Part 1 of the Home Buying Puzzle: Mortgages.
I work with a lot of first time home buyers. And they’re a lot smarter than I was when I bought my first house. I looked at a few houses, found one I liked, and then signed lots and lots of paperwork without asking a single question. Well maybe I asked one or two but I was so nervous I couldn’t read anything anyway. Now buyers look online first and put together a list of questions for their Realtors. All of which is very smart.
Still, it’s worth remembering that information flows in both directions. Realtors need to know a little bit about you to make sure you buy the right house. How much you earn, what you can afford without being house poor, that sort of thing. Some buyers are reluctant to share. Ok — not a problem — we try to recommend more than one mortgage person for them to speak to. People we trust, people who can be reached quickly for pre-approval, people who return calls and work their butts off for you. Still, some buyers prefer to find their own mortgage person. Fine — that’s not a problem, either. Eventually the buyer gets their mortgage and everything goes off without a hitch.
Until we get to settlement. That’s when we find out that Mr. Unknown mortgage broker hasn’t bothered to get the money to the table. Of course he’s not at the settlement table, either. He’s back at his desk taking applications from other unsuspecting buyers. After we all finish throwing up we figure it out. The seller’s not happy. The buyer wishes he had listened to his agent.
Please, buyers, understand that we don’t make recommendations for our benefit but for yours. It’s our legal duty as your agent to protect you. We want the process to go smoothly and we don’t want you to feel like you’re getting ripped off. Much of our business is based on referrals. Happy buyers recommend us to their friends, family and co-workers. Why would we send you to someone who will rip you off? When we say “Trust me,” we really mean it. We speak from experience.
Thank you and stay tuned for my feelings about the home inspection process.
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