What Every Buyer Needs to Know in 2011

Mortgage and Lending with Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage

OK....it's officially here!  2011 is not just a number for realtors and lenders, but it's a huge opportunity for consumers.  But there are so many consumers who are unprepared or who just don't know where to start.  For buyers, here's what you need to know:

  1. Before you do anything, meet with a licensed loan officer.  Yes, that person needs to be licensed.  Check out an earlier post Let's work with someone who doesn't have a license......NOT!!!!!!Before you even meet with the individual, ask if they're licensed.  Believe it or not the Fed has said that some folks can lend you hundreds of thousands of dollars at their terms without being licensed.  Can you imagine any realtor being allowed to not have a license?
  2. Meet with the loan officer - to determine what's right for your situation.  Did you know that FHA has some monster changes for condominiums?  Did you know that both Fannie and Freddie are making some very costly changes to the way they price a ton of there loans?  How will your income and credit affect the rate that you may or may not be able to get?  I just met with a guy and he's getting his credit scores up by the end of January so that he won't be penalized under the new rules.  Right now.....TIME IS YOUR ALLY!
  3. Get your income information together.  If you're self-employed this is even more critical than for those who aren't.  But if you get bonus income, commission income, or whatever, know how the Fed is going to look at your income and that of your spouse if you're buying with one.
  4. Assets - Let's take a look at your asset situation.  Cash is not king!  If you have money we need to document it.  If it's under your mattress or in a safety deposit box, then it's no good!  But again, time is your ally!  Meet with the licensed loan officer.
  5. Get with a REAL realtor!  What does that mean?  It means get with someone who's doing this as a profession, not as a side job.  Not as someone who's moonlighting to pick up a few extra bucks.  After you meet with your licensed loan officer, have them refer you to someone who's known in your community for really working for their clients.  They have to be knowledgeable.  So many folks work with their neighbor who has a license.  That's OK if the realtor is serious about this business and has demonstrated a history of success in this business.  If not, run for the hills!
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Re-Blogged 20 times:

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Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President


Wanda....you see the light!  Again....so grateful to have your participation here!


Lorainne...you're welcome....tear it up!

Marte...I'm not saying that folks without licenses are untrained, but I am saying that they haven't had to pass or show any government mandate proficiency.  That leads to some folks who don't have the goods and shouldn't be in the business.  Needless to say....If the government is blaming banks for the mortgage collapse, wouldn't you think that they'd require all loan officers to obtain a professional license?

Laura....I couldn't agree more.  The process can be atrocious for many buyers.  That's half of the battle.

Jirius....good points about referring the business to competent folks!


Jan 06, 2011 06:26 AM #79

Like this!!!  Thank you....Julia At Realty ONE--Las Vegas

Jan 06, 2011 06:40 AM #80
Paul Silver
Tiverton, RI
Rhode Island full service real estate firm

Lenn: Larry: We have only come across one loan officer that has ever referred business elsewhere when they cannot service the loan... others do as Lenn has said, at least in our experience. Of course, most of our agents are also curent or past loan officers as well, so they direct the buyer to alternate funding sources that they know of when one fails to accept them...


Great discussion... thanks for th epost Larry...

Jan 06, 2011 06:53 AM #81
Brad Hornshaw
Brad Hornshaw Realtor Lynnwood, Bothell, Everett - Lynnwood, WA
Realtor, Listing Agent, Buyers Agent, Investments


No doubt just ike in every other part of life the people you work with make all the differance. Sounds like you got it togather....Brad

Jan 06, 2011 07:30 AM #82
Diane Schubach
Laffey Fine Homes - Port Washington, NY

It makes a great deal of sense. I would like to be able to convince buyers to talk to any loan officer, licensed or unlicensed, or get them to put any thought at all into what they need to do in order to buy. So many buyer's don't know the process and don't want to to know, or think they already know!

Jan 06, 2011 08:18 AM #83
Deena Kitchen
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Camdenton, MO

Thanks for the great info!

Jan 06, 2011 08:32 AM #84
Barbara Charlton
inactive - license is on ice with State of MN - Lakeville, MN

Larry, From your lips to God's ears. Loan originators in Minnesota are undergoing stringent new testing requirements for licensing. Barb

Jan 06, 2011 09:00 AM #85

Excellent Larry, wouldn't it be nice if all the buyers did this prior to looking for a home.

Jan 06, 2011 09:20 AM #86
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Excellent post! Love the "REAL Realtor" reference!

Jan 06, 2011 09:56 AM #87
Dennis & Terri Neal
RE/MAX, Big Bear - Big Bear Lake, CA
Your Home Sold in 45 Days or We Se

If the buyers aren't willing to go through these steps you should reconsider working with them.

Jan 06, 2011 11:14 AM #88
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

All good information there today, thanks for sharing with us.

Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Jan 06, 2011 12:54 PM #90
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Well said, Larry!

Jan 06, 2011 05:59 PM #91
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL

As a realtor an important aspect of our job is to stay informed and up to date on the changes that affect our business. Thanks for providing a stimulus to continuously revisit real estate financing as it is an integral part of the process for most buyers. Buyers want to work with agents who are knowledgeable when discussing the various aspects of a real estate transaction. Having some knowledge of current lending practices will help us refer our customers to the right person, or at the very least, point them in the right direction. The purchase of real estate has become a protracted experience, only those who commit to stay abreast of the changing environment will have the knowledge, skills and ability to provide a valuable service to their clients and customers. We should all remember these words of wisdom "the skill of selling is based on the premise that our work habits shall be like that of a continuing journey". For those who believe making a sale is like reaching a destination, think about the last time a salesperson treated you like a number? Future top achievers associated with real estate transactions (lenders, legal professionals, real estate agents) will be those persons who define their job as, providing a level of service above customer expectations. With our current real estate environment, being referred as the "go to" person will generate continuing opportunities. Maintain a proactive attitude!

Jan 07, 2011 02:56 AM #92
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Larry very good post.  As Realtors we cannot do much for people until they get approved for a loan. 

Jan 07, 2011 05:14 AM #93
Laura Rivera
Coldwell Banker - Castro Valley, CA

Love your post!

Jan 07, 2011 05:57 AM #94
Eugene Adan
Adan Properties, Carlsbad, CA (760) 720-9710 - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate


There have been many changes in the lending industry that it is so vitally important to work with a lender who can inform and guide the consumer.  Many buyers still believe that they can just go somewhere and get financed.  Thanks for iterating that it's important that the lender send the consumer to a full-time agent that is familiar with the geographical area as well as the market.

Jan 07, 2011 10:24 AM #95
Denise Pudim
Kear Realty, Inc. - Chillicothe, OH

This is the best post I have read in 2011!  Good, solid information.  

Jan 08, 2011 01:19 AM #96
Rhonda Abbott
Howard Hanna - Wadsworth, OH
Wadsworth & Greater Akron, OH

Fantastic list - something ALL buyers should read!  Thanks for the insights!

Jan 08, 2011 08:37 AM #97
Margaret C. Taylor
Century 21 New Millennium MD - Mechanicsville, MD
St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent

Larry thanks for this important and educational information for Buyers.  I was fortunate enough to have a Loan Officer refer my client to his colleague in a different company.  It was when US Rural Development funds were in question.  The first Loan Officer's company was not doing these loans and so he referred me out and my client was able to close on his home.  Needless to say the first Loan Officer won my respect and I return to him whenever I can.  Margaret C.

Jan 12, 2011 12:34 AM #98
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

This is good information for any Buyer. Getting approved for a loan first lets you know what price range to start looking at.

Jan 30, 2011 06:24 AM #99
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