Sorry I'm doing this backwards but I want to know what I can afford
That is what a client said to me this past Saturday. She found me through one of my ActiveRain Blogs about the neighborhood (yay success story!) and asked to meet with me to go over questions and establish what she can really afford. Not just what she can qualify for but what she can afford based on the budget she is setting for her monthly payment. She explained that she didn't want to start working with an agent until she knew how much down payment would be needed and what kind of payments she could expect.
I could hardly keep myself from jumping over the conference room table to hug her!!!
No, you are NOT doing it backwards!!! This IS the way it SHOULD be done!!!
I always find it curious when agents will spend hours and hours if not days and days driving a client around showing them property after property without ever establishing if that client is capable of purchasing any the homes they are viewing.
"What? What do you mean they don't qualify? Do you have any idea how many homes I have already showed them?"
Wish I could say that I don't hear that very often, but unfortunately, I do.
Yes Mr. Realtor. You did just spend your entire weekend and lots of very expensive gasoline showing your client properties that were way over their budget. Remember what I told you, have the client at least speak to me BEFORE you start showing property.
And it's just as perplexing when someone is surprised that the payment on the home of their dreams is not what they "ball parked" in their head.
"Wow, that payment is a lot more than we were expecting. We played around with payment calculators on the internet, but I guess those don't include the taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance or HOA fees"
No Mr Buyer. Not all online calculators will give you a full picture of what your total payment will really be. Not only that, but if you are not speaking to someone familiar with the area where you are purchasing they may not take into
consideration any additional special assessments or bonds that will affect the total tax on your property.
Agents, I beg you, please have everyone of your prospects fully screened by your favorite loan officer BEFORE you show property and definitely BEFORE you put in an offer on any home. Don't have a favorite loan officer? Call me, I will be happy to help you or refer you to someone in your area who will.
Buyers,please have a loan officer do a full and thorough evaluation of your situation before you start shopping. It's no fun to fall in love with something only to find out that it's way outside of your league. Not sure where to begin? Call me. I will guide you or find you a loan officer in your area who can assist you.
So yes, please do it "backwards" and find out how much your or your client can really afford BEFORE you being shopping for homes.