The Ultimate Guides to Buying and Selling a Home [Free Ebooks]
By Matthew Bushery
About Agent Basics
Providing housing advice to leads and clients is one of the primary functions of real estate agents today. To stand out from competing industry pros in your market who offer similar counsel to home buyers and sellers and prove your real estate agent tips are the most helpful for your niche audience, it essential that you provide your housing tips in a comprehensive, yet easy-to-digest guide.
We’re happy to offer a free, custom-made ebook you can use to nurture and educate both buyer and seller leads and clients.
With our free real estate ebook templates (which you can download below), you can offer your own in-depth home buying guide for those who want to purchase homes in your market and a detailed home selling guide for local residents who intend to list their properties. We’ve included numerous tips for home buyers and sellers you can modify as you see fit. If you need some help customizing them with your industry expertise and for your niche real estate leads, keep reading to check out our content ideas after the jump.
Get the home sellers’ guide:
Get the home buyers’ guide:
Home Buying Tips and Tricks to Include in Your Ebook
The best home buyer guides don’t offer just high-level guidance and suggestions for prospective homeowners. Rather, they impart meticulous advice and recommendations for would-be buyers that can help them find the right home for sale, make the right bid, and work with the right agent.
Here are some words of wisdom you ought to include in your revamped real estate ebook for buyers:
Build your personal finances and credit well in advance to get the best loan terms.
The largest home-buying demographic of 2015, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, was once again Millennials, who accounted for 35% of all buyers during the year. If there’s one thing you ought to know about this generation, it’s their personal finances have been highly strained, thanks in large part to student loan debt that far exceeds that of any other generation to come before it. That means it’s vital to explain to your home buyer audience, including and especially members of Generation Y, the importance of not only saving up for a home purchase, but also doing other things to enhance their fiscal well-being. For instance, teach them to use their credit cards responsibly and be careful with other loans they take out so they can keep their credit score in good standing for their home purchase.
Regardless of the niche buyer demographic you’re most accustomed to prospecting and working with, make sure you note the various ways in which your audience understands how to successfully balance their finances and grow their personal wealth to the point they can afford to buy the property they desire, whether it’s a starter home, dream upgrade, or retirement residence. A premier way to show your home buyer leads what it takes to purchase properties in your local market is to relay what the typical listing sells for in your area and break down these sales by neighborhood, housing type, and other key characteristics — in other words, go above and beyond to inform them about both your market and money-saving best practices to prepare them accordingly for their home search.
Don’t try to find the “right” time to enter the market — just enter when you’re ready.
In addition to teaching your home buyer audience how to save up for their big investment, explaining to them there is no one “right” time to enter the market is also important. Search “best time to buy a home” in Google, and you’ll get a wide variety of differing results. For instance, though research from RealtyTrac in 2015 found October is the best month to make a home purchase, every housing market across North America is unique and that statement can’t ring true for each and every one of them. Because of this, use the home buyer guide we provide to educate your audience about how they ought to begin their home search when their finances are finally ready, not when some pundits say they should enter the market.
Sure, there may be some serious down periods in your market during which home listings are few and far between, but if your buyer leads are committed to acting now (or very soon), then do what you do best: Conduct research on their behalf to find them the homes for sale that fit their list of preferences and must-haves, and begin touring the ones they deem worthy of touring. Waiting until the local market conditions are “perfect” could lead to not only a lost business opportunity for you, but also a missed opportunity at finding the right residence for your leads.
Keep in mind additional homeownership costs beside the down payment and mortgage.
In 2014, two in five American homeowners said they decided to invest in their residences because they believed it was cheaper than renting. This is a common frame of mind among home buyers and eventual homeowners nationwide, but some of these individuals may not realize there are actually “hidden” costs to homeownership that can make it more expensive than renting. For instance, those who buy in certain neighborhoods may need to pay homeowner or condo association fees to pay for mutually beneficial upkeep and maintenance of those properties. It’s these not-so-well-known costs that can derail buyers’ finances after purchasing homes or prevent them from buying altogether — meaning you should educate your buyer audience via our ebook.
Think of all of the expenses that go into buying a home for sale — from property tax rates of your state to insurance costs — and break them down one by one for your core home buying demographic. You may be surprised to learn there aren’t many (or possibly any) local agents near you who offer such advice to home buyers looking to enter your market, so take advantage of this golden opportunity and alter our ebook to inform your audience and earn new leads who find your fiscal wisdom helpful. (And while you’re at it, turn these financial tips into a informative blog post series for your real estate website to enhance your search engine optimization).
Vet home inspectors to find one who has a reputation for identifying property issues.
This may sound counterintuitive, given you want to help expedite the home buying process for your clients, not extend it. However, knowing about every issue — from the most minute ones (e.g. floorboards that pop up, a small wall stain) to the most glaring ones (e.g. foundational cracks, ancient plumbing) — is vital for buyers, as they don’t want to get stuck in a long-term commitment to a home that will only haunt them financially for years to come.
Explain what qualities buyers need to look for when researching home inspectors. Note the types of certifications and designations the best-of-the-best inspectors tend to have and what the inspection process of these high-quality real estate pros entails. That way, when buyers contact each of these service providers, they know how to spot red flags and understand what a well-qualified inspector looks like. You may know of a great home inspector or two you can recommend to your clients, but for the sake of this home buyer ebook, share tips and tricks on the search process so you prove your knowledge and worth to them.
Strike the right balance between the listing price and your preferred price when bidding.
A home buyer lowballs sellers and, ultimately, the two parties meet an agreeable middle ground regarding price point: That’s the ideal scenario many home buyers envision when they begin their listing search. Rarely do housing transactions happen this way, however. The perception that a below-list-price offer will ultimately lead to some form of negotiation is a misconception for a number of prospective home buyers. In fact, many home sellers don’t even seriously consider offers a shade below their list price, so buyers can’t assume they’ll be able to get below-market-value for their desired home.
So, take the time to explain in detail how a low offer is perceived by sellers and what the optimal home bid is to get sellers to seriously consider it. Do this, and you’ll save your leads, and eventual clients, from a lot of headaches and wondering why no seller has made a counter-offer.
Home Selling Tips to Share with Your Niche Audience
If you work mostly with sellers rather than buyers, share intricate insights with your seller audience — ones that differentiate you from the competition and show your attention to detail regarding how you can help this niche audience list their property for the perfect price and find the best real estate agent to represent your sale. Consider exhibiting your expertise on how to sell a home so you can prove you’re a top-tier seller’s agent and improve your seller lead generation goals.
Focus on curb appeal all around your home’s exterior and across your property.
In our downloadable home seller guide ebook template, we provide some basic tips on curb appeal: the art of making one’s property look utterly attractive. But you know your market better than most, so if you have some ideas on how local sellers can maximize the appeal of their residences’ exterior (their lawns, gardens, backyards, and decor adorning the outside of their homes) so they attract the right kind of buyers, go further in detail here on the myriad ways they can enhance their homes.
For instance, if you find many past seller clients tend to earn the most attention when their properties are repainted a certain color, or if certain flowers and other greenery are planted along the border of the houses, then relay your advice in your ebook. Sellers want to work with agents who understand the intricacies of home selling and can help them offload their listings for the right price and quickly, so sharing tips like this will help establish yourself as a knowledgeable, savvy real estate pro.
If you don’t feel comfortable staging your home on your own, ask your agent for help.
As with home inspectors, chances are you’ve worked with a home stager or two in the past. These professionals are very astute in turning even the most unwelcoming, dark, and small spaces into friendly, warm, and spacious environments — ones that catch the eye of home buyers.
Explain in detail what a home staging pro brings to the table so novice sellers understand the value they would get by employing one and how staged homes tend to sell faster and for better prices (which they do). Even if you don’t have a go-to staging connection, note in the home selling guide you have no problem hiring one out of pocket to help your clients.
Get a comparative market analysis report from your agent to pick the best list price.
Perhaps the ultimate sales tool at your disposal is the comparative market analysis (CMA) report — well, at least when it’s completed thoroughly and features the correct information. Comparing and contrasting local home sales, prices, and value data — along with other local market details and statistics — and unifying all of that info in one, comprehensive, easy-to-digest format for your home seller leads can go a long way in convincing them you’re the best person to represent them and you’re in the know about everything related to your market.
In your home seller ebook, provide a sample of the previous CMA reports you’ve created with screenshots of them and incorporate them in one of your slides. This can show just how valuable the reports are for sellers and position you as the preeminent, most well-informed agent in the area, which is no small feat when you’re working against what is likely several competing agents nearby.
Make your home more appealing with “throw-ins” (e.g. furniture, closing cost assistance).
Negotiation is a fact of life for you and your clients. Some of your clients, though, won’t know this off the bat. To educate them about the benefits of being flexible when brokering a deal with potential buyers, create a slide in your seller ebook guide that denotes the “secret weapon,” so to speak, that could help convince buyers to agree on your preferred sales price point: throw-ins.
From appliances like washer-and-dryer sets and refrigerators to lawn tools like driver lawn mowers and snowblowers, there are many throw-ins sellers can provide to incentivize buyers. Note that this is often a last resort to finalize a transaction with would-be buyers and you’ll do all in your power to get the best deal without having to turn to this option. Also note, though, that a considerable number of home deals are completed because the seller or buyer made certain concessions so your seller leads understand the importance such an x-factor can have on when and for how much they close their home sale.
Be as flexible as possible when it comes to hosting private showings and open houses.
Another fact of life for sellers is the requisite scheduling flexibility they must have so their listings can be shown at a moment’s notice. Many sellers don’t like having to show their home often, but the plain truth is the average home sale takes at least a month to close, which means there needs to be a constant flow of open house and private showings to generate interest among buyers looking in your market.
Teach your seller leads about how you market their homes during these showings by providing examples of past clients. Ideally, you could feature a handful of testimonials on your site from past seller clients who discuss all of the effort you put in during showings to make their listings as appealing as possible. This kind of social proof is one of the best ways to persuade leads to give you the keys to their home and set up showing after showing. Take our ebook template and add in your promotional plan that outlines all you’ll do to make the most of the time you and buyer leads spend in your clients’ homes.
Download one of our numerous other ebooks featuring real estate agent advice, such as our Ultimate Guide to Blogging, which can help you develop lots of interesting, lead-generating and -nurturing content for your audience.
What kinds of home buying advice and home selling tips do you share with your prospective and existing leads to help convert them into clients? How do you leverage this in your content? Share your marketing method with us below.
Published on April 22, 2016
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.