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Trulia Naples, Other/Just Looking in Naples, FL

When buying your first home, should you approach your lender or agent first?

Asked by Trulia Naples, Naples, FL Thu May 30, 2013

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Trevor Curran’s answer
Good afternoon,

First steps:

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.

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.

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!

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140

*If you thought my answer was helpful, please give me a “Thumbs Up” or “Best Answer.” Thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
If you do not have an existing relationship with either an agent or lender, I think it is best to interview both agents and lenders and go with who you feel most comfortable with. Home buying is a personal process and you need to feel confident with the team you have representing you. When purchasing a home, an agent assists their clients along every step of the way and are an invaluable resource in helping you get a the right home for the right price. If someone is searching real estate in Naples, please view my website http://www.napleshomes.com. Napleshomes.com has detailed community information, Naples real estate trends and news, and detailed property listings.

I would be more than happy to talk to anyone who would like to interview as a prospective agent for anyone looking to purchase real estate in Naples. My email is ryan@napleshomes.com and my cell is 239.244.1559. Have a great day!
Web Reference: http://www.NaplesHomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 22, 2013
See My 6/1 answer...still the same....KathyBC 800-448-3411 x 601...(6/24)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 24, 2013
Ask an agent - and they will say contact the agent first. They don't want a mortgage broker to recommend their preferred agent and chance losing the business.

Ask a lender - and they will say contact the lender first. They don't want a real estate agent to recommend their preferred lender chance losing out on the business.

The truth is - it really doesn't matter all that much who you technically "approach" first. The bottom line is - before you start actively looking, you should have all of the financials figured out.

You should both:

1. Know how much you can comfortably afford. This means factoring in anything that is going to make a difference in your monthly payment. Interest rate, mortgage insurance if applicable, taxes, and purchase price all play a role in this.

2. Have a pre-approval letter. Most, if not all, sellers are going to require this with any offer you make today. Without it, your offer will likely simply get ignored. This is especially true with REO properties.

Above and beyond all this - educate yourself. There is a wealth of information available these days, both online, and likely through consumer groups in your area, that can educate you on both the financing, and purchase processes. A educated buyer who takes it upon themselves to do a little due dilligence of their own is almost always going to get a better overall deal at the end of the day.

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Terry, a lender recommending an agent! Not sure what planet you're on, but it's really rare for a lender to generate their own business. They count on Realtors. Most lenders know dozens of agents and are a poor source of referrals. On the other hand, Realtors only deal with a couple of good lenders and perhaps only one.
Don
Flag Tue Jun 4, 2013
I'm quite surprised by how many people said contact the lender first. Find a good agent first, best done by asking around and finding an agent someone you know actually used to buy a home. Finding an agent because someone just happens to know one is no indication of how good they are with the process. Once you find an active, successful agent they will know what lenders are the best. I've seen way to many pre-approvals over the years to know that many are not worth the paper they're written on. Without question, find the right agent first.

Don Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - New York's #1 Real Estate Broker
http://www.donmituzas.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
I'm quite surprised by how many people said contact the lender first. Find a good agent first, best done by asking around and finding an agent someone you know who actually bought a home. Finding an agent because someone just happens to know one is no indication of how good they are with the process. Once you find and active, successful agent they will know what lenders are the best. I've seen way to many pre-approvals over the years to know that many are not worth the paper they're written on. Without question, find the right agent first.

Don Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - New York's #1 Real Estate Broker
http://www.donmituzas.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
You should select your agent then go with him/her to a lender the agent has confidence in. I am a Naples agent very fimiliar with the areas mentioned and have greAT lenders who keep their promises. KathyBC 800-448-3411 x 601...(6/1)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 1, 2013
You should approach your real estate professional FIRST.
Based on the type of real estate in which you have interest, and the speciifcs of your situation, the agent can direct you to the lenders who have a historic record of meeting their commitments for buyers JUST LIKE YOU!
Those who close on time, under budget and with the least amount of drama.
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If you work this process backwards, the truth isn't apparent until it's too late.
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It is most unfortunate when a agent inherits a first time buyer with paper in hand from a lender that is known will make their purchase offer NON-COMPETITIVE!
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If you are serious about buying a home you need to make the right decisions that will produce the results you need. The manner in which the process starts has a lot to do with the end results.
Start with your real estate professional.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
727.420.4041
Http://RealEstateMadeEZ.us
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Contact your lender toay most offers need a preapproval or proof of funds this also shows sellers that you are a serious buyer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Either. Personally as a high volume Realtor I prefer buyers speak with me first as I can then suggest a variety of trustworthy local lenders they can speak with that I believe will be the best fit for them. I work with between 6-10 lenders and depending o the buyer will suggest 2 or 3.

Speaking with a lender first isn't a bad idea, but the lender a buyer speaks to for pre-approval may not be their best option.

More importantly is finding the right buyer broker. See the link below on how to interview Realtors to find a great one regardless of where you're buying.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
The best thing will be to approach the lender, but not all buyers are that educated regarding the process. As an agent, getting pre-approved is the first serious conversation I have with any prospect. I make it clear on our first conversation "After you get the pre-approval and the lender copies me on it, we can schedule our first trip to look at some properties". Clearly implying not before.

Tony Vega
Antonelli Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
It is probably best to find out for sure what one's financial capabilities will be in order to look in the proper price range. This will avoid frustration looking at homes outside your price range and not waste your time, or the REALTOR's time sorting that out.

If, however, one does not have a lender they are already comfortable with, or if your lender does not lend in FL, for example, your REALTOR should be able to recommend 2 or 3 lenders that they work with on a regular basis. (Many lenders in other states do not lend on second homes out of state).

As an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) I am happy to help work through all that with customers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Absolutely the Lender to know your expectations & price point. However, through experience this happens about 50% of the time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
You can discuss with a Real Estate agent your desires and intentions and they can often recommend some lenders to you based on your situation.

Deciding on the financing for your home can be as important as choosing a home itself. The first step is deciding what kind of loan best fits you: a fixed rate mortgage, or an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). There are benefits to each form of loan. Next you'll want to begin to shop around for different lenders.

Getting prequalified for a loan normally only requires a short phone conversation with a lender, and can greatly help your home search. Prequalification does not guarantee you a loan, but it does provide you with an estimated monthly payment and a price range to use as a guide when shopping for homes. Being prequalified can also often indicate to sellers that you are a serious, prepared buyer. In our area, it is preferred to be pre-approved rather than pre-qualified.

Once you have financing in place, then meet with your real estate agent to begin viewing properties. At this point you will know what price range of home you should be searching for.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
RE/MAX Palm Realty
tammyhayesre@gmail.com
941-276-6185
http://www.tammyhayes.remax-florida.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
If you have the two professionals in mind already, your first step would be to meet with your lender to seek your options and different avenues: the loan you may be approved for to restrict your price-range criteria; the monthly payment for the amount you are approved for (this should be well within your comfort level); and the type of financing.

Best of Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
By all means, meet with your lender to understand how much you can afford. There is no sense looking at a property just to discover it is not obtainable. Especially important in this fast market is having a pre-approval of financing in your hand to submit with an offer is a position of strength. When multiple offers are in the picture, all terms including the amount of the financial offer are significant factors to a seller's assessment of your offer over other's. Good luck! Don't wait.
Cynthia Corogin
Realtor
Naples and Marco Island
Premier Sotheby's International Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Either/Or......each will be able to provide you with referrals for the other. I would approach the best person first regardless of which profession.

jessemcgreevy@gmail.com
239-898-5329
http://www.Domain-RealtyGroup.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
All are great answers and accurate. If you are not working with anyone else I would love to answer all of your questions and help streamline the search process for you. I go beyond my customers expectations by locating the perfect property that fits your needs, negotiating the best deal possible and protecting your interests every step of the way. Call me and lets talk about how I can help you find a house you will love.

Respectfully,

Terence Trombetti • Realtor®
Gulf Coast Realty Network
Mobile 239.560.1574
terencetrombetti@gmail.com
http://www.gulfcoastproperty.net

*Contact me for a current list of active properties that fit your needs. Conventional, foreclosure and short sales. All properties I send come directly from the Realtor's MLS system and therefore are real-time current information, only active and available homes.

See my customer testimonials here: http://www.zillow.com/profile/terencetrombetti/Reviews?my=y

**If you thought my answer was helpful, please give me a “Thumbs Up” or “Best Answer.” Thanks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
The lender. Most sellers these days demand proof that you have a commitment to fund the purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
It is best to contact your lender first. This will tell you how much you qualify for and then your agent will be able to show you homes that fall within that approval amount. Many times the buyer will find out they can purchase more than they thought. Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
Always approach your lender first, dont even start looking at properties until you can really know exactly what you can afford. Will save you lots of time and potential heartbreaks further down the road.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
make sure you have or can get the money to buy what your want before you go looking to buy anything..For a home, if you are already approved for financing, the realtor..and more important..the seller will know you are not just another tire kicker. SEE your Lender first..then look for homes you can afford..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
You need to know what you can afford, and then determine what you are comfotable spending each month for mortgage, mortgage insurance (if nessessary), taxes and insurance. Some folks like to be right at what they can afford and others like to be under. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
Realtors are hesitant to show homes to borrowers who have not first spoken to a lender. It's a waste of their time if you have champagne tastes on a beer budget.

Speak to a lender first. You can get an idea of how much you can be approved for and what your monthly payment will look like. Then from there you can determine your comfort level as far as price and payment.

This will help your realtor narrow things down in terms of where to look.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
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