Thi is a re-blog from Lanette. I get calls almost everyday from people who want see a house before they "take the time" to speak with a lender. I heard Wendy ask a buyer once "do you check your balance and make sure you have the right method of payment before you go to the grocery store?"
Buying a home is a biggest investment many people will ever make, so lets do it in a logical, methodical way. Talk to a lender first and we will find your dream home.
Oftentimes, the need arises to write a post on a subject I've covered before. The need has arisen once more; buyers continue to ask this question and I am compelled to answer.
Inquiring buyers want to know:
Why won't you show me homes before I talk to your lender?
Short answer: Because I'm a professional and this is my business. It makes absolutely no sense to do things a$$-backwards. I derive no pleasure from showing you homes you can't afford to buy and, besides that, gas is high as hell. Haven't you heard?
Long/Tactful Answer: Because I'm a professional and this is my business. It makes absolutely no sense to start a journey such as this in the middle of the journey. Ever heard the axiom, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with..."? Begins is the important word here. The financing of your home is often the biggest bottleneck to the entire home buying process and, being the savvy buyer I know you are, you need to know exactly where you stand on the financing front before you set foot on any seller's property. Let's not waste anyone's time, effort, or money; if your maximum affordability is a $200,000 home, there's absolutely no reason for you to be in a $300,000 home asking if the appliances convey.
Moreover, let me make this perfectly clear -- you don't have to talk to my lender, but you do have to talk to a lender. It's entirely your choice which lender you use, but, let's not get it twisted, you will talk to a lender before you set foot in my car.
If you are in the elite few who are able to purchase your next home with cash, I'll congratulate you for being in such a great financial place. Then, I'll thank you in advance for providing me your proof of funds (POF) to purchase. That would be a recent bank statement (or 401K, etc.) that shows at least the offer amount as its balance.
A lender letter (pre-qualification or pre-approval) or POF needs to accompany any offer presented on your behalf to the seller/seller's agent. You will not be a happy camper when you find your dream home, yet you're unable to submit a timely offer because you have to scramble to get a lender letter or POF to accompany. Sellers are entitled to make a decision about accepting, countering, or rejecting your offer based on not just the sales price you offered but also on your ability to actually pay for the home. Imagine that! A Buyer who provides proof that his purchase funds are in liquid form presents a stronger offer than one who doesn't. Just saying.
This be-about-it attitude is exactly what you should expect when working with me as your Buyer's agent. When I'm negotiating on your behalf, I'll provide you with all the information you need to make an informed offer. The stats, comps, and/or trends of the area you're buying in are important facts you need to know and my negotiate-to-win attitude ensures all involved will leave the settlement table feeling that they've negotiated their best deal.