Sometimes buyers want to skip or don't know the first crucial step in home buying of establishing a relationship with a lender and getting themselves pre-qualified for a loan. Even worse, sometimes the Buyers' Agent allows them to skip that step. A missed step can mean a bad fall. There is a real risk to the buyer if they haven't determined their ability to purchase a house first as well as sought the guidance of a loan officer to figure out their price range. The consequence is that buyers will shop based solely on their wants instead of their wherewithal and in most cases that most perfect of house will always lie in the field of forbidden fruit.
As agents assist buyers in their search for a new home, we are defining a "standard" of house. The standard is fluid in the beginning. When we look in a pre-determined price range of affordable houses, some houses fall below the standard while others can exceed the standard. That's our goal...to help our buyers find a house that exceeds their standards AND that they CAN afford.
The danger of looking in the field of forbidden fruit first is that most of the houses will certainly exceed the buyers' expectations and will become the "standard" of what they want in a house. More than likely they will fall in love with one of these houses. Not just a wistful sigh laden love that they know they'll have to work towards but hopelessly, headlessly over heel-lessly in love. This will become such an ill-fated love affair once they inform their lender of their choice, that no other house will EVER measure up to this first love. In my opinion, the agent who encouragd their buyer to travel to the land of forbidden fruit in the first place deserves to reap what they allowed to be sowed.
While the real estate market slowly begins to morph from a buyers' market to a balanced market and the lenders are still so gun shy about making loans at all, it is more important than ever for buyers to engage in a conversation with a lender well before a REALTOR is asked to show the first house. The buyer and the REALTOR should always strive to make the real estate transaction process as pleasant and productive as possible. Buyers are encouraged at all costs avoid the risk of not getting pre-qualified with a lender and the certain consequence of dallying in the disappointing and possibly poisonous trip to the field of forbidden fruit.