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Chris Lemmon

Branch Manager (10 years experience)

Specialties:
Purchase Loan,
Refinancing,
Mortgage Planning

Advice

  • (32 Contributions,
  • 1 Best Answers,
  • 6 Helpful)

Contributions are sorted newest to oldest.

When is the best time of the year to buy a home?

Not as many people consider shopping for a home in the winter season. For some families, the hassle of moving during the school year is more trouble than it is worth. However, if you talk to a real estate agent, my guess is that many will point out you have few buyers to compete with and sellers might be more willing to negotiate during that time because they anticipate less traffic.I am curious to hear what other agents think about the trade offs and advantages?

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Does your Realtor push you to use a lender whom they are familiar and comfortable with?

Answer

Connie thanks for your comments. I totally agree. Thanks for considering the lender's viewpoint. Would a realtor be upset if a loan officer tried to convince a customer to switch realtors after the realtor had already done a lot of work with the client? Lenders feel the same way. And in the same breath, as a lender I rarely know the realtor in transactions before the transaction. But I just assume they will do their job, and I will do mine. Its a matter of professional respect. Well said.

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Does your Realtor push you to use a lender whom they are familiar and comfortable with?

Answer

Drew,Thanks for your comments. I didn't really intend to pick a fight with all the realtors out there. A transaction goes smoothly when agent and loan officer can work together and trust that the other person is doing their job. And I understand, that if you have not worked with someone, how would you know if the closing will go smoothly. I have no problem with realtors recommending a lender. I have services I recommend to my customers and I like it when they choose the people I recommend. There is satisfaction is making a good recommendation and then watching the customer be satisfied with that service. My personal opinion is recommending is fine. Pressuring is not ethical.Thanks for your comments.

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My bank appraised a house we were going to buy @ $33k less than we contracted to pay.

Answer

You avoided a disaster. The seller is nuts if they are not willing to renegotiated the price after the appraisal comes in that much lower. Plus, that presents all kinds of problems when you attempt to get a loan. You would have to put more money down to make up for the equity which is not actually there. You made the wise choice by walking away. That seller is obviously very unrealistic. 

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Pre-Qualify or Pre-Approval?

Answer

I am not aware of a distinction between being pre-qualified and pre-approved. What most lenders do is take a look at your credit score and then ask what your income and assets are, but not collect documentation on them. At that point if you meet the underwriting guidelines I would issue you a pre-approval.Which is good for 90 days. After 90 days a new credit report would be needed to do the loan. The only suggestion I would offer is do not bother getting pre-approved at more than one bank. Its a waste of your time and a waste of the lender's time as well, they are simply duplicating someone else's work, and it means you have multiple hits to your credit. Also, out of courtesy I would recommend you return to the lender who did your pre-approval if you choose to shop your loan more, give that person the first chance at your business and let them know up front you will be shopping if you plan to do so. If you do that, the lender will give you better service overall. From the perspective of a lender, its frustrating to do all the work of pre-approving someone only to never hear from them again. Of course there is no actual obligation, but its just common courtesy to that person to return to them first, since they did the work upfront. Good luck shopping!!

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Why have a Buyers Agent?Buyer can go directly to the listing agent. What are the pros and cons?

Answer

This is an excellent question. If you are purchasing your first home. I recommend you use a buyer's agent. But if you are confident as a buyer that you can evaluate the price, the home, and the risks associated, you could go directly to the listing agent. Every realtor will tell you, "You need a buyer's agent." But that is actually a more recent phenomenon, and for years there were only listing agents. The real estate companies came up with the idea of a buyer's agent. It helps them stir customers away from FSBO properties, and also stir customers toward listings from their own company lists. That's not a complete bad thing. Buyer's will help you organize the market and cut the shopping process down. If I personally was moving to a new city I was unfamiliar with, I would probably use a buyer's agent. But if I was buying in a city I was already pretty familiar with, I would be much less likely to use a buyer's agent.A little known tip is that if you have not signed a contract with a buyer's agent, and you sign the contract and purchase the house, the listing agent will receive all 6% of the real estate commission. Under normal circumstances where there is a listing agent and a buyer's agent, each realtor is paid 3%. Having not signed with a buyer's agent can be a strong bargaining tool. It is true that the listing agent is contracted to represent the seller's interests and not the buyer's interest. But, listing agents are sometimes much more motivated to work with and close with you, if you have not signed with a buyer's agent, because their commission is twice as large. If two offers come through at the same time, one without a buyer's agent and one with, which one will the realtor stir the customer toward? If he or she can, they will stir the customer toward the buyer without an agent because they will get paid more. There are pros and cons both ways. Buyer's agents can offer excellent service, especially if you are relocating. They walk you through the process, and can really help advise you if you are debating on which home to make an offer on, which home is a better purchase for the price, etc etc. Listing agents by definition want to sell you the house they are listing, so in that sense, you cannot consider them as object when you are trying to compare houses. They will give you all the reasons why you should buy the house they have listed. A buyer's agent, wants you to find the house that really meets all of your needs. Depending on how experienced you are, and how much leg work you want to do yourself, you could wisely either go with a buyer's agent, or choose not to go with a buyer's agent. As I said earlier though, if you are an inexperienced buyer, this does present more risk. But plenty of customer's go down that route. Good luck!!

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Does your Realtor push you to use a lender whom they are familiar and comfortable with?

I am interested in hearing customer's feelings in this area. Throughout my career I have always used internet marketing to get in touch with potential borrowers. I have not normally worked in partnership with real estate agents. Customers come to me because they like the fees and rate which I advertise. But I have also come across realtors at times who tried to pressure my customers change from me to a lender whom they have used in the past. I am interested in people's thoughts. 

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Can you obtain a mortgage for the appraised value and not the balance owed ?

Answer

Obama's loan program has an over equity limit of 120%. So in case170,000 (Loan Balance) / 120,000 (Appraised Value) = 141%On the other hand, if your scenario locked more like this170,000 (Loan Balance) / 142,000 (Appraised Value) = 119.7%Now, without an appraisal those are just estimates. If you know for sure that your home value is not more than 120,000 then Obama's program cannot help you. But, you might consider doing a little research, if you have not already to determine, if what you are thinking is accurate. A local Real Estate agent is the fastest way to determine the market value of your home. I suggest you call one up, and explain your situation. Most would be able to tell you pretty quickly what they would price your house at, and that's essentially the value of your home. Its a tough time for many people. I hope this helps.

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