You’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and buy your first home. Congratulations. Now, where do you start?
Finding a great real estate agent is the obvious first step, and we have plenty to choose from. If you need assistance, contact one of our branch managers in your community, who will be happy to link you up.
You probably have lots of questions. But so does your agent. One who proudly admits to asking five important questions before taking on first-time Millennial homebuyers is Matt Clements of our Laguna Niguel office. At age 40, he’s just past Millennial status but is no stranger to working with Millennial homebuyers.
He’s no stranger to the real estate industry, either. In fact, he was just elected 2019 president of the Orange County Association of REALTORS®, the youngest OCAR president ever.
We turned to Matt to provide advice for those of you who fall into the Millennial bracket and are ready to stop paying rent, lock in that mortgage, and grab your piece of the American dream. See how prepared you are by reviewing his questions, answers, and explanations below.
“If you’re a Millennial first-time buyer, you want to ask yourself these five questions,” Matt says.
Knowing this will help people who are assisting you to get on your timeline. These include your agent, loan officers, appraisers, escrow officers, and even the seller.
They will be involved the whole way, even if it’s a family member who is assisting with your funds. The decision-makers need to be identified, so everyone is lined up and ready to be involved when necessary.
If your parents or relatives don’t have a home to sell to help you buy, my next questions is, have you gone through the pre-approval process yet? Or if paying cash, do you or your family have those funds ready to present to a seller when asked? You can’t make an offer without proof of funds.
Are you on a lease that you have to break, are you renting month to month, still living at home? It’s important to know so you can prepare for a move.
Is it a local pro you know, someone who has your back, or someone who has a great track record (like me)?
Matt is a stickler for getting your answers. Knowing your situation is what helps him (and any agent) find you the right home for the right price. He wants to talk to you on the phone or by email first so you can have a productive first meeting.
“I have to stay within these questions as narrowly as possible so as to not get myself off track–and the buyer as well,” he says. “The most important thing is to ask them those questions so they know where they’re going.
“I won’t even meet until I have those five questions answered. Before the meeting, I call them back and repeat the questions and their answers with them so they know they’re being heard. I will call them back two or three times before the appointment and say, ‘I just want to triple-check your goals.’ The more I ask those questions and repeat the answers, the more I get them on my side. And that’s how I can help them get their first home and start building equity. It’s a very worthwhile exercise for everyone.”