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Here’s a Flip Every First-Time Buyer Should Try

By Danielle Samalin, CEO of Framework Homeownership

No two home buyer journeys are alike, but they typically begin with a phone call to their local real estate agent and end with keys in-hand.

Somewhere in the middle are financing struggles, inspection discoveries, and various stalls and pitfalls.

When all is said and done, there’s no denying the buyer learns a ton, but not without anxiety, confusion, and possible lost opportunities for efficiency and cost-saving, especially for first timers.

But what if the process was flipped and first-time homebuyers began the journey knowing what to anticipate in every stage?

What if they were better question-askers? Financial planners?

What if they knew more, earlier? Enter: Homebuyer education.

A robust, trustworthy homebuyer education course is a proven tool that places the power of good question-asking and sound preparation into the hands of your buyers.

And what better way to build trust and demonstrate value than to be the ones who point first-time buyers toward homebuyer education the moment they show interest in purchasing a home? Brokers can be the ones to let buyers in on the secret.

From our research, we know that:

  • 97% of homebuyers would recommend homebuyer education to someone thinking about buying a home
  • Buyers who know about homebuyer education before purchasing a home are twice as likely to feel prepared for the process
  • Homeowners who complete homebuyer education are 15-30% less likely to lose their homes to foreclosure (HUD)

Yet, homebuyer education has been the best-kept secret of the housing industry for decades, even though it’s part of the approval process for the low-down payment mortgage products from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These mortgage power-players both require their borrowers to complete homebuyer ed — why? Because they know it works. An educated homeowner is a better long-term borrower.

But not everyone agrees. Too often we hear brokers lament that homebuyer education requirements cause unnecessary delays when closing is fast approaching.

These delays happen because course completions are required in the end stages of the homebuying process — too late for buyers to reap the benefits of educated decision-making, and just late enough to give you stress and anxiety. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Plus, not every homebuyer education course offers the same value. Buyers are in the best hands with a program that meets National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling, and that’s provided by an impartial source with no financial interest in their transaction.

So, what does it look like when first time homebuyers have quality, unbiased information sooner? 

You’ll see buyers who are ready to take on the mortgage process, who know exactly what kind of house they need, who have their finances prepared for the process, and are armed with the right information to smoothly navigate the complexities in their journey.

Homebuyers who receive this education WILL get to closing faster and with less hand holding. They’ll be more confident, resilient, and all-around better to work with.

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