The WAV Group’s recent study on homebuyer frustration reveals many pain points that homebuyers have been experiencing in the recent seller’s market.  While some of the frustration is unique to the market conditions of 2020 and 202, like multiple bid situations, there are still many insights that can help agents prepare their clients for the process regardless of market conditions.

Young Homeowners unpacking

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Setting expectations and education about every step of a transaction right from the start is a key opportunity to improve service levels. Certainly first-time home buyers don’t know what they don’t know yet, but even experienced homebuyers need to know how different the process is in the extreme seller’s market we’re experiencing today. Embroiled in so many stressful and unsuccessful transactions today, agents may lose the perspective of the average person who purchases just a few homes in their lifetime. When asked about improving the homebuying experience, one respondent said, “It is far too complicated and involved. A regular person can barely grasp all the hoops you have to jump through.”

With that in mind, agents may want to consider a buyer education session before beginning the process of purchasing a home. Most agents use a listing presentation to win the listings, but few take the time to sit down with their buyers and talk through the entire process from start to finish.  

What should be in your pre-purchase buyer education presentation?  

  • Timeline 

Under perfect conditions, this would be the relative timeline of events from initial home search online all the way to unpacking the dishes in their new home. Checklists can be very helpful in this section of the presentation. Be sure to cover the common time periods in your local market for appraisals, surveys, and home inspections. This is also the perfect opportunity to set expectations for showing appointments, your availability on nights and weekends, and preferred communication methods.  

  • Current Market Conditions

Normally, finding a new listing online on a Thursday, then going to see it on Saturday, and then making a reasonably below asking price offer the following Wednesday is a perfectly acceptable timeline. Not in today’s market. Are houses selling in weeks, days, or—as we saw recently—in hours? What price range should they be looking in to be able to stay on budget in a bidding situation? Should they get pre-qualified for a mortgage? Do they fully understand homeownership costs BEYOND the mortgage and downpayment?  Some respondents said they stretched to buy the home at the top of their price range and now they’re struggling to afford maintenance, utilities and general repairs. 

  • Common Hurdles You Can Warn Them About

Don’t shy away from sharing the challenges in today’s market, and in any real estate market, that have derailed past clients. Remember, they are hiring you for your experience so that they don’t have to learn the hard way. Some of these situations, like lower than expected appraisals or major repairs needed, may not be pleasant to talk about, but your clients need to be prepared for possible scenarios and know that they will have remedies available to them if those situations occur. 

Many of the frustrations with the homebuying process can be mitigated by education and communication. As another respondent said, “Wish there was more explanation of the timeline for when things happen and what the next steps would be.”

To see all the insights and data from the WAV Group Homebuyer Frustration Report, download the full report for free by using promo code Frustration at checkout.