How many Buyers are discouraged when they talk to a Lender and are told that a 20% down payment and a mid 700 credit score is required to obtain a loan? I wonder if any of these Buyers have the courage to get a "second opinion" or if the humiliation causes them to disappear from the buying pool indefinitely. The FHA Loan Program and Rural Development Loan Program offer excellent opportunities for Buyers, with more modest credit scores, to purchase a home at a time when interest rates are lower, home prices are reasonable and the $8000 First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit is available. The FHA Loan Program requires only a 3.5% down payment and the Rural Development Loan Program requires NO down payment. Both loan programs allow a Seller "contribution" for closing costs and prepaids (write it in the Offer to Purchase). I believe that there are many Buyers who feel that home ownership is out of reach and are not in the market because they are not informed.
Now is the time to be proactive with your Buyers and market these two loan programs on your website and in your media marketing as most banks have been so busy with refinancing that they have not been marketing these loan programs. If you visit www.wausaurealestate247.com you can view how I have simply featured listings that would likely qualify for an FHA home loan. Before you do this, find a Lender who offers these programs, learn the details and become an expert. Assist your Buyers by scheduling an appointment, for them, with a local Lender that offers the FHA Loan Program and/or Rural Development Loan Program. Choose a Lender that will provide your Buyers with their mobile telephone number so that prompt service can be provided.
Caution your Buyers to only allow their credit to be checked once they have made a decision to move froward with a particular bank, as their credit score will be impacted negatively by multiple credit inquiries. Allow for additional time for inspections and loan commitment (28 days) as the underwriting can take more time, however, a proficient Lender will be able to provide a pre-approval letter that indicates that the Buyers meet the criteria for each of these loan programs. Home condition is a factor with each of these loan programs, so make sure that the properties that you are showing, to your Buyers, meet the criteria for each of these loan programs. Let's get out there and make things happen!