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Once you make the decision to purchase a home you will need the help of two professionals to help you achieve you goal. The first is a Mortgage professional and the second is a Real Estate professional. Each of these people will play a key roll with your purchase.
Selecting your Mortgage Professional
Do not underestimate the importance of a good mortgage professional or consultant. The average Loan Originator works on and closes 75 loans per year. The experience and knowledge they have can save you significant time, money, and hassle.
The following are some of the key factors in selecting a Mortgage Professional:
You must feel comfortable with your loan officer. If they act or sound like they are not working in your best interest they may not be. Loan Originator's get paid on the amount of loans they help close so its in their financial interest to get your loan approved and closed. The best Originator's take pride in their work and achieve success by providing quality service to his/her clients. They recommend programs and strategies that are not necessarily in their best interest but in their clients. If you do not trust your loan officer get another one.
* They work for an established, reputable financial institution
Since this will be one of the most important transactions that you enter into, you should work with a company that will stand by its actions and promises. Just like there are good and bad loan officers out there, there are also good and bad mortgage lenders out there. If you lock into a rate you will want to make sure the company will honor it. Since you will be required to put down a sizable deposit you will want to make sure that the company will still be around at the time of your closing. This may sound funny but it is a reality. The mortgage industry is one that has significant peaks and valleys in volume. During bad times it is not unheard of for 10% of the lenders to go out of business. Make sure the company you choose to do business with is a sound, customer service focused company.
* They have at least two years experience
This is not to say a loan officer that has only one year experience is not knowledgeable enough to help you but two year experience is a good guideline. Each loan is different and it will take a few years of originating loans for a loan originator to encounter most of the problems and issues that come up during the loan approval process. If your loan approval process goes smoothly you may not need this experience; but if you encounter difficulties you will want your loan originator to have the knowledge to overcome any issues. One of the most important rules a loan originator must follow is not to panic when a problem occurs, they need to examine the issue and find a way to overcome it. No amount of training can provide this knowledge, it takes years of experience.
* They offer a full range of programs
Do not underestimate the importance of choosing the right mortgage program. When you look at a well rounded rate sheet you will see anywhere from 10-50 mortgage programs. These programs are available because they serve a specific purpose and are intended to be used for different financing strategies. A good mortgage professional will ask you about your financial assets and needs and inquire into your needs in a mortgage. Once they have all the pieces of your financial puzzle they will be able to recommend a program that will best meet your financial needs. If a particular program meets your financial needs and your lender doesn't have it the decision to apply for another program could cost you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Always make sure your lender has a wide variety of programs and that your loan officer reviews them with you.
Selecting you Realtor
Your Real Estate professional is the other of the two professionals you will be working with and the selection of the correct one will have a definite impact on your purchase. Much of the same criteria used to select your mortgage professional will also apply to the selection of your Real Estate professional.
The key factors in selecting your Real Estate Professional
Since you will probably be making one of the largest purchases of your life working with a Real Estate broker you trust is essential. Like in all professions there are good and bad Realtors and working with a good one can save you time, stress and maybe even your dream home. If for any reason you don't feel comfortable with your broker or suspect they are not working in your best interest get another one.
* They work for an established, reputable firm
When choosing a firm look at their services and how they feel about customer service. A well run, respectable firm may provide such benefits as quicker access to new listings, written and adhered to service standards and codes of conduct, and better technology to assist you in your search. Working for a financially sound firm is also recommended, you do not want to risk your deposit funds with a firm that could encounter financial difficulties and potentially tie up your assets.
Your agent should have at least two years experience. This rule may not apply to all brokers but as with all professionals experience and knowledge are a hard combination to beat. There is a reason why the top performers are top performers- they get the job done. You want to find someone who knows what they are doing, knows what your looking for and is in your corner.
* Familiarity with the community
You should use a broker that specializes in the town you are interested in. Communities, house prices, zoning, and schools may vary from town to town or county to county. If your considering towns that are not tightly situated you should consider finding a broker in each town. Everyone's heard the expression "location, location, location", well if your broker doesn't know anything about the location how is he/she going to tell you if the asking price is to high or to low? How is he/she going to tell you the traffic patterns of the streets or the level of education the schools provide? As a potential buyer you should be interested in facts, facts, facts.
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