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RISMEDIA, July 25, 2011—This is the market of a lifetime, with more opportunities—and challenges—than most of us have ever seen. Now imagine that you’re a renter thinking about buying a first home. You know mortgage rates are at generational lows. You know home prices are as attractive as they’ve been in decades. But, you don’t know what to do next. That’s where real estate professionals like you come in. You can teach first-time buyers how to take advantage of today’s market and showcase the value of hiring a real estate agent like you to guide them every step of the way.

Whether you’re talking to a group of first-time buyers in a seminar setting—or just chatting one-on-one—here’s what you can say to encourage them to buy:

Eight Steps to First-time Buying Success

1. Make the move from renting to buying. Help overcome their fears that they can’t afford to buy. If they can pay rent, they can likely make a mortgage payment. And instead of throwing away their money every month, they’ll build an important financial asset.

2. Get a pre-approval. With a credit and income verified pre-approval, both you and the buyer will be on the same page with a concrete understanding of what they can afford.

3. Get the right mortgage. It’s about more than the monthly payment. Guide first-time buyers toward the best mortgage option for them long-term.

4. Find the right home. Make sure first-time buyers know this is a long-term commitment and must likely meet their needs for many years.

5. Make an offer the seller will accept. Show buyers the three main components of an offer: price, financial/timing terms and contingencies for opting out of the deal.

6. Do your homework. Explain the value of due diligence: performing a property inspection to expose any hidden issues and obtaining a homeowner’s insurance policy.

7. Close on the sale. That stack of documents at the closing table can be daunting but there’s a lot that happens well before then. Be sure to explain buyers’ pre-closing responsibilities (including how to remain “mortgage worthy”).

8. Of course, one of the most critical steps is to hire the right real estate professional. Here’s how to convince them to hire you:

-You know the market
-You’ll help them make the best decisions
-You’ll find the right home
-You’ll quarterback the entire “deal team”
-You’ll be the chief negotiator
-You’ll take care of all the details
-And you’ll solve every problem, from contract to close

In short, you’ll be the professional first-time buyers need to help ensure success.

Bill Ervin is the National Sales Director, Real Estate Relationships for CitiMortgage, Inc. For more information, please visit