If you tell an agent you’re a first home buyer you may as well put a neon sign over your head saying ‘I’m inexperienced, take advantage of me’.
It’s not because they’re terrible people, it’s just their job to make you ‘pay’.
Like most Australians you likely share the opinion that buying your first home is a right of passage. You’ve romanticised the moment, and you’re picturing it to be an exciting experience that has you moving into your beautiful home at the end.
But sadly, for many, that’s not often the case.
Buying your first home is a huge decision, and for most home buyers there are about 15 crucial steps you need to go through to make it a reality. Miss a few of those necessary steps and you’ll either get knocked back for finance at the very beginning, pay too much for a property, or buy something you later regret.
It can be a stressful time for many first home buyers given it’s likely to be the most expensive purchase you’ve ever made. Most people expect you just to wing it and work out what you should and shouldn’t do on your own.
It’s no wonder many first time buyers stop before they even get started.
It’s a lot to take in when you break it down.
And if you’re one of the lucky ones who’ve managed to get approval for a home loan, and find a place you like, you then have to navigate your way through negotiating with a real estate agent.
Someone who does this for a living!
Who usually has many years experience and is trained in what to say and do to get you to pay more than you need to.
It doesn’t seem entirely fair. Does it?
So how can you turn the tables? How can you give yourself the best chance of getting the best deal?
Well, it’s pretty simple.
When talking with a selling agent, you just need to make sure these three words never pass your lips.
‘First Home Buyer’.
While those three words seem innocent enough, they have the potential to cost you thousands of dollars!
And we get why people do it.
They’re excited about buying their first home, and they want to share the news with everyone. And that’s OK. Just don’t tell the agent.
We find most buyers tell agents they’re a ‘first home buyer’ as they’re looking for someone to help and guide them.
And while we’re big believers in seeking out help and support when buying your first home, you really shouldn’t be looking to the selling agent for that kind of advice.
A selling agent is working for the owner, and they’re the person who is paying them. They can’t be expected to act in your best interest.
You won’t need to rely on any selling agent to help you if you arm yourself with the exact 15 steps you need to follow to buy your first home.
When you tell an agent you’re a ‘First Home Buyer’ you’re letting them know that you have no real idea as to what is right, wrong or fair.
But you’ve never done this before so how could you be expected to?
Agents aren’t bad people, but it’s important to remember that like most human beings they will seek out the path of least resistance. And it’s pretty rare for an agent to get much pushback from a novice first home buyer.
If they have that kind of information before they start negotiating with you, you’ve given them the upper hand to begin with, and this is where they can get you to spend more money than you need to.
Plus, we hate to keep repeating ourselves, but it’s important to remind you again that the selling agent is working for the other person involved in the property transaction. The owner! It’s not their job to help you.
It’s the agent’s job to make sure they get the highest price for their client, which means they need to get you to pay the most you can afford to pay and push you to your limit.
So by keeping these three simple words to yourself, you’re able to remove one weapon from an agents arsenal. They can’t then use the same negotiation or pressure tactics they usually adopt when dealing with a first home buyer; such as playing on your emotions or your lack of knowledge around the buying process. Which will mean you have a much better chance of buying the property you like for a fair market price.
And once your offer has been accepted and the deal has been done, feel free to share that information with the agent. Just don’t do it beforehand.