Real estate professionals will tell you that all real estate is local. This means, every market is different, even from one neighborhood to the next. That being the case, it only serves you to buy local when retaining a Realtor or mortgage professional. You will not only receive a higher level of service, you're also supporting your local community.
There’s no question that the Internet has simplified our lives. It's a great tool to learn about purchasing and financing a home, however; when you're ready to take action, it's time to seek a local Realtor, mortgage banker, and attorney to assist you in finding and financing your new home. Buying and financing a home involves many parties working together to navigate through a process that's very labor intensive, time sensitive, and fraught with obstacles. When a problem arises it helps to have professionals who have a working relationship to get the job done. The typical transaction involves, two buyers, two sellers, two Realtors, one and maybe two lawyers, an appraiser, home inspector, insurance agent, and a mortgage banker. It could also involve a pest inspector, building inspector, contractor, estate lawyer, well you get the idea. Getting all of these parties working together on a tight schedule requires a lot of local knowledge and constant communication between parties, which is difficult to do if you're working with an internet based mortgage lender, or Realtor who doesn't live in your community. Beyond that, you want a Realtor and mortgage professional who have a pulse on the local market, allowing them to provide you with important information that you're not going to receive from an internet web site.
A recent article in National Mortgage News articulated how working with local business's supports your community, and serves you as well.
"Purchasing a home is one of the most significant decisions a person or family can make. Statistics show that a growing number of consumers are seeking out local lenders to help them through the home buying process. They want someone with a vested interest in their community to help them with this decision. According to Mortgage Bankers Association data, independent, non-bank mortgage lenders originated 40% of the home purchase loans made in 2013. The differences in the basic business model of these lenders are often overlooked and misunderstood. From a market perspective, community lenders approve economically safe loans. Many, like mine, are small, owner-operated businesses that bear 100% of the market risk. We can't afford to get loans wrong as our personal reputation and our personal assets are on the line. Because we are small businesses, we understand needs of our neighbors and local small businesses owners, contributing to local economic growth."
I encourage you to surf the web for real estate listings, or to learn about mortgage programs, but when it's time to move forward, ask your family and friends for a referral to local professionals. We appreciate your business, and you'll be helping your local community.