If I were going to pick names out of a hat, I would start picking out of the hat marked Realtor. Realtors have a fiduciary relationship to their buyer clients. Make sure you establish your relationship as a buyer client. Lenders do not. When a Realtor recommends a lender, it is because they have a prior relationship and trust that lender.
You can meet several Realtors and gain insight into their strengths and potential match for you while retaining some anonymity. You canâ€™t start cold w/ a lender and retain that privacy. You can dialogue w/ a Realtor about properties and retain some privacy. You canâ€™t get into loan option discussions without discussing your personal finances.
Do not expect a Realtor to make a lot of showing appts for you before you are pre-qualified. You can converse w/ agents via phone and email, attend a few open houses, and ask them for lender referrals.
Of course, if you have a great lender contact, travel that road first and get prequalified.
**you could even check Trulia profiles for agents in San Francisco - (I am not one of them)
Simply put, would you go shopping for a car before knowing how much your budget could afford to spend? Probably not. You should speak with a mortgage broker that can show you an array of programs and options so you can determine what you can afford. You should consider the tax impact and learn about all your options. This way when you go shopping for and with a Realtor, you know exactly what you are doing. The process will be less stressful and confusing.
Please view my profile for legal disclaimer.
If you have a banker you can connect with them to determine what you will be approved for and start the approval process.
It is important to be preapproved prior to starting the house hunting process. Congratulations in your decision to purchase.
Hi Kay and Liz....welcome to Trulia.
How do you get started?
First thing first. If you have a good credit to start with, great; if not, start right now to clean up your credit, make a budget and stay within the budget. Check on your finances and make sure you have enough savings for down payment and closing cost.
How to evaluate that? You will need to find either a lender or mortgage broker to work with. Get a few referrals, interview a couple and ask them to get you started on the finance side. By talking to them, you will be able to determine the price range, the monthly payment (including tax, interest, insurance, possible HOA fee) you have to budget for (donâ€™t forget the write offs to offset that), then you can go shopping.
You need to know the location you are interested in. San Francisco is a huge place. Are you staying in the city or not? If so, where in the city? If not, which part of the Bay Area are you interested in? Do some research on that? If you have a general location in mind then you are ready to find a realtor in that area; if not, then you need to narrow down to a few locations you are interested in.
After you have the location(s), then you are ready to find a Realtor to work with - they normally do not charge buyer commission (usually built in the sellerâ€™s cost). A few ways to do that also - Get some referrals; go to the most reputable company in town; or go to open house and interview a few undercover and see if you feel comfortable with any,
Will this get you started? Please keep us posted.
I am a Realtor in San Francisco.
Get with your bank or mortgage broker to order your credit report and get your loan package started so you can get approved for a loan and be in a position to hit the ground running.
Your Realtor may have a mortgage broker he or she can refer you to.
You want to shop loan programs and rates to ensure you are getting the best rate and terms on your loan.