While in the midst of my normal Monday morning routine, checking for new listings for my buyers, reviewing showing feedback for my sellers, reading and answering the leftover weekend email and chatting on the phone to clients about a myriad of topics and issues, I find in my inbox an article from PAR Just Listed, the PA Association of Realtors publication, about a HUD study done on the benefit of buyer counseling. After reading the article I thought…Good information. I should post it on my Facebook business page The Selling House Mom as an informational piece to pass on to my followers. But wait! Why should anyone be told to be counseled before buying their first home? When a buyer comes to me as a first time home buyer I spend an extensive amount of time talking, educating and, yes, counseling them on what it takes to buy that home and then what it takes to own it. My buyers know to get pre-approved for a mortgage and to look at their finances to know not only how much house they can buy but what a comfortable payment looks like. Often we then back the purchase price into the payment amount to ensure they can make those payments. My clients get many versions of closing costs for homes they are interested in so they understand the differences in mortgage costs at various price points, down payment amounts and mortgage products. When they have targeted homes or neighborhoods they like we discuss how location, condition and pricing affects those homes’ current and potential future value. I know a first time home buyer is, on average, going to be trading up in 5-7 years and what they do today will greatly impact what they can do in the future. The agreement of sale is gone over thoroughly so the buyer understands their responsibilities and their protections within the agreement and the risks they face if they vary from what they have agreed to do. They are highly advised (some would say strong armed..hence my moniker “The Selling House MOM”) to obtain a home inspection and are counseled in what a home inspection does and does not do for the buyer. They are given pamphlets and websites for reference on environmental hazards such as lead based paint, radon and mold. Then I wonder…..aren’t all Buyers’ Agents educating their clients in the same way? I guess not, hence the need for HUD to offer consumer counseling. So, for all of you buyers of real estate out there who are looking for homes and do not understand the costs of buying and owning a home, understand what makes one property more valuable or desirable than another, know what the agreement of sale you signed really means to you or were not advised to get a home inspection….read this article and get yourself to one of HUD’s buyer counseling seminars. It will be worth your time and may save you money…..just sayin…..
Thoughts From my Inbox….Buyer Counseling