Parental Involvement When Buying Your First Home
As a Top Bristow/Gainesvillle Real Estate Agent, I have encountered varying levels of parental involvement when it comes to first time home buyers. To start, not all first time buyers want their parents’ opinion or input. Sometimes, parents withdraw themselves from participating because they know some opinions they have will be unwanted or outdated. Some parents are just not aware of how their involvement can harm the process.
An example of how parental involvement can hinder the house hunting process is by diminishing the homes that their son or daughter are touring. Imagine a parent that lives in a mid-western state, who bought a single family home on acreage thirty years ago trying to digest the price of an attached home in Bristow or Gainesville, VA? They will often remark out loud how ridiculous the prices are, or how small homes are for the money. Or they will remember how negotiations went for them thirty years ago and try to apply that logic to their son or daughter’s situation now. It’s rough going when you have those situations.
The best plan of action I have come to in my real estate business is consulting with my first time buyer and asking how much they want their parents involved. If mom and dad are going to be giving advice, or are a sounding board, I would love for them to be part of the process to hear WHY I give the advice I give my first time buyer-clients. Part of making offers involves a lot of education as to current market conditions. You can’t make strong offers without that basis of understanding
Unfortunately, market conditions as I write this in January 2021 are not favoring buyers. There are simply too many buyers for the very limited amount of homes on the market. That means things like closing cost help requests of sellers should be minimized if a buyer expects a chance at winning in a multiple offer situation. Contingencies should also be minimized. Not ideal for what a parent, or a buyer’s agent for that matter, wants for their first time buyer. It just comes to choosing whether getting under contract with minimal risk at the current mortgage rates is more important than waiting for every conceivable contingency and buyer favored request to be accepted. The latter would happen in a market about three years from now. Who knows what those mortgage rates will be in that buyer favored market?
Parental involvement is always welcome when it comes to my real estate business with the understanding that the parents will be present to get the same market education I am giving their kid. When parents are not involved in the market education and give contradictory advice, it can put the buyer in a very awkward situation. Since birth they are wired to listen to their parents, but the professional they have hired to represent them with current market experience is telling them something different. It just works best if everyone advising the first time buyer comse together as a team to make sure they are doing the best thing for the buyer. At the end of the day, that’s what is important.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not Long & Foster.