Can agents help their clients find starter homes?

September 22, 2017

Many would-be buyers today want to buy low-priced "starter" homes, but they are hard to come by and fiercely contested. The question may be how real estate professionals can help them in that quest while also staying on budget.

Indeed, one of the biggest trends in the housing market these days - noted by many within the industry as a big issue going forward - is there is far more demand than supply when it comes to low-priced starter homes.

A closer look
According to the National Association of Realtors, the national supply of these properties slipped 17 percent on an annual basis through the end of July, and in particularly busy markets, those homes are only spending about a month and a half on the market before they're snatched up.

Meanwhile, the number of people searching for these properties on the NAR's website has risen 46 percent over the same period, and is now significantly larger than the apparent interest in more expensive homes.

Lend a hand
For people looking to buy a starter home, this is likely they're first time in the market, and agents have a crucial role to play as a result, according to the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation. These people want their agents to really shepherd them through the real estate sales process and help them understand every step, from helping them when they're shopping for a home to nailing down a mortgage and getting a property inspected.

There's nothing agents can do to boost the relatively small number of starter homes available today, but they can help their clients understand the realities of the market and adapt to them.