This is the first year in the 8 years I've been in real estate that I've been inundated with some of my favorite clients, the first time buyer. They are coming out of the woodwork from every angle and tend to share some common traits (though this is a generalization of course) :
1) They are aware, internet savy and have done their homework. They sometimes arrive with so much information received from the internet as they struggle to find solid ground through some of the most challenging transactions I've had to face with first time buyers in 8 years. It can be so daunting for buyers to take in all that information when it arrives uncalled for at times. Categorizing the information and tapping into in when needed would be helpful but often isn't possible given they have never bought a home before and are still making sense of the process and steps involved.
2) Their home buying decisions are often the first and largest decisions the young couple has had to make together. As they explore new territory and work hard to arrive at a compromise, they also juggle finding time to speak together face to face, sometimes after the kids are in bed, if they have children.
3) They seek the help of friends and family before making a move. Advice is dished out to them left and right and they are well taken care of by these people to keep the buyers from making the same mistakes they once made.
4) They well qualify the property and make sure to understand their position once they see the complexity of the transaction. Often they come cautious and curious.
5) They often have young families and so they have a big heart and understand that I come from the same place. Our schedules mesh together as best it can given our families' needs and, for the most part, they understand that and I also make accomodations to meet with them when they're available. I'm only human and there's a point where I just can not become superhuman for anybody, but I try and I think they see that. Weekends and evenings are usually best times for showings with first time buyers.
Because I understand this about the first time buyer, though I can't say I understand everything about them, I embrace my work with them toward their first real estate purchase. It becomes a very rewarding experience for both of us and I look forward to several years of friendship afterwards.