There are a lot of prophetic questions asked of real estate professionals. What do you think rates will do this week? This year? Should I lock? What if rates go down? Agents are perhaps the ones who feel the most pressure to provide guidance on the best investment. And with housing prices increasing over the last two years, real estate agents must be more studied on how to respond confidently but objectively to these questions. One of the best aspects of my job is I can confidently say there is truth in numbers. To put it simply, 2 + 2 will always equal 4.
The challenge always when making an investment decision is the unknown of the future. As more focus is placed on projections and scenarios, less focus is placed on the known variables. When to buy, when to lock, and best practices on how to make a buying decision are never assured. Instead, the plan needs to be to review the facts. Numbers will always give you the answers you need to make an informed decision. The key is finding a resource who will share (comprehensively) the relevant numbers to make that decision. Numbers are truth-tellers. But they must be accurate.
Accuracy in numbers and home financing means the individual borrower needs to look at their goals: monthly payment, cash to close, and what they truly need out of a home. The need for the home lends itself to a price point. Simplifying some of the unknowns for a buyer or homeowner is the best way to create a confident decision. What everyone else is doing, saying, or stating is a “best practice” may have been the right path for their financing goals.
If you have a buyer in the market right now or are a buyer questioning a purchase, the numbers are available. Housing is a need. And if a buyer cannot pay cash, financing is a need. A true advocate for a buyer or borrower is a lender who spends the time with their client to listen and illustrate those truth-telling numbers. There is no cost to speak with a lender. Free information is often undervalued. Right now, with higher home prices and rates, the numbers have even more value to make the right decision.
No real estate professional can tell their client what to do. However, we can all be knowledgeable. We can listen to our client’s needs, and we can present the facts. Numbers are facts. Numbers open up possibilities many prospective homebuyers did not realize were available. Seek out the information if you are a prospective buyer. Ask questions about accessing equity for renovations. And if you are an agent, tell your clients the numbers will give them the answers they need to be assured and enjoy the home search.