Home Buying in Pasadena>Question Details

Kristian Har…, Renter in Glen Burnie, MD

Preparing to buy a house...What type of professional do we seek?

Asked by Kristian Hargett, Glen Burnie, MD Tue Sep 4, 2012

I have gotten so much information from this website. We would like to set up a meeting with someone, we are just not sure who. Lender? Real estate agent? Broker? We also want to make sure we are working with someone who is familiar with the Anne Arundel County area. We also want someone who has alot of background in working with people with complex credit issues. I have stated before that my boyfriends scores are in the 600s..not due to alot of bad things just mostly a lack of credit. Any reccomendations would be helpful. We are planning on printing our credit reports scores out and having someone give us some advice to see if there are ways to improve. Thank you so much for all the answers you all have given me.

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Hi Kristian,

I would suggest that you talked to lender to determine what, if anything you will need to do prior to obtaining approval for a loan to purchase a home. Find an agent you & your boyfriend feel comfortable working with and then search for your home.

Best of luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
The first step of buying a house will be shopping for a mortgage broker. They work with Banks and private lenders and have access to different programs. The property value for which you can qualify depends on your personal financial condition and they can be able to determine the amount that you can be approved for. Now you are ready to start searching for a real estat agent that can provide a service that meet your standards. Start by asking friends, co-workers and family if they can recommended you one.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 27, 2012
Hi Kristian,

Start out with a trusted real estate pro. Make sure you find someone that you "click" with, and someone that will really listen to you not talk at you. That professional can often recommend a lender to get you a pre-qualification and also guide you through to settlement. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 19, 2012

This is a great question.......

Many buyers don't realize until it's often too late that there is a big difference between full and part time agents. Using the skill and knowledge of a full time agent will make a difference the level of service you receive, if only from the standpoint of availability and knowing the local market.

Most agent know their product and their companies but not all agents are completely engaged with the total market. Knowing the total inventory and understanding where the values are will help greatly.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
Hi Kristian!

The first step is definitely to reach out to both a lender and a realtor. A local lender will be able to explain the loan options available to you based upon your income & credit scores. They can also give you a snapshot of mortgage payment scenarios to help you narrow down your max price range... no matter what you are pre-approved for, it is always most important to stick to a price range that will keep your payments where you are comfortable & still able to save for that "rainy day". I have a homebuyer booklet I'd be happy to email to you, just let me know where to send it :) As mentioned in my other post, there are several programs out there that offer down payment assistance plus we can ask for a seller concession towards your closing costs to keep your out of pocket expenses to a minimum.

There are lots of wonderful agents in this area, I recommend you call agents directly to do a phone interview before taking things further --- you can generally get a great sense for how someone will match up to your needs in a quick phone conversation.

I was born and raised just outside of Annapolis, MD & know AA County very well. Most of my family is still in the area & I love working with first time buyers. As a licensed Interior Designer in addition to being a Realtor, I offer a free design consultation & help my buyers see the hidden potential in the homes we visit :) If you wish to read or learn more about my services, please visit my website and/or checkout my client reviews on Trulia. Happy to help in anyway I can & I'd be honored to be considered in your search for an Anne Arundel County buyer's agent :)

Rachel Best
Web Reference: http://www.rachel-best.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
Good morning Kristian,

First steps:

1. Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

2. Get a referral to a good, local, real estate attorney. Call the attorney, retain the attorney so you have her information handy when you make an offer. Having that information at time of offer helps you demonstrate to the Seller how serious you are, and they will consider your offer with more interest.

3. Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

4. Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Good luck!
Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2012

You are certainly doing your research and many of us have answered you. You are ready to take the plunge! I would begin by reaching out to a Realtor (who of course, I would like to be ME!) As a Realtor I have the opportunity to work with many lenders and I know who gets the job done, on time and without hassles. There are also different loan programs out there which I know about, so helping you find the right lender is one of the services I provide. Your lender will get the pre-qualification process taken care of and then we'll know what you are approved for. Once we have a number and type of loan you'll be using, how much downpayment you need, how much seller help, we'll start looking at listings. Most young homebuyers do a great deal of the research themselves but there is more information available to the Realtors than the layman which help us point you in the right direction. There is also the knowledge that only experience can bring which helps me "read between the lines," and weed out homes that won't work for you, no matter how nice the pictures are!

I suggest you and I get together for a cup of coffee and get to know each other. During the time you are buying your home, your relationship with your agent is very, very close. If you don't "get" each other, work well together and enjoy spending time together, it can be miserable. I work with lots of first time homebuyers and have 5 kids from 18-35 so I am sure we will be a terrific fit. If you would like to speak to some of my former clients and get their perspective, I can arrange that too. My website askAmyRealEstate.com tells you more about me. In any case, just give a shout and let's meet to see if I am who you would like to work with. I think we could make it fun!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 5, 2012
The first two people to contact would be a lender and a Realtor. While the lender can advise you about the financial end, the Realtor is there to guide you along and advise throughout the homebuying process, much like many have been doing for you through this website. When you choose someone to work with exclusively, the answers will become less "generic" and specific to your situation.
My advice would be to interview a few Realtors before deciding. Go with your gut. When you interview, the Realtor should be LISTENING to you, not talking AT you about how impressed they are with themselves. You should feel comfortable enough with them to ask questions freely. They should be tech-saavy, available and responsive. All these factors, while helpful to YOU directly are also helpful when heading to settlement and they are dealing with other agents, lenders and settlement companies. Research people on the internet. You can tell a lot about people by what info is (and is not) there. Don't be fooled by people who will tell you to go with or avoid experienced or inexperienced agents. Each has their advantages. Contrary to what you would immediatly think, quantity does not always equal quality. I would, however, advise choosing a full time Realtor.
Most Realtors can put you in touch with lenders. You also want a lender that is available and responsive, not someone that you are just a name or file to. (BTW it is not entirely necessary for you to pull your own credit, they will do all of that for you.) First test: call or email a few and see what their response time is. It will tell you a lot.
One other thing I believe in: Make sure you all around like and trust the person. The homebuying process can be stressful, especially the first time. Choose someone who you feel will not add to the stress, but will empower you with information and will work their tail off for you.
I work very closely with an EXCELLENT lender in Crofton who is all of the things I mention above. She is very easy to talk to and offers very good advice about how to raise credit scores in individual situations. Feel free to contact either of us, no pressure, I promise. The link to her info is in the "about my team" section on the following webpage:
Best of luck and congratulations for taking the first steps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012

Well I might be a little biased as I am a lender but I think the first step a person should take is with a good local lender. No Realtor I know will show you a home until you have at least spoken to a lender. Most would want a pre approval letter before showing you a home. If Realtors think I am off base please jump in. A Realtor will recommend one of the lenders they know, much in the same fashion I would recommend you a Realtor that I have worked with in the past. So anyway I would start with the lender. Let one of them pull your scores if they are willing to share the information it contains. And talk to one that knows credit scores and will take the time to explain it to you and offer ways to improve the score. Take a look at this also maybe it will help. http://www.examiner.com/article/lender-advice-for-first-time…

Please let me know any questions and if I may help in any way.


Brent Mendelson
Senior Loan Officer
1ST Mariner Mortgage
Lending in all 50 states
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
We began fixing our credit back in Febuary and I remember speaking with you on here because I have your name written down. You are a little out of our way. I was wondering if you ever have meetings that are a little closer to the annapolis/pasadena area? You seem to have alot of knowledge on preparing your credit.
Flag Tue Sep 4, 2012
Hello Kristian, You are looking to hire a Buyer Agent (Realtor) to represent you in the purchase of your home. This person can also recommend to you a Lender for you to review your financial abilities. Hopefully, one that can also provide some information about down payment assistance if needed. Some lenders/brokers can also review your credit and make credit repair suggestion at no cost. Please feel free to reach out to me at laura.scott@kw.com or http:// laurascottsellshomes.kwrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
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