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The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD).

Military buyers generally do not have a lot of time for incremental negotiations. A couple of rounds of negotiations may be okay, but protracted back-and-forth negotiation uses up valuable time, which they often do not have to spare. The real estate professional can help military buyers or sellers plan a realistic negotiation strategy with specific time frames and goals that are a match for their situation. Some examples include the following:

Strategies for Military Buyers
When buyers have a short time to find a home and negotiate a purchase contract, help them develop Plan A, B, and C offers. If the buyers have to leave town before receiving an acceptance or response to the Plan A offer, Plan B and C offers will be ready to implement. Strengthen buyers’ leverage by:

  • Offering a fast closing date
  • Obtaining a mortgage preapproval (if applicable)
  • Buying as-is with few contingencies

Factors that can weaken a buyer’s leverage include:

  • Time pressure
  • Request for seller to help with closing costs
  • Low cash reserves

Strategies for Military Sellers
Help sellers formulate a pricing and negotiation strategy based on realistic expectations of time on market and the competition—how many similar homes are on the market at the same time? Ask how much equity the seller has in the home and how much is needed in net sale proceeds for the next purchase. Strengthen sellers’ leverage by:

  • Adjusting the price for cost of repairs or replacement of major items
  • Contributing toward the buyer’s closing costs
  • Offering a fast closing
  • Offering a home warranty
  • Offering a mortgage assumption to qualified buyers

Factors that can weaken a seller’s leverage include:

  • Low equity with little room for price negotiations
  • Delayed maintenance
  • Competition from similar properties on the market

Contract to Closing
Real estate professionals can provide a valuable service for military buyers who cannot be present to monitor all of the steps between contract and closing. The real estate professional can help make sure the buyers complete all the necessary steps to bring the transaction to an on-time close.

A real estate professional can provide a list of local inspectors and facilitate scheduling and access to the property, but should not stand in for the buyer during the inspection. After the inspection is completed, schedule a conference call with the buyer and the inspector to go over the report.

Post-Transaction Support
You can help military families settle into the new community by connecting them with community support, services, and contacts. Base support services do a good job of dealing with military issues, like holdups in pay or allowances, but they aren’t equipped to handle handyman issues or house maintenance of private homes. Make sure military buyers know that you can help them find services for home repairs and maintenance, as well as community services, such as local support groups for military families.

The military family you help with a home purchase today will likely be a home seller in a couple of years. When they have real estate needs, you want to become the go-to real estate professional for them and their family and friends.

For more education about serving the military market, check out this month’s featured online course at the Center for REALTOR® Development, the Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification course, which is the educational requirement for NAR’s Military Relocation Professional (MRP) certification.

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