In Lettuce and Loans, Buy Local!

Real Estate Agent with Red Oak Realty

As buyers hear of the likelihood of loan rates increasing, even slightly, some will be tempted to explore any and all options, including on-line advertisers. When a good friend and client asked me whether she should pursue a quote she got from an on-line source, in addition to a well-known, well-trusted member of our local community I threatened to give her a "twitter answer." To me, that means keeping it really short and to the point. So while I didn't literally send her a tweet, here were my bullet points:

--I understand the appeal of potentially saving money. That's only human.

--The greatest assets I bring my clients are my experience and my reputation.

--The local loan broker to whom I sent you has those same assets, and the same motivation to protect them. We know nothing about an on-line loan agent.

--Local listing agents know this loan broker, and respect him. In this tough lending market they will be exceptionally sensitive to choosing an offer where the loan is being provided by a trusted source.

--From personal experience and the collective experience of other colleagues, I know my trusted broker and his firm close loans as promised, and on time. Delays are rare, and when they've occurred the bank was at fault. That is exactly what listing agents want to know when they are reviewing multiple offers, and multiple offers are the norm right now in many price ranges in our area.

--My only personal experience with an on-line lender (when a former client truly found one at the top of a list, the company name being AAA Lenders!) was that they promised an unbelievable rate.

--If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

--In that case, the loan docs did not arrive on time after many promises. I called in my local broker who took my client's application that day and we closed ten days later (probably couldn't do that today).

--The only other stories I've heard have been nightmares, mostly involving loan origination fees that were required up front, and then all communication ceased.

--Communication is a crucial component of the relationship I have as an agent with any loan broker. Any loan broker I would recommend has already communicated well with me, and I'm counting on them to advise and counsel my clients, based on the particular needs of the client. In same cases the requirement will be for extensive counseling as well as reassurance, and that may be required over a protracted period.

--There may be good on-line only loan brokers. There are many wonderful local brokers. Why would you take risks with the most important purchase most people will ever make? Check out these other local lenders if you'd like to compare, but make sure anyone you consider has a local reputation to uphold!

 And finally, it's important to me that my clients are working with me because they respect my guidance. I value my client's time, as well as my own too much to take the risk on an unknown, non-local entity when it comes to loans. I simply won't go there (wherever "there" is--with on-line lenders you never know!). If some clients want to follow the lure of a potential small savings, against these objections, they will need to do so without me.

Posted by

Arlene Baxter, CRS, Green

Red Oak Realty -- "Seriously Local"

Berkeley Office, 1891 Solano Avenue

Cell: 510.717.1799   DRE#01209552


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William True
True Sarasota Real Estate - Sarasota, FL
Sarasota Real Estate

As a licensed mortgage broker(although non-practicing) and active real estate broker in Sarasota, I couldn't agree with you more. I have seen many deals far apart because of the old "bait and switch" or the online lender just is unable to close, even after promising the consumer everything would be fine!

Feb 13, 2010 08:02 PM #1
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Arlene, Great post and good advice. 

I lost a few deals because of Internet Loans 

Feb 13, 2010 10:27 PM #2
Arlene Baxter
Red Oak Realty - Berkeley, CA
Listing/Buying agent, Historic to Green, 2012 REALTOR of the Year, Berkeley Association Berkeley CA & environs

Thanks William and Fernando,

We all understand the temptation to save money, but I'm hoping I've convinced my client, and maybe some who read this post and your comments, that those low rates and low-cost deals doesn't really exist. And what I didn't include was how much counseling a good loan broker provides. How many basis points is that worth?!

Thanks for your comments, and Happy valentines' Day!

Feb 14, 2010 03:51 AM #3
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Arlene Baxter

Listing/Buying agent, Historic to Green, 2012 REALTOR of the Year, Berkeley Association Berkeley CA & environs
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