Why Is My Realtor Referring Me to You, Ms. Loan Officer in Riverside County?
Experienced Realtors learn that their buyer clients will have an easier ride buying a home is one of their earliest moves is to get a Full Doc Preapproval from a trusted loan officer. When they see a loan officer do a loan with a competitive interest rate, in a timely fashion, with less than a usual amount of drama, Realtors take notice. Over time, a Realtor gets to know and trust certain Loan Officers to do the right thing, Full Doc Preapproval as well as competitive fees, and so the Realtor refers you, the client, to the Loan officer.
A Full Doc Preapproval means, the Loan Officer requires the buyer to provide full documentation up front:
- Most recent 2 months' paystubs,
- Most recent 2 years' W2s,
- Most recent 2 years' tax returns, and
- Most recent 2 months' bank statements.
The Loan Officer takes that information and works up a whole file on the buyer, modeling out the purchase price, a conservative interest rate, average values for real estate taxes, home insurance, FHA MI or VA Funding Fee, etc. Doing the full workup up front gives both the buyer and the real estate agent comfort in the buyer's ability to get that loan.
I will be writing a blog post soon on Beware of credit unions' Faux VA products that charge scam-like fees, with a sample from a recent "HomeBuyers Choice 30 Year" product from a common preferred credit union of military homebuyers. In the meantime, heed the warning: make sure exactly what loan product the loan officer is using. Ask questions and compare, so you don't pay a higher interest rate and massively higher fees. Indeed, lean toward a loan officer that a real estate agent recommends, rather than a retail lender credit union or bank whose name is comforting but who IS selling you a retail product.
If you're looking for a Full Doc Preapproval on a VA, FHA, conventional, or USDA loan, feel free to contact me at 951-704-4559, or Lisa@DelzompoHomes.com. I don't do "faux" loans.
It's a Loan Officer, Not a Serial Killer!
Scenario #1. You call a real estate agent because you saw a house online and would like more info. Agent describes the house and you get excited, it sounds exactly like what you're looking for. You say, "I gotta see this house! When can we go?" Agent's response, "Have you been in contact with a Loan Officer?"
Scenario #2. You and your spouse have been driving around the city, looking for "for sale" signs in front of houses that you're interested in. This is one of the areas you've always wished you could buy your first house in. House looks great. There's even some young kids playing basketball next door. They seem to be right about the same ages as your kids. Your wife dials the number on the sign. "Hi, this is Eric. How can I help you?" "Um, hi. We were wondering if you could tell us more about the house at 123 Perfect Lane?" After hearing all about the house, you've just gotta see the inside! When you ask, the response is "Do you have a pre-qualification letter from a lender yet?"
Scenario #3. You just got a raise at your job. The lease is just about up on your apartment, and a few of your friends have purchased homes recently. It's your turn. You sign up for lists of homes from a dozen real estate sites. They're all the same lists, but whatever. You thought there might be something special out there and you didn't want to miss it. You find a few that you want to look at. That's when you call your friend, who's been in the business for a while. You tell him that it'll be cool to hang out and look at some homes, maybe get a few beers afterward. Friend agrees and says, "Before we hook up, have you talk to a lender yet? If not, I have a few that I've worked with in the past that I could recommend, because we need to make sure you get pre-approved before we start looking at homes."
See the pattern here?
There's a reason that we want you to talk to a Loan Officer before we go out to look at homes. A few reasons, actually.
- You need to take a look at your credit history. Lenders have minimum credit scores that need to be met before lending money for a house.
- You might think that you can afford a certain amount, only to learn you have to look at homes that are a lot lower than you thought. Conversely, maybe you can qualify for more than you thought, and your dream house just got a lot nicer. Looking at homes that you could never qualify for is depressing. Trust me.
- We run a business. We don't get paid unless you purchase a house. If you can't purchase, we can't waste our time, money or resources. It doesn't make business sense.
Debt to income ratios, time on your job and amount needed are a few more things that they Loan Officer will have to figure out before determining how much, and IF you can qualify for a mortgage loan.
Sometimes it's scary to find out what your credit is, or what you can truly afford. Sometimes it's even better to continue renting for a while to save up more money for that down payment or to pay off a few credit cards. The Loan Officer will help determine the best strategy for you.
Ultimately, a trustworthy Loan Officer is an integral part in the house/condo buying process. They can be an ally. As long as you remember, It's a Loan Officer, Not a Serial Killer!