Some Thoughts For Buyers
Posted by Fred White on
Whether you are a “First Time” home buyer, or if you are an entrepreneur looking for an office, commercial or industrial property, or that particular person looking to “Up size” or “Down size” into that 2nd or 3rd purchase? The following will offer you some insight as to why you want to be particular in how to choose a Realtor ® that is going to be beneficial for you and your family. In the event it may be a commercial property, for you and your business.
Talk to a mortgage professional first and get a pre-approval. Don’t just use anyone’s on-line mortgage affordability calculator- they’re not always accurate. Talk to a live body, it will only take a few minutes of your time. The mortgage representative will ask for your social security number and will run your credit report. They’ll ask you about your assets and liabilities and can provide you with a pre-approval or a pre-qualification letter. Hang onto this letter. If you skip this step and try to do it later, how will you feel when you find out you can’t see or place an offer to purchase on that home of your dreams? Or what if you find out you really could have afforded a lot more house? Sellers and their agents usually will not entertain any offers from buyers who do not submit at least a pre-qualification letter along with the offer, and you’ll have a tough time finding an agent willing to work with you on the buying side if you can’t show proof that you are qualified to purchase what you’re asking to see. It also works the other way at times, that you may be viewing homes in the $300,000 range and find out that you’re qualified to purchase homes in the range of $250,000 or less. At least you will know where you stand.
What’s the difference between a pre-approval and a pre-qualification letter? A pre-approval is a lot more powerful. This means the lender has already verified your credit, income and assets. A pre-qualification may or may not involve checking your credit score, and doesn’t indicate that your income’s been verified. When a seller gets two similar offers but one is accompanied by a pre-approval letter and one is accompanied by a pre-qualification letter, which offer do you think they’ll go with? You got it, the pre-approval letter.
Now you’re ready to go home shopping. Here’s another big DON’T in the Real Estate World that a lot of people don’t realize. You’re checking out the real estate magazines in the supermarket, you’re cruising Realtor.com, or you’re passing lawn signs in front of houses for sale that appeal to you. DON’T call all the listing agents for those properties. Find ONE realtor that you like and feel comfortable working with, and work with that one person. See my blog on choosing a Realtor;
Why do you want to find one Realtor? There are three main reasons for this. First, the listing agent represents the seller of the property. Real Estate ethics dictate that this person must also deal with YOU fairly and honestly, but do you really think that always happens? Wouldn’t you rather have your OWN agent working your side of the transaction? Second, real estate agents have lives too, contrary to popular belief. We’ve got spouses and kids who want to get to see us once in awhile, so we try to devote the bulk of our energies to serious buyers. If you’re only going to call us once in awhile to see one or two of our offices’ listings we’re going to know you’re working with other agents, and we’re not going to sacrifice time we need to devote to our serious shoppers. You will be getting in line behind those people. Third, if you see an ABC Realty sign at 123 Main Street, you don’t need to call ABC Realty to get information about that property. You can call your agent at XYZ Realty and read them off the address. Those properties are in the Multiple Listing Service and all agents who are members to that MLS have access to all the information on each property listed within that MLS system.