Q1. What’s the biggest fear you hear about from first time buyers about the process, and how do you respond to it?
I find that first time home buyers are fearful that they don’t know what to expect throughout the process. They have heard so many different stories from family, friends, and the media and not all of the information is correct. I feel it is important to create expectations on the front end. We sit down with our buyers in person, prior to showing them any properties. We take them through the entire process – start to finish – with a flow chart.
This helps give them an overview of what will happen, each step of the way. I let them know that, though it can be overwhelming and they won’t remember everything we’ve talked about, that at least they won’t be surprised by what comes next. I find they really appreciate this and it helps alleviate some of the fear of the unknown.
Q2. When you bought your own first home, what did you learn about the process?
When I bought my first home, I found that what I ended up buying was nothing like I told my Realtor I wanted. As I filtered through the houses that fit our original criteria, I found some I liked but then I was always looking on my own as well. I never told my Realtor that I was looking outside our original parameters so when I asked to see the one we ended up buying, he was floored. Now that I am a Realtor, I understand that he was not a mind reader and had no way of knowing that I was actually open to other ideas.
Q3. Is now a good time to be a first time buyer? Why or why not?
Yes and no. Interest rates are still historically low so you can buy a lot more house than what you may be able to in a year from now. The flip side is that, at least in our Nashville area market, the inventory is very low. What this means is that multiple buyers are competing for the same property and there can only be one “winner”. Buyers MUST be pre-approved with a reputable, preferably local, lender.
They need to be sure to get in to see the property immediately. Waiting until the weekend is sometimes too late. Time is of the essence and decisions need to be made quickly in order to have a chance at the property. The days of getting a “deal” on a house or low-balling or virtually gone for now. Buyers must be reasonable about their offer in order to be considered serious.
Q4. Is there anything special or unique about Nashville or TN that first timers should know about?
The Nashville area is an area that has been getting a lot of press. It is a very popular place to be right now. About 90 people a day are moving into the area. There is a lot of competition for purchases and rentals alike. It is a fantastic place to come visit and an even better place to live!
Michelle Froedge, Broker
Michelle Froedge Team
Benchmark Realty, LLC
(615) 730-7050 (direct)
(615) 432-2919 (office)