Let your lender help you pick a real estate agent
September 24, 2010
Having been in the mortgage profession for many years, I am always amazed at how backwards many buyers are when it comes to how things should be done. The buyer first decides to buy a property, picks a real estate agent, goes out and looks for property, makes an offer, has the offer accepted and then figures out if their income and credit will allow for a decent interest rate on a mortgage.
This is backwards, so read on and learn how a mortgage lender sees the proper way to get the purchase process going.
Once you have decided to invest in a new property, the next step is to determine your budget for this new property. And in my opinion, the best way to make this determination is to meet with a mortgage lender to actually see what can be done for you. At this point in time you can discuss how much of a downpayment you can make, which mortgage program best suits your needs and the all-important interest rates.
I know that when this meeting occurs with my clients, I normally obtain a three bureau credit report. This report details all open and closed credit accounts, amounts owed and the borrower’s credit scores. With this information we, the borrowers and I, will discuss rates and programs and at that time we narrow down the dollar amount a mortgage lender will approve for the borrower. Now, with all the information gleaned from that meeting the borrowers can go out and start the process of looking for real estate.
At this point in time I inquire as to whom, if any, real estate agent has been interviewed. As a long-time local I know which agents might be best for them to contact. Just like lenders, not all real estate agents are created equal. Some specialize in specific locations so if the borrower is looking for property in Frisco I am not going to recommend to them an agent who specializes in Breckenridge or Keystone. Plus, I will give the borrowers at least three agents to contact – just as real estate should do when they are recommending lenders. This allows the borrowers to discuss their needs and desires with the agents and to make an informed decision on who will help them find the right property.
Considering that real estate is usually the largest dollar investment people will make in their lifetime, they should know that they have been well informed by all the experts they hire. Yes, I said hire as we; myself, the real estate agent, the appraiser and title company are all working for the benefit of the buyer. Plus, I know that if I provide the borrowers/buyers a list of three real estate agents that I am familiar with, I know that they will be treated the way that I would want to be treated as a buyer. I know that I do mortgages for a living and the real estate agents I refer to do it for a living. The professionalism of all involved is important to make the process a bit easier for those who may buy and sell real estate a couple of times in their respective lifetimes.