Home Buying in 92394>Question Details

Brian, Home Buyer in 92397

After reading Tara's last post, I want to know how I can guarantee financial privacy from my Realtor?

Asked by Brian, 92397 Fri Mar 8, 2013

Tara talks about how important it is for a buyer to demonstrate they have ample money in the bank to close beyond a simple preapproval letter.

For privacy reasons, I do not like my Realtor to know how much money I have, how much money I make, how I earn my money, or how much house I can really afford.

I bought a house and I had that info used against me. The Realtor kept pushing me for more because she knew I could. She wanted me to buy more house, she wanted me to offer more money. I was content in offering what I wanted and continuing to look at another 30 houses till my price was met. She wanted to make a deal.

I felt violated. I believe that aside from a preapproval letter, my money and how I earn it is none of her business.

To make matters worse I went through her in house lender. He shared everything about me with her. I had no privacy--and I felt I needed privacy. It got so bad that the financial guy would call the agent more than he would call me.

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My suggestion is to interview your Realtor (and lender) and find out if its a good fit for you. You are going to spend a lot of time with each other. The relationship needs to be a good fit both ways.
Not every buyer out there is a good fit for me and I'm not the Realtor for every buyer. That's why there is more than one of us.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
Your realtor will need to know that you have the funds for closing costs and for the down payment. They will need to know that you earn an adequate income to qualify for the mortgage and that your debt to income ratio also qualifies. Most of that can be done through the mortgage lender.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
Hi Keith, sorry to hear about your experience with this. As a Realtor, our focus should be entirely on serving the clients needs above all things, respecting the amount of money they are willing to spend on a home and of course, the right to privacy regarding financial matters.

For this very reason, I prefer all financial , tax and other sensitive documents be kept between the lender and the borrower. Furthermore, I usually request all sensitive information be "blacked out" prior to me receiving it . (Such as proof of funds,etc.)

Your statement helps me reinforce my policy for future buyers, thanks for venting and sharing.

Jory Blake
Web Reference: http://www.JoryBlake.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
In today's market it's very competitive but that's no reason to move a buyer from the comfort zone. Purchasing a home is stressful enough without the added pressure from their advocate.. Your realtor needs a ceiling as far as purchase price but you can set your amount with the lender, figure out the amount need to close and move to a separate account so the agent only has that information not your complete available funds. Sorry for the ordeal you suffered through to purchase your home but these are a few suggestions when you're ready for your next purchase
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 9, 2013
From what you'e shared, you ran into an agent who behaved unethically. A good agent should never push you past your comfort zone. I'm sorry you had that experience because it impacts our trust level of Realtors.

Truly, if you don't trust your Realtor completely, it's going to be difficult to have a successful transaction. Your Realtor should be on your side and have as much information about your position as possible. We are license by the state and should not be divulging personal information except as needed to submit an offer.

If you feel it's appropriate, consider reporting your agent to the proper authorities...at the very least, her broker.

Take care.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
Dear Keith, you need to understand that your realtor and lender are on your team! We are licensed and have fiduciary responsibilities not to disclose your personal assets to the seller beyond what is needed to make an offer. It really sounds like you and your Realtor have a misunderstanding. Right now the market is such that there are many multiple offer sales, and your agent may have been trying to understand how high you might want to go on a counter offer. Whether you have lots of money or can borrow more, really has nothing to do with what a particular home is worth to you at this time. You should offer what your feel comfortable with, and whether the comps support the price, even if you're buying cash. This is such a good example of why I am always talking about the importance of developing a relationship with a realtor way before you have transactions, so you feel comfortable discussing your financial situation, your goals, and your needs. Best, Terry Bell, CPS Real Estate, Santa Rosa, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
All your Realtor needs to know is what you allow your lender to share . If you have been given a Pre approval letter , how much you are ABLE to purchase ,your down payment and closing costs. That and the proof of funds that are required a bank statement showing those funds . Other than that your business is your business . If a realtor tries to push getting more facts or to try to stonewall you in purchasing more ,hire a new Realtor . Their to work for YOU
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013

I think that's the point I'm making...my financials can be verified by a mortgage broker. The agent just needs to hear "yes he can." The agent does not need to know how much or how deep he can go.

If the agent in my example simply knew I qualified for X amount based on my financials, that would be one thing. but for her to know how deep my accounts are, or that I've been approved for X when I can really afford Y is dangerous territory.

I'd rather them think I barely qualify for X so that they don't try to squeeze me for Y in order to make a deal. Leave the financials to the mortagage guy and please don't let your mortgage guy tell the agent all your specifics.

On a side note, this was an issue because I went on a referral from my sister. I didn't want my sister knowing my financials and her friend the agent ended up with more info about me than I bargained for.

Then I started getting posts of a personal nature on Facebook from my realtor that indicated certain private info that she thought was friendly, and my sister could totally see this.

I'm jaded--and I actually like the realtor as a person.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
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