Real estate professionals who work with military buyers and sellers attest that they adapt their core real estate skills to best serve the market. The difference lies in how these skills are applied and the specialized knowledge that is needed. Think about how you would adapt your skills and services to work with military homebuyers and sellers. For example, here are four suggestions:
- Anticipate a Fast and Intense Property Search
Are you ready to work with a buyer who wants to see 25 homes, make an offer, and seal a deal in the space of a long weekend? Or, if house-hunting is combined with a temporary duty (TDY) “working” trip to the new base, the service member may work all day and want to look at houses after hours. Understand the time pressure that military families experience during a permanent change of station (PCS) move, as well as the moving procedures and allowances. Learn to move quickly—it’s not unusual for a military family to look at houses (could be a couple dozen) and make an offer within a few days. Be willing to go above and beyond, to show a lot of houses, work fast, and facilitate appointments with lenders, appraisers, and inspectors. For example, you could develop a procedure to recap houses viewed, keep detailed notes, present pros and cons objectively, and recall the property’s details. Develop an “as is” checklist—especially helpful when one spouse is absent.
- Expect an Absentee Spouse
The needs of the services take precedence over the needs of service members’ families. Consequently, only one of the spouses may be available for house-hunting. You have probably experienced situations when civilian spouses’ conflicting needs and wants complicate the property search. Imagine what can happen when one spouse is absent—deployed to a war zone, on sea duty aboard a submarine, or just unable to arrange leave for house-hunting?
- Showcase Your Local Market and Transaction Knowledge
Military families may know the procedures for making a PCS move, but they don’t know the community and they rely on your knowledge to guide them in making a good housing choice. Local practices, procedures, and paperwork involving real estate transactions can vary considerably across the country. Be ready to explain the steps in the transaction, as well as differences between the roles of the listing agent and the buyer’s representative. Even a retiree could be a first-time homebuyer.
- Do the Math: Sell or Rent?
You can help sellers crunch the numbers to decide if renting makes more sense—or cents—than selling. You don’t have to be a commercial real estate guru to lead sellers through a basic return-on-investment analysis. RPR® investment analysis tools can help lead you through the calculations. If your brokerage doesn’t handle rentals, be sure that your referral network includes a reliable property management company.
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