning and everyone is excited to finalize the deal. You suddenly get a frantic call from your seller who explains they were about to leave the house with the last few boxes when a torrential downpour blew through the area and they now have an inch of standing water in the basement. Now what do you do about the closing in the morning?

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Comments (3)

Comments

  • Heather Wahl Bloemker   April 15, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Great article! Buyers can get extremely overwhelmed once their offer is accepted. To help ease the stress and anxiety for my clients, I used this very simple online tool called AOSdates. It creates a one-page report that I email to them listing in chronological order all the things that must be completed prior to settlement. It calculates the due date for each item based on the number of days stated in the agreement. I also take advantage of the automatic email reminder feature so nothing slips through the cracks. I feel I’m providing an added level of service by providing my clients with this very clear outline of what they have to do and by when, basically taking the multi-page agreement and boiling it down to one easy-to-comprehend page. The feedback I’ve been receiving since using this tool has been extremely positive.

    Reply to Heather Wahl Bloemker
  • Wayne Fenstermacher   April 15, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Because I see this as a valuable tool to use with the public, I’m wondering why the link to the Consumer Guide to the Agreement of Sale (CG) is linked above to a “Sample” form rather than to the printable one.

    Reply to Wayne Fenstermacher
    • Kevin Juliano, CAE, RCE   April 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Wayne – Thanks for pointing out that we link to a sample form in this article. When sharing direct links to official documents, PAR’s policy is to share sample as the official use documents are for use by members of PAR just like standard forms.

      Reply to Kevin Juliano, CAE, RCE

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