Working with First-Time Home Buyers

by Scott Grace on July 3, 2009

Working with first-time home buyers a positive experience

Just last weekend I showed homes to an old friend that had contacted me a few week prior about buying  for the first time. When the conversation started a few weeks ago it was through Facebook. He had questions about what the best interest rate would be because he had already gone through the pre-approval process with a mortgage broker. I found out that the one he had gotten was the best deal going at that time and luckily he had gotten approved prior to the rate increase two weeks ago.

Setting him up on the new listings notification

I then proceeded to set him up on the new listings notification system that would send him all of the current listings that matched his criteria and all of the new ones that would come on the market as they were listed. His criteria was not too hard to match. He wanted to be as close to the city as possible and have something that he could work on over the next 4, 5 or 6 years and get maximum return on his investment when it comes time to sell.

Viewing day arrives

He contacted me last Thursday evening and asked if we could set up some viewings for 6 of the listings that i had sent him. We decided that the next day would work great for the two of us so I set up the appointments for Friday afternoon. I picked him up at about 2:30 in the afternoon and we went from home to home weighing the options and the possible returns in the future. Most of the homes we viewed had unfinished basements that had low ceilings. Hard to add value to a home like this by finishing the basement. They also had most of the renovations done to them with everything from hardwood floors to laminate and new fixtures. We need a home that had good structure but needed the cosmetic stuff. Back to the drawing board!

An extra showing Saturday morning

We parted our ways late Friday afternoon and he called me an hour later to see if I could set up a viewing for Saturday morning. This home was $15,000 over what we were previously looking at but had a basement that could be developed and some cosmetic attributes that could be fixed up over time. The home seemed to have good structure with no major issues.


At my client’s direction I wrote up an offer Saturday evening for $173,500. That is $11,500 less than they vendors were asking. After some back and forth negotiation, we ended up getting the offer accepted! Of course we still had the building inspection to go through.

Building Inspection

We had the building inspection on Canada Day afternoon. It took about an hour and 1/2 to finish and we found out there were some problems with the chimney. It had to be rebuilt from about 1/2 way from the roof to the top.  My client had someone go out and do an estimate for the chimney to see what it would cost. The estimate ended up being between $1200-$1400. We wrote up an amendment for an additional $1300 off the purchase price for the rebuilding of the chimney and we just received word today that it is going to be accepted.

Closing Date

The closing date in the original offer was July 14th. That is a quick closing compared to most Real Estate deals. So my old friend and new client got a good deal on this home and I am proud to have been a part of it! I wanted to share this first-time home buyer experience with you because I go through so many of them and the buyers always think that they are on their own. I am there for them every step of the way and negotiating  to get them the best deal possible. If you have any questions about buying a home please give me a call at 441-7714 and I will be happy to assist!

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