7 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Save Buyers Money
Money talks. It’s true in just about every facet of the world — and it’s certainly true in real estate, too.
Think of it this way: Consumers are doing some of the biggest deals of their lives in our world. They’re putting down thousands of dollars in hard-earned cash, they’re forking over their life savings, and they’re committing to one of the largest debts they’ll probably ever take on.
Saving them just a little bit of cash during this costly time? Well, that can go a long way. It may even be what gets you a referral or a glowing review on Google or Yelp once all is said and done.
Want to help your buyers save cash and improve your business in the process? Here’s how to do it
1. Make sure they know 20% isn’t required.
Too many people still believe the old “20% down payment” myth. From the start, make sure your clients know their options. While 20% can help them avoid mortgage insurance in some cases, that’s not always true. It will also mean severely reducing their savings and could make it harder to afford their mortgage payment once the transaction closes.
Talk your clients through the various options they have for low-down loans. Could they qualify for a USDA or VA mortgage? What would putting the minimum on a conventional loan look like for their monthly payment? Help them crunch the numbers and figure out the best solution for their budget and timeline. (A good loan officer can help here, too).
2. Point them toward down payment assistance programs.
You can also help them find suitable down payment assistance programs in the area. These can help lower the upfront costs of buying a home and maybe even help them do so earlier than expected. These programs vary by area, so do your research, contact your local housing department, and have information on hand for buyers who might qualify.
3. Play hardball when negotiating to help buyers save.
One of the best things you can do is be an expert negotiator. Play hardball from the start and never skip the counteroffer — unless conditions are really tight. You can also ask for various repairs, seller concessions, or even included furniture or appliances to sweeten the deal for your clients. Learning how to leverage the home inspection report is critical as well.
4. Help them shop around for services.
If you look at the loan estimate, there are tons of line items you can shop around for — and doing so will probably help save buyers some major cash. At the very least, instruct the buyer on how to shop for these services, and maybe even offer up a few preferred providers, too (title companies, real estate attorneys, etc.) If you want to get hands-on and actually help get and compare the quotes, that’s even better.
5. Negotiate reduced rates.
Could you team up with a local home inspector and negotiate a lower rate? Maybe guarantee them 15 inspections this year, and they’ll take $50 off the top? You could also take a similar approach with pest inspectors, painters, landscapers, and other services your clients might require — either as buyers or as sellers. Every little bit counts when you’re buying a house.
6. Buy their home warranty.
Sometimes, you may be able to get the seller to throw in a home warranty as part of the deal. But if you can’t? Consider buying one for the clients yourself. This will not only save them upfront — in closing costs — but it will also protect them from potential repair costs down the line.
7. Give them a rebate or a portion of your fee.
Help your buyers save and offset their closing costs by kicking in a portion of your commission. You don’t have to do this in all cases, but in scenarios where the buyer does a lot of the heavy lifting search-wise (they find the listings, they do self- or video tours of the property, etc.) it can make sense.
Also, remember that there are discount real estate agents out there. You’re already competing against these options for clients in the first place. Offering to give back a small part of your fee can be a great way to stand out and remain competitive as these discount options grow.
The bottom line about helping your buyers save money
Saving your clients cash does great things for both you and your business. It builds trust, it proves your value, and it makes a loyal customer for life. If done right, it might even lead to more referrals, too — and that’s something you can’t put a price tag on.
Want more advice about helping your clients or growing your business this year? Our real estate agent resources can help. Need more mortgage-related advice or guidance? Get in touch with an Embrace Home Loan expert today.