Looking to buy your first home; how do you start? Your best first step is to contact ChoiceOne Bank and get preapproved for your home loan or attend our upcoming first-time homebuyer seminars at the Grand Rapids branch on June 26 & 29. You’ll need to know how much house you can afford to begin your house hunting. Once you know what price range you are in, then you’ll need to find a realtor. Especially for first-time buyers, a realtor makes for a better experience because they will know the housing market. In a competitive market, this will be your next best step as your realtor will keep you informed about the homes for sale and negotiate your desires.
1: A genuine desire to help people
Real estate agents are in the business of serving others. The primary focus of their job is to help others, whether they’re explaining the home-buying process, staging a home for a showing, or introducing a new family to the community. Without a genuine desire to help people, agents can flame out rather quickly due to constant demands on their time. However, for real estate agents who have that desire, nothing is more rewarding than helping people navigate one of the biggest financial decisions of their lifetime. As a first-time homebuyer, it’s important to identify a realtor that is willing to work with you and truly understand what your dreams and goals are in purchasing a home for the first time.
From left to right: Joann Yates, ChoiceOne Bank Mortgage Loan Originator: Chris Sain, Host: Porshia, First-Time Homebuyer: John Oppenhuizen, ChoiceOne Bank Mortgage Loan Originator.
2: They’re passionate about real estate
Real estate has helped create a lot of wealth for individuals. However, there’s more to it than just watching Property Wars or other shows on HGTV. Real estate requires a knowledge of the local community, real estate trends and data, and people-skills. The most successful agents love the business of real estate. When your realtor has a passion for the process, it will enhance your excitement—and your trust in them as a first-time homebuyer.
The seller commonly the commission, so your realtor is working in your best interest once you find a home to negotiate the best deal possible for you.
Your realtor will be able to keep you informed of homes that are for sale in your price range, the area you are looking to purchase and that meet the amenities you have chosen which will save you a lot of time. At times, they may be aware of homes that will be hitting the market soon before the general public is aware.
An experienced realtor will help you avoid purchasing the wrong home as they walk through hundreds of homes and have a keen eye for helping you avoid potential pitfalls.
3: Strong business acumen
In order to help you as a first-time homebuyer, your realtor needs to understand the complex transactions and be able to paint a vivid picture to explain the process. If you think about it, a real estate agent basically runs their own small business. In my opinion, an agent must have the business sense to handle marketing, administrative work, sales, and accounting. Successful realtors generally have strong communication skills and some business acumen. At the very least, great realtors make an effort to study and learn best practices to help their customers.
4: A winning personality
Most special people are likeable people. Think about it. It helps tremendously if your agent has an outgoing and upbeat personality. They don’t have to be super-extroverted to be an agent, however, one of the top attributes of realtor is a winning personality—a personality that makes them great to work with.
First-time homebuyers are looking for a real estate agent who they feel comfortable with whether they know it or not. A personality that works for one client may not work for another. But in general, it’s important to work with a realtor that is likable, friendly, and unafraid of putting themselves out there.
5: Energy and drive
A great realtor typically has the total package. To accomplish everything that has to get done, takes loads of passion, energy and drive. Being organized matters too! Property owners and realtors have several things in common. A typical day can involve meeting buyers, doing a listing presentation, putting up signage, showing homes, writing contracts, negotiating offers, attending meetings, and even getting the right angle in your photo for your listing.
An agent’s drive and ambition, and probably your sense of humor, will keep you motivated throughout the journey as a first-time homebuyer.
Buying a new home can be daunting, and that’s why I’m hosting first-time homebuyer seminars at ChoiceOne Bank on June 26 and June 29. At these seminars we will go over credit and how to improve it if necessary, along with the different resources available for first-time homebuyers.