In today’s hot, fast-paced housing market, preparation is key. Letting your clients know what to expect ahead of time can help make the home buying process as smooth as possible. In honor of Financial Literacy Month, REALTORS® from across Virginia shared the top financial tips to share with potential clients.

  1. Monitor Your Credit- Help your clients to understand that once they’ve been pre-approved, their credit score needs to remain the same or increase. Share with them that holding off on making big purchases with their credit cards is the best thing to do. Also, remind them to not just settle for the minimum credit score needed. A higher credit score has a direct correlation to the interest rate they’ll receive.
  2. Limit Social Payments– Advise your clients to monitor their social payments through apps such as Venmo and Cash App. Mortgage companies keep a close eye on bank accounts, and sending and receiving multiple payments can be alarming. Mortgage companies may want documentation of each payout. Advise your clients to keep activity low, which will help maintain a smooth home-buying process.
  3. Prepare an Earnest Money Deposit- Let your client know that having money set aside for an earnest money deposit shows that they are a serious buyer. Earnest money deposits usually range from 1% to 2% of the purchase price.
  4. Check Any Student Loans- Share with your clients that if they have student loan debt, that their loans need to be in order. Having to work through any student loan issues can stall the home buying process.
  5. Prioritize Affordability- Help your clients understand the difference between what they can afford vs. what they want to afford. Explain that you want them to buy a home with confidence, knowing what they can comfortably afford before buying.  The last thing you want for them is to put in an offer on a house where the mortgage payment could stretch them too far.
  6. Practice Patience- Given the competitive housing market, patience can go a long way. Explain to your clients how the market is today, and that you are going to try your best to make their home buying dreams come true!

Click here to send any comments or questions about this piece to Virginia REALTORS® Social Media & Marketing Manager Britni Cantu.