What came first, the chicken or the egg? How about “when I want to buy a home, who do I see first, the realtor or the loan officer? These are deep philosophical questions that require an astute examination of perception versus reality. The perception for years has been to walk into a real estate office and start the process of buying a home. The reality is doing it this way is like walking onto a car lot and walking right up to a salesman and asking if he would sell you a car.
Let me bring it down a notch for those of you who have never had the pleasure of walking onto a car lot. It’s like taking a rib eye steak that you just successfully grilled, cutting a small piece off and then asking one of your guests who’s been lingering around the grille for an hour if they would like to try a piece? Of course they will! Realtors, for better or worse, are sales people.
Buying a car is a perfect example of how systems are set up to sell you what you might not be able to afford. A car lot never offers to run numbers for you until you have already fallen in love with the car of your dreams … good luck negotiating after you’ve pictured yourself showing off your new car to all your friends. Negotiating is futile! Realtors are there to sell you, not to question whether or not you should buy a home or sell your house.
If you agree that a home is large financial responsibility, then wouldn’t you want to talk to finance professional first and foremost? Talking to a mortgage professional (like me) first is an invaluable part of the real estate market and it’s free! Why? Because I’m here to keep you in check … I protect you against yourself. Who doesn’t want to own a home or sell a home for a large profit … but what if you’re not financially set up to buy a home or what would you do with a large profit if you sell your home? Wait for your relatives to find out so they can circle you like buzzards.
Mortgage professionals have an understanding of personal income taxes, investments, cash flow, small business pitfalls, retirement planning, living trust and of course interest rates and real estate market changes. The one thing we don’t have as mortgage professionals is the time it takes to find the right home and to manage the entire transaction all the way through, that’s the realtors’ job; realtors have many sleepless nights so when your realtor shows up looking like something out of the "Walking Dead" don’t assume they have been up partying all night. Mortgage professionals run proposed house payments and have the actual costs it takes to get a home.
Now! As someone who loves to negotiate (bargaining at the flea market is one of my favorite things to do) the number one rule of negotiation is you have to know what you are negotiating for, meaning you have to know how much are you willing to pay for something before you start negotiating (you professional eBay shoppers out there know this rule very well). Visiting with a loan officer will give you all the ammunition (numbers) you need for once you get out there with your tour guide and begin the hunt.
By the way, now that you understand who to see first, you should also know that science has fully determined that the egg came first. Sorry, chicken.