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For many brokers, first-time homebuyers most likely will need help with their expectations. Because of the confluence of low interest rates, affordability, and tax credit for first-time and move-up homebuyers, some prospective homebuyers might think they have more buying power than they actually do. This often occurs because of misconceptions about upfront costs, including closing costs.
On the other hand, some first-time buyers are nervous and uncertain about making a home purchase, even when their finances are in excellent condition. Often, these buyers fear making a mistake that may eliminate their ability to take advantage of other opportunities.
In these cases, you might find it useful to put a larger frame around today's real estate market. You can do this by sharing historical charts of interest rates, home affordability and tax benefits.
Adding context to the current state of the market can offer prospects clarity and confidence. It also can help prospects realize the opportunity in front of them and give them the courage to take advantage of it.
At the same time, you should recall the shifting underwriting landscape of today's market, the possibility that a lender with which you work could still go out of business and the multitude of other things outside your control.
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There is an adage that says, "Under-promise and overdeliver." Mortgage brokers would be wise to heed this advice. If you tell a client you can close a loan within a set time frame, make sure you can do it. Anything less will harm your credibility.
In many cases, you have one chance to turn prospects into customers. Your ability to build trust will likely determine the outcome of that singular opportunity.
Chik Quintans is a certified mortgage planner with Atlas Mortgage in Lynnwood, Wash. Quintans is a loan-officer director for the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals and also serves on its social-media committee.
Visit www.facebook.com/teamcq. Reach Quintans at (425) 771-2095 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. He's on Twitter: @chikquintans.
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