Last month, we examined the challenges sellers report facing in 2018. But what about the headwinds experienced by buyers?

No surprise, homebuyers surveyed by Zillow’s research partner claim to experience many challenges in today’s tight market, where inventory is low and competition is high.

Homebuyers responding to Zillow’s survey report their top challenges involve their home search, specifically finding a home:

  • within their price range;
  • in their desired location;
  • with the right amenities; and
  • within their preferred timeframe.

On the other side of things, homebuyers are least stressed about qualifying for a mortgage loan and going through the underwriting process.

Millennial homebuyers report experiencing the most challenges during the buying process when compared to other generations. This is unsurprising, given that Millennials make up the largest share of first-time homebuyers who do not have any personal experience with buying and selling to inform their behavior. They are also the generation most likely to forego an agent’s help and go it alone.

Along those lines, only 28% of homebuyers feel that finding the right real estate agent is a challenge. This percentage rises to 38% of Millennial homebuyers who have trouble finding the right agent, compared with only 19% of more seasoned Baby Boomer sellers.

How agents can help

Perhaps most revealing about this buyer survey is the fact that almost half of all buyers consider renting instead of buying at some point during their home search. Buyers who consider renting include:

  • 62% of Millennial buyers;
  • 43% of Generation X buyers; and
  • 23% of Baby Boomer buyers.

Therefore, as experienced agents well know, it’s far from a guarantee that all your homebuyer clients will actually end up buying.

That’s why it’s so important to address homebuyer challenges that may cause your younger buyers to become discouraged and lose their interest in becoming a homeowner.

Agents can help their buyer-clients by attending to the list of struggles previously discussed, or they can directly ask their homebuyers what most concerns them. After all, every buyer is different and their unique concerns may not conform to the rest of the buying population. Opening up with homebuyers about the challenges of homebuying in your particular area will give homebuyers a more realistic idea of what they can expect, and cement your role as a vital advocate.

Informed homebuyers are more likely to be patient, understanding and eventually close on a home.

To this end, communication is key to client retention, and in helping your buyer-clients find their ideal home for the right price, in the right location and in the shortest amount of time.