Profile picture for FirstTimeHouseBuyer1

Which should i do first, get pre-approved for a loan or find a Real estate agent?

  • June 02 2010 - Ocala
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (19)

A home purchase begins and ends with the loan.  If you need suggestions on where to start then definitely a real estate agent can lead you to a reputable Lender.  Worst mistake ever is to go out looking at homes without knowing your approval amount.  Falling in love with the perfect house that is not affordable is not a happy expeience for anyone.  Save yourself the heart break and get your approval letter first.

  • July 09 2012
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

If you have a real estate agent that you trust they should be able to recommend a trusted mortgage broker that they have used in the past.  A good real estate agent is also going to want to make sure you are pre-approved before you start looking at properties so that you both know what you are able to buy instead of wasting everyones time looking at properties the buyer may not qualify for.
  • July 09 2012
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I recommend contacting your personal trusted financial institution for a pre-approval while you are interviewing agents. This will afford you the opportunity to begin shopping as soon as you have located your Real Estate professional of choice.  He or she will more than likely have additional lender contacts for you as well.  All the best to you!
  • July 09 2012
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for davidhawke
As a current agent, and a former mortgage lender, I can say that the order you find them in isn't necessarily important.  Most agents will be more willing to work with a buyer who is already pre qualified by a lender. 

However, that being said... there are huge differences between lenders, that amount to much more than the rate or the fees they charge.  From an agent's perspective, the most important attribute a lender can have is "control" of the loan file.  Meaning, the best lenders typically work for larger companies that have the originators, processors, underwriters, closers, and funders, all working together under one roof.  That way, the loan officers can simply walk a few desks over and hand the underwriter a quick condition, etc.  Under these circumstances, problems get handled much more quickly, and the odds of the lender failing to have funds ready at closing are greatly reduced.
The polar opposite situation would be a small mortgage broker who may submit your file to an investor who is several states away.  Then, he/she is limited to email and phone communication with the people actually handling the file.. and essentially has far less "control" over the process.  This can be an ugly situation, and lead to missed closing/funding deadlines. 
Most experienced real estate agents can point you in the direction of a reputable, large, integrated lender who can give you much better chances at a smooth closing with a timely funding.
  • July 09 2012
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

If you really do find a good agent, they will have many contacts for you to utilize and learn form ... a good lender should b eone of those.. good luck
  • June 10 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Pacita Dimacali

You can do both at the same time. I've been contacted by buyers on my listings, or when they found me on the internet.

When I ask if they've been preapproved and they say no, I always give them at least three references for lenders I entrust with my clients because of their responsiveness, resourcefulness, trustworthiness and excellent service.

I encourage the buyers to speak to all three and choose the one whom they think they have the best affinity.

Sometimes, I arrange it so that they meet the lender face-to-face in my office. Once they determine how much they could afford or are comfortable spending, then we go through the exercise of selecting and viewing homes (online) that meet their criteria. Based on their reaction after I provide commentaries on the neighborhoods, the price, the types of sale, then we embark on our first viewing of properties that may meet their needs.

When you have a realtor whom you trust, that realtor should be able to provide recommendations for various resources like lenders and future services like handymen, yardmen, cleaning people, roofers, contractors, etc.

Good luck on your search!

  • June 10 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for blue screen exile
During this economic time, with housing prices still expected to drop substantially in the next 6 months, and with interest rates fluctuating between 4.5% and 5.25% on 30 year fixed loans for "qualified" buyers, it probably helps to line up your financing and get that resolved first, and to tell your loan officer your "target" interest rate to help make sure you time your offer to lock in at the best available rates.

As far as agents are concerned, most are not worth even 1/4 of their commission, and most will give you NAR propaganda to annoy you to no end, so you will need to screen them extremely carefully.  No matter what they say, they don't care about your interests, they only care about closing the sale to make their commission, and not doing any more work than necessary.  Cut down their work by not letting them search 100's of houses to try to push on you.  let them know your search criterion, and don't let them bother you with things that are not even close.  Don't let them try to push you to make an offer when the pricing is not even close to your expected target range.  Make sure your letters of pre-approval are written so that the agent doesn't disclose to the seller that you will offer more.  Though they all will tell you they will honor your confidentiality, most don't and most gossip to their "associates".

If you have prescreened many agents, you will be prepared to select an appropriate one when you see the time for making your offer(s) approaching.  Make sure they will write the offers the way you want, and not just their "standard procedure".  Make sure they will be available to write counter offers in a time effective manner.  Make sure they have experience to guide you on the most effective way to get a low offer accepted, such as time limits on the offer, length of escrow, amount of earnest monies, and contingencies.

Even before selecting your agent, select your home inspector, and make sure you have those details lined up.  The escrow office and title company are not as critical, but you do need ones that will not delay the process, and not charge you extra for nothing.  Either your loan officer or your agent can recommend an escrow company and a title company.
  • June 09 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

First find a Realtor you like and trust.  Have them help you to understand the process from beginning to end.  If you like your Realtor, you will probably also like who they work with.  I personally have a couple of favorite mortgage brokers I like to work with because I know they can get the job done at a great rate for my buyers.  We work well together and understand each other, thus making the entire process easier for my buyers. 
  • June 09 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

You can do both simultaneously. In fact, if you haven't obtained a loan, most agents can refer some to you and you can go from there. It is best to have a pre-qual before looking because then your agent will know what price range to search in and a pre-qual will give you the upper hand when hyou do find a property and place an offer. In fact, very few Sellers will even entertain an offer without a pre-qualification letter being submitted with said offer.
  • June 09 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I believe you should first establish a working relationship with a real estate agent of your choice.  I
've been very successful helping home buyers start the process by answering questions, educating them about the process and giving them some recommendations for local real estate attorneys and mortgage representative that are known by me to move that process along. 

Within a day or two, a buyer can have a pre-approval in hand and be ready to start house hunting.  The pre-approval give us some information about the price of the home, taxes, etc. that is affordable.  Most listing agents then require the pre approval before accepting an offer from a potential buyer.
  • June 08 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Get pre approved

  • June 03 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Do both! Contact a lender or your local bank. & Call an agent or Realtor. If you know you want to buy a foreclosure or distressed sale be up front tell both your Realtor and lender. The condition of the property may not match your loan.

  • June 03 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I would suggest doing both at the same time.  Talk to a few mortgage Brokers and find which ones will be most helpful to you.  If you can decided, then ask a friend.  You can also ask an Agent, when you find one that you want to work with.  If you are doing a special loan that takes some extra know-how such as a HUD 203k loan, then make sure they know how to do them and in a timely fashion.
  • June 03 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

My preference before I was an agent myself was to find a good agent first (one I have a rapport with) and then use a lender that they recommend. Now that I'm an agent, I still believe this is true, because I will definitely recommend the lenders that I have had the most successful and smooth transactions with.
  • June 02 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for SoCal Engr
@ Dianna -

"If the homes you look at are short sales or foreclosures, your realtor will need a copy of the pre-approval letter from your lender, so they will see how much you are pre-approved for at that time."

Correct, but that pre-approval amount does not need to be the max the client could be qualified for. If I'm working with a lender and qualify for $450K, but am only comfortable at $350K - then I can have the pre-approval letter drafted to reflect the $350K number.
  • June 02 2010
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for SoCal Engr
@ Steve - What kind of "problems" do external lenders bring to the transaction? It's all process, and as long as the process is properly monitored and no games are played, there shouldn't be an issue.
  • June 02 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

My preference would be to interview realtors first.  Then get a few good referrals to lenders.  Most of my financing problems are with buyers who brought their own lender to the transaction. 
  • June 02 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I would like to add on here.  If the homes you look at are short sales or foreclosures, your realtor will need a copy of the pre-approval letter from your lender, so they will see how much you are pre-approved for at that time.
  • June 02 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for SoCal Engr
Talk to a lender and get a good idea of what products would work best for you, how much debt you can qualify for, and how much debt you're comfortable taking on. Please note that you can typically qualify for much more debt than you may be comfortable taking on.

Once you know what your price range is (including down payments, closing costs, and loan), then you are ready to start looking at houses.

BTW, the realtor has no business/need knowing how much you qualify for - just that you have been qualified for the price range you are looking in.
  • June 02 2010
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.