“We coach our clients that [multiple-offer situations] are going to happen,” says Linda Mash, an agent in Whitby, Ont. “Anything that’s good is going to have a multiple-offer [situation].”
But preparing would-be buyers for bidding wars is just one of the many nuances of real estate that first-timers tend to skim over. Agents also need to ensure that buyers have realistic expectations – before starting their home search.
“Everyone has their dream and then reality sets in,” Mash says, adding that it’s important for agents to ensure their buyers have preapproved financing in place. “[Buyers] go in with one expectation and then usually end up settling… that’s not really all that new.”
Brad Lesanko, an agent in Calgary, says first-time buyers often have a skewed understanding of the perceived value of a property – “They don’t see the difference in value in location and size and age,” he says.
“You have to show them copies of [listing prices] and [selling prices] in the area,” he says. “The more you educate them and the more time you spend with them, taking them through the market, that helps them understand the value in the moment.”
In the end, Lesanko says agents need to be patient with their first-timer buyer clients and help them understand the market as best they can.
“Be patient and take your time to explain everything – don’t be a afraid to go into detail,” he says.
The learning curve for first-time buyers is shrinking at an alarming rate, say agents, suggesting they’re now focused on bringing buyers up to speed on the challenges of multiple bids and other things guaranteed to frustrate an “easy buy”.