Looking to purchase real estate? Step One…Step Two…

One: Find a real estate agent

Two: Find a Lender

One

Top three things to consider when choosing your agent.

1. Does this agent have experience and skill?

Can they protect me and cover the details of a complex transaction? Do they know the area? Can the agent show me how the house is valued?  Can they match my schedule and give me the service I need? Can they offer me service I don’t know that I need?

2. Does this agent have time for me?

Will they be able to meet me on short notice for showings? Will he or she have time to help me conduct the due diligence to make a good purchase? Will he or she help me analyze my purchase? Will he or she “chase the case” and work hard behind the scenes for me?

3) Will this agent allow me to say “no”?

Many agents often sell their clients to  a “yes” proposition house after house. Yet, screening properties well requires unbiased views and truly understanding the needs of the client. Acting as a fiduciary means coaching clients to what’s best for the client. Sometimes in hot markets, this means coaching a faster decision but in others, it means slowing down and offering quality advice. Which might mean the client says “no”.

Two

Lender: A person who is skilled at finding you the most amount of money possible for the best rate and most flexible terms…

Banks: Your bank will often employ Mortgage Specialists. Some are the busiest and most productive lenders in the area. If your credit and income are good, you will have little trouble but be wary of the posted rate and standard terms. Mortgage Specialists are limited to finding you products from their institution. Not a bad thing but it could hamper you if you need creativity.

Mortgage Broker: An independent & licensed professional. Mortgage brokers act like real estate agents. They hold their license at a “house” and can access money from multiple sources – often from your current bank. Mortgage Brokers only get paid if their succeed in getting you a mortgage. Many are focus on long-term business strategies and want your repeat business.

There are other options for borrowing and mortgages such a family, private lenders, the mafia etc. Even if you choose an alternate route, I would still consider having a mortgage broker guide you through the process.