Tag Archives: First time home buyers

Changing Seats at the Real Estate Negotiation Table

I have worked with many home buyers over the years and done my fair share of real estate contract negotiations. Many eventually call me when it is time for them to list their home for sale. These repeat customers are the highest form of compliment an agent can receive. When a past buyer contacts an agent to sell their home, it conveys their confidence in my expertise and I successfully earned their trust and built a positive relationship with them. The buyer then becomes the seller.

There are many types of home buyers and sellers. Each specific category brings its own unique perspective when looking to purchase a new home. First time home buyers can sometime require a greater degree of hand holding as they navigate the home buying process for the first time.

They are often unfamiliar with the process and need to feel reassurance as the transaction moves from offer to closing. More seasoned buyers may not need as much information as a first timer, however still need an agent that has a proven track record of negotiating, a keen sense of the market and valuation, and strong communication skills.

For buyers, agents are tasked with ensuring that the buyer’s sales price is as close to market value possible and to facilitate the successful completion of the transaction. For sellers, agents are relied upon to come up with an accurate valuation of market value and to get the home in front of as many potential buyers as they can.

In a real estate transaction, the perception of the buyer is often that they are in a subordinate position. The seller has the final say about what offer they will accept. When a buyer turns into the seller they can often get drunk with power.

I noticed an interesting trend developing when past buyers become sellers. The mindset, perspective, and attitude is definitely influenced by which side of the transaction they are on. How a particular client is as a buyer does not always indicate the kind of seller they will be.

real etsate negotiationsI chuckle when a seller is unwilling to repair something that their buyer has requested and believes that the buyer is being petty or inflexible. Negotiations can go off the rails when ego take over. I often have to remind them of their requests when they were purchasing the home.

When they put the selling hat on they can be offended when a buyer asks for closing costs, even though they received closing assistance when they purchased the home. In fact many of them could not have purchased the home in the first place without the seller concessions.

When a buyer is making an offer they ask for the moon and hope to get a star or two. Buyers feel that sellers should help cover closing costs and accept an offer that may be below market value. Sellers feel that it is not their job to give up any of their profit for the sake of a buyer. Understandably, sellers want to walk away with the most money possible. Round and round it goes. This is the challenge that agents face regardless of which side of the transaction they may be working.

Tips for better real estate contract negotiations.

When the buyer becomes a seller, it is my job to remind them that moderation and compromise are a part of a successful outcome for both parties. Walking a mile in the seller’s shoes may take years for a past buyer to experience. Watching a loyal and satisfied customer experience both sides of a transaction can be frustrating and even amusing at times. The opportunity to see things come full circle is a reminder that walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is one of the most effective and powerful teaching moments in life.


Feels like the first time.

I love first time home buyers. Many Realtors that I have spoken to pick this group as their least favorite to work with on a transaction. There is nothing more gratifying and enjoyable to me than experiencing the buying process with someone who has never gone through it before. Sure, there may be more explaining to do about every little detail and step of the sometimes long process, but the joy that you see as the keys are finally handed over makes the journey well worth the commission.

The time spent with each buyer is like a constant reminder of how important it is to communicate clearly and effectively. They may be green around the gills, but there is no more willing and interested student than a first timer. As I spend time explaining the process, my skills are being honed as not only as a real estate agent, but also as a teacher. Every buyer is different and may need a different approach. There are those who are decisive and set in what they want and there are others who really just know that they want to buy a home. Helping them navigate the process includes not only great communication, but also a very good understanding of multiple aspects of the journey to homeownership. Dealing with lenders, title companies and the sellers can be very overwhelming at times. Even as a Realtor I have had many days where it seemed like everytime I checked my phone or email there was a newly discovered issue. In fact, this is the case for most transactions and the frequency and urgency of each little fire that needs to be put out is inversely proportionate the the amount of days until the sale is scheduled to close.

As Realtors, it is so critical to remember that we were all once first time home buyers. Keeping a positive and patient approach to those new buyers is always the key to a really happy conclusion. Working with the first time buyer can be a great opportunity to grow professionally and personally. If you have not worked with one in some time I encourage you to seek some out and enjoy being a part of their special once in a lifetime event.