Working with first time buyers whether young or old can be a very gratifying yet trying experience. You need to be prepared to answer a thousand questions, sometimes mutiple times, satisfy parents of young buyers and sometimes the children of the older, and have lots of patience. In the end they appreciate your time.
You go out on the first showing and if you are lucky they have already gotten preapproved for their mortgage and know what they can "afford". If they haven't, get them preapproved right away and then have the following conversation with them BEFORE you go look at any more homes.
Take a deep breathe and here we go, (and this is in no way meant to be a negative point of view towards lenders, just a Mom being a Mom).
Okay so the mortgage lender has approved them at, let's say $100,000 based on their income, credit report, and all the other key financials. Now the real approval comes as to whether they can afford what they have been approved at. This is especially important for the younger first time buyers.
I tell first time buyers to make a list of all the "other" things they spend money on each month. What about that $50 a week at the bowling alley, $20 a week at Starbucks, fast food lunches/dinners, movies, cigarettes (yuck big $$), gas, cable, phone bill, have kids? - their stuff, pets?, car wash, weekends at the bar or club...shall I keep going? This is all above and beyond the basics to run and maintain your home and car. Oh yeah, insurance for that too! Being a mom I could find lots more but i think you get the idea.
Now what can they really comfortably afford? Might change the game plan, might not, but better to find out now then after you've taken them to see 20 or more houses at the $100K range when they should really be in the $80K range.
Go the extra step with these buyers and you may just become their life long Realtor!
Century 21 - Town & Country