MEETING WITH YOUR REALTOR – #1 ON YOUR HOME BUYING LIST
A question we are often asked by buyers is who should I talk to first, a Mortgage Broker or Lender or a Realtor? In this article we’ll try to explain why meeting with a realtor should be your first step.
Often people assume the best place to start is the bank, which can be a negative since regardless of which bank you choose, they have very stringent criteria that must be met before they can put a loan in place and, secondly, if you don’t fit the requirements of the items on their “Mortgage Menu”, they will turn you down. That can be very discouraging to the first time, or anytime buyer.
Our recommendation is that you first speak to a Realtor. They know the real estate market, they don’t benefit from putting your mortgage in place with any particular broker or bank and their only interest is what is best for you in your situation.
Realtors can help you wade through the myriad of paperwork that the lenders will require. Since most people work during the week and don’t have time to run back and forth collecting documents, your Realtor can assist you with this, eliminating the amount of time you need to take from work. They will stay on top of the mortgage brokers to make sure they are working diligently to get your loan in place.
Realtors know the market, and often have a pulse on what changes are anticipated. Will rates go up or down? Will the current changes in the economy effect home prices? When is the best time to buy? Where are the best schools? Where are the best transit connections?
These are just some of the questions your Realtor can answer for you. Remember, the Realtor is being paid to help you find a home suitable for you and your family. Their first priority is to represent you, and your best interests.
Should you hire the first realtor you meet?
No, you should interview at least two or three. After all you are entrusting them with helping you make a decision on the largest investment you will likely make in your life, isn’t it wise to hire someone you feel comfortable with and feel you can trust?
Should you sign a contract? That’s entirely up to you. If you’re selling your home, yes you should, but only after you’ve interviewed the realtors you think would suit you. Choose a realtor that doesn’t necessarily come to you with the highest price. If your objective is to sell your home, remember a home priced right for the current market should see an offer within the first two weeks. Pricing a home to high means your home may not see an offer for months. Adjusting the price down won’t help much since your best buyers will have already moved on and now, buyers will wonder why your home didn’t sell and what’s wrong with it. The best agent is the agent that prices the home for a 30 day sale. Hire them, they’re being honest and not just wanting to take your listing.
If you’re buying, you should sign a contract only after you’re comfortable working with the realtor and if he requests it. The choice again is entirely yours. Buyer’s contracts are not required but will ensure that the realtor feels protected in investing his time, energy and knowledge in assisting you.