With the holidays approaching, more renters may be questioning their entertainment space… or lack of. But are they ready to make the big move? And are you ready to compete for their business?

The downs and ups of the housing market over the last couple of years are enough to make any potential buyers a little wary about investing in their first home. That’s perfectly understandable. At the same time, it’s important that your borrowers don’t let the emotional side of things completely overwhelm the facts. By objectively comparing the differences between renting versus owning in very clear terms, you can cut through the scary headlines and help your borrowers ask themselves the right questions — and ultimately make the decision that’s right for them.

Get ready to answer their questions.

What about my credit scores, debt ratios, etc.? Be realistic — but also point out that there is a wide range of mortgage options that provide a great deal of flexibility, more than your borrowers may realize.

Which is the more affordable option — rent or buy? Don’t let them simply compare the monthly costs associated with rent and a mortgage. This can be too simplistic — leaving out important tax implications and equity considerations.

What else should I consider when deciding to rent or buy? Help your borrowers think about the other aspects of their decision — the differences in neighborhoods, lifestyles and amenities that are part of choosing to rent or own.

How do I decide my home purchase range? Explain how going through a pre–approval at the very beginning of the process gives buyers a good sense of the home cost range they should be considering — and gives sellers confidence that a loan approval probably won’t hold up a sale.

What type of mortgage makes sense for me? Make sure your borrower understands the differences between the loan types. Decide which one to use based on a borrower’s specific situation.

What about a down payment? Explain that they can get a loan with as little as 3% down by adding mortgage insurance (MI). Genworth Mortgage Insurance offers additional benefits such as Homebuyer Education, Homebuyer Privileges®, and Genworth’s new Home Suite Home.

Now that first-time homebuyers are ready to buy a home, how can you prove you’re the right lending partner for them? Genworth offers innovative products designed to let our lending partners help their borrowers with exclusive programs like our First-Time Homebuyer Suite, Homebuyer Privileges, Homebuyer Education, Homeowner Assistance Program, and Home Suite Home.

Home Suite Home, is designed to help preserve borrowers’ financial stability when faced with unexpected, non-recurring homeownership costs. Home Suite Home is offered at no cost to both Genworth’s lenders and their eligible borrowers. Lenders can opt-in to the program to access the suite of benefits for their homebuyers. The three benefit coverages are underwritten or provided by third-parties and subject to terms, conditions and exclusions available on Genworth’s website. Home Suite Home is not available or approved in all states.

And as for those borrower questions, they won’t — and shouldn’t — stop with the few outlined above. Encourage your borrowers to visit smartermi.com for more details, or to register them for our self–paced, no fee, online homebuyer education course at genworthhbe.com.