With low inventory, extreme competition, rising interest rates and decreased bargaining power, buyers are facing one of the most confusing and challenging markets in history. Now more than ever, buyers are relying on agents to have the expertise, passion and persistence to successfully guide them through the home-buying process. How can you help?
The most recent Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) Designee Survey offered insight into buyer challenges from 2021. Forty-seven percent of respondents said that business has never been busier, and 47% stated that it was a difficult year.
When asked about the most problematic issues holding buyers back, lack of inventory unsurprisingly took the top spot (92%). Affordability came in second at 67% (an increase from 54% in 2021) and unrealistic expectations dropped to third at 46% (down from 54% in 2021).
With these insights in mind, here are five ways to help buyers navigate the realities of this market:
- Sharpen your buyer representation skills. Today’s buyers deserve to have the most informed, invested and enthusiastic agents in their corner. Demonstrate your commitment to providing buyers superior customer service and deepening your expertise by earning the ABR® designation. Learn more at abr.realtor.
- Manage buyers’ expectations. Ensure that your buyers know what to expect from their local market. How have the mortgage interest rates and housing prices impacted their budget? How long is it taking the average buyer to secure a home in your area? Give them a clear picture of the competition, discuss options that could be leveraged to strengthen an offer and formulate a negotiation plan. Your clients will appreciate the honesty and extra effort.
- Network and learn from other agents. Connecting with other agents who prioritize buyer-clients can help keep your skills sharp and generate new ideas. Join and participate in designation-specific Facebook groups, such as the ABR® Referrals & Networking Community. Network in person with other designees at the ABR®, GREEN and SRES® Networking & Awards Reception at NAR NXT in November.
- Deepen your understanding of financing options. Financing is critical to the real estate transaction and plays a significant role in whether your client’s offer is accepted. CRD’s new Home Finance Resource (HFR) certification can equip you to confidently speak to your buyers about the loan origination process and alternative financing options. Register at crd.realtor/hfr.
- Stay positive and be persistent. Buyer burnout is real in this low-inventory market. Your client will rely on you to help deal with the disappointment and bolster their spirits. With adequate education about the realities of the market, frank conversations (and some creativity) when crafting an offer, an optimistic attitude and persistence, your buyers will come out on top.