June is National Homeownership Month—a perfect time to promote the benefits of homeownership and recommit to creating opportunities for future homeowners. If you have customers who are eager to purchase a home this summer, share these tips from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) on how to properly prepare for the buying process.1

Start by securing a pre-approval

A pre-approval letter is the best way one of your clients can help boost their purchasing power and show a seller they are serious about their offer. Additionally, a pre-approval will give your client an assessment of how much home they can afford and help get them to their closing date in a faster, more efficient manner.

Don’t overlook the ‘hidden costs’ of homeownership

On a monthly basis, the most common expenses are for:

  • Maintenance. HVAC systems require periodic tune-ups, gutters need cleaning, and lawns must be cut.
  • Utilities. A single-family home typically requires more energy to heat and cool than an apartment.
  • Unexpected problems. Unfortunately, appliances and systems fail, roofs and basements leak, and storms cause major damage.

Determine needs & wants

The most important questions a buyer should ask themselves are:

  • Is the location right?
  • Is the size of the home sufficient?
  • Is school district reputable?
  • Are there features they are willing to give up?

One effective approach to use a list of needs (e.g., number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, a certain sized yard, etc.) to determine which homes to visit. A list of wants (e.g., high-end finishes, landscaping style, etc.) can then serve as a tiebreaker when deciding on a preferred property. 

Be patient, patient, patient 

Searching for a home often takes months, not weeks. A buyer should allow for plenty of time to find the right home at the right price instead of settling for a quick purchase they may later regret.

If a buyer feels they are being pressured to make a choice, now may not be the time to purchase a home. Waiting a few months—or even longer—may be the best option.

How to gain an edge in our current market

Mortgage interest rates above 7%, falling home prices, rising housing stock—added up, it means sellers hold the advantage in our current market (though not by much).2

Here is how buyers can gain a competitive advantage in today’s seller’s market.3 Share this information with your homebuying clients!

  • Be flexible with closing. Closing date flexibility can make an offer more attractive than others. Having extra time allows a seller to address issues with their home, such as making repairs. Being flexible can especially work in a buyer’s favor if competing offers have hard deadlines. 
  • Increase the offer. If it’s within their budget or pre-approval amount, a buyer can discuss with their real estate professional the possibility of raising their offer. Of course, a larger offer will increase future mortgage payments.
  • Win from the start. A buyer’s real estate professional can check in with the seller to learn their wish list for the transaction. Adjusting a list of demands could make a buyer’s offer the most attractive from the get-go.
  • Know when to walk away. It may be time for a buyer to move on from a property if: their offer will max out their budget; the home needs numerous repairs; or more homes are available in their preferred area.

Ready to connect?

Do you have clients who are hoping to make purchases this summer? If so, let’s connect when you have a moment. We can share insight into where the market is headed as well as provide information on M&T Bank’s various home financing options. We look forward to working with you.

1“How to prepare to buy a home,” REALTOR® Magazine.

2Margaret Heidenry, “Homebuyers vs. sellers: Who has the upper hand in real estate right now?,” Realtor.com®, last updated May 31, 2024.

3Jeff Anttila, “11 tips to win a bidding war on a house,” Redfin, last updated September 2, 2020.

This information is being provided for informational purposes only and is neither a loan commitment nor a guarantee of any interest rate. If you choose to apply for a mortgage loan, you will need to complete our standard application. Our consideration for approval of your mortgage loan application will include verification of the information obtained in connection with your request, including but not limited to income, employment, asset, property value and/or credit information. Our loan programs are subject to change or discontinuation at any time without notice. Not all products are available in all states. Refinancing to reduce total monthly payments may lengthen repayment term or increase total interest expense. Interest rates are subject to change without notice.

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