Every industry has a slow season and unfortunately for REALTORS®, the slow season falls in the winter, specifically around the holidays. But, that doesn’t mean you should hibernate for the winter and start doing business again once spring rolls around! With these tips, you can speed up closings even when the market is slow:
Make energy efficient upgrades.
Nothing will motivate a buyer to speed up the closing process more than saving money. Don’t worry—this doesn’t mean you have to slash the price of the home in order to make a sale. Simply use HomeSelfe RE to conduct an energy audit to determine what energy efficient upgrades can be made around the home. This helpful app will recommend which projects you should advise your clients to tackle to make the home more appealing to buyers. Once you make the upgrades, show buyers how much money they’ll be saving as a result of the improvements to encourage them to move quickly through the closing process.
Ask clients to get pre-approved.
Many deals never make it to closing because of financial reasons. The lender may back out of the deal at the last minute, or the buyer may have entered the deal without realizing he would not qualify for a loan. To avoid this issue, ask your buyers to speak with lenders prior to beginning their home search. If a buyer has been pre-approved by a lender, he can usually close on a home much quicker because the application process is condensed.
Help your clients find a lender.
Sometimes, deals fall through because the buyer was working with an unreliable lender. REALTORS® should work with their buyers in the early stages of the relationship to ensure they are doing business with a trustworthy lender. If you are working with a first-time homebuyer, help him research lenders in the area that you know to be dependable. It may take a bit of your time to do this, but it will save you a lot of frustration later on in the closing process.
Look for an experienced appraiser.
Before a closing, clients who are financing the home will need to have an appraisal done. If the appraised value of the home varies from the purchase price, the bank may back out of the deal. But, sometimes the appraised value is much lower than the asking price because the appraiser is inexperienced or unfamiliar with the location of the home. Therefore, it’s up to you to help buyers find an appraiser who knows what he or she is doing and has worked in the neighborhood before.
Discuss closing costs.
Clients who have never purchased a home before may be unfamiliar with closing costs. Once they find out they will have to pay more than they expected, they may back out of the deal at the last minute. Prevent this from happening by having conversations with your buyers about closing costs early on in the process. Make sure buyers know how much closing costs usually are so they can prepare for this extra expense ahead of time.
Use these strategies throughout the slow holiday season and it will be spring before you know it!