How to guide home buyers through a purchase transaction

Real estate agents do more than sell homes; they also shepherd first-time buyers through the process of purchasing a home.


Experienced real estate agents know the home-buying process inside and out, but homebuyers are often intimidated or overwhelmed by the process. Agents are tasked not only with helping their clients find the right house, but also with acting as mentors through the home-buying process.

Here’s what FORCE members say homebuyers need to understand about the home buying process:


Get Pre-approved

“Understand that to start that process you need to be preapproved for a loan. A lot of times you have buyers who don’t want to have their credit run and that sort of thing. That upfront education for the buyer to understand that pre-approval process is the first step in the buying process,” says Aaron Mighty, Mighty Realty.

“Get pre-approved. It can be frustrating to find the right property and then miss out because you aren’t pre-approved. Agents have to educate buyers upfront. That’s the first step,” says Anngel Benoun, Dilbeck Real Estate.


Stay on Top of Paperwork

“Most first-time home buyers don’t understand the most important thing is getting that paperwork back to the loan officer. Anything they tell you to do, you need to do. They don’t understand that not getting the paperwork back quickly can really slow down a loan. You have to let them know every step of the way what’s expected. If you don’t they will get cold feet and back out. Take them by the hand, and lead them every step of the way,” says Wanda Stewart, Coldwell Banker, Caine.

“They really just need to be patient. They just need to get the paperwork done and wait. It will get done,” says John Scalia, Bankers Realty Services.


Make a Competitive, Timely Offer

“Probably the most important thing buyers need to understand in our area is that the market is a seller’s market and homes are very competitive. There are frequently multiple offers, so they need to be quick and competitive with their offers. If they have a loan, have it as far in the approval process as they can get it, so they can be competitive. So many of the houses are going to investors for cash, and it is more difficult for buyers who are getting loans,” says Nell Jones, RE/MAX Fine Homes.

“Buyers in general need to be aware that inventory is low and competition is high. The time when you offer $5,000 to $10,000 less than the asking price is gone. Buyers need to be reasonable and offer close to the asking price, especially if the agent comps the house close to asking price. We still have buyers who are looking for a deal in the market; the deal is buying a home today and gaining that home value appreciation over the next year or two,” says Aaron Mighty, Mighty Realty.


Establish a Price Range, and Be a Little Flexible

“I believe, considering our inventory shortage in the Denver metro area, an important thought for buyers to keep in mind is not to get caught up in the ‘frenzy’ that often occurs with the multiple offer situation. Establish a price range that fits comfortably within the household budget and qualifications. Target an area or neighborhood that offers the type of housing most desired, the amenities, schools, recreation, and any special requirements that may be necessary. That said, be flexible enough to consider a home that may not have all you set out for yet has the majority of the features you targeted. Be prudent in your purchase, and then enjoy all the benefits and joy of owning your piece of the rock, the place you will call home,” says Phil Heter, Heter & Co. Inc.


Special Considerations for REOs and Properties Needing Repairs:

“For REOs, it’s important for buyers to understand the seller has no disclosures, so it’s important for buyers to do a thorough inspection. Also, the seller has its own property addendum that supersedes the state purchasing contract. Sometimes buyers want to make changes to it, but they can’t,” Anngel Benoun, Dilbeck Real Estate.

“They need to understand the process of purchasing a house that needs repairs and what they would qualify for. The process is different, and sometimes that throws people. New regulations impacting closings are also very confusing for buyers because they don’t understand why they can’t close within a certain period of time. I think everybody thought they were on top of this, but the process does take a little longer. It will all work out, but it’s taking a little longer than anticipated.

“I think the biggest thing is to have a meeting with your buyers before you go out and understand we’ll work through it together and make the process as smooth as we can. Explaining some of that up front can help,” says Amy Talley, Oakstone Properties.