Home Buying in Clearwater>Question Details

Sjea, Home Buyer in 60102

When should I start working with a realtor?

Asked by Sjea, 60102 Thu Apr 11, 2013


We are currently in a rental agreement through August 9th 2013 and wondering when we should start the whole house searching process and getting pre-approved? We have started looking at homes in the areas we want to be in but that is about it.

Help the community by answering this question:


You want to have a plan of action it will make your life so much easier and will make buying a home fun! I have attached a video I made that I share with my buyers. Hopefully this will help you too.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 25, 2013
Get pre-approved 1st. It won't hurt to do that now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 25, 2013
First I would suggest going to your lender/bank of choice and get a pre-approval so you know what you qualify for. Or if you have cash on hand, you are good to start looking.

You should start looking NOW due to your lease being up in August as most closings can take up to 2 months.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 25, 2013
The simple answer is.... when you are actually READY to buy. That means pre-approved or cash on hand and knowing about where you want to live.

Nothing is more frustrating for Buyers and Realtors to be floundering. It works best if your Realtor know that you are ready and able to purchase.

Be open with a Realtor. If you have no idea when you are moving then have them set you up on a drip campaign to send you new and updated listings in the areas you are interested in.

I cannot stress enough being pre-approved or having cash ready, especially these days when it is a nightmare to get a mortgage. There is nothing worse than falling in Love with a property and then finding out a month later that underwriting has turned you down!

If you have any further questions, I can assist you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 25, 2013
Hello Sjea,

August 9th is just around the corner. You should begin looking for a realtor now.

You can always ask friends and family for referrals.

Trulia a great resource to find an agent. Read agent blog posts and answers to questions. It will give a you a glimpse into the agent's way of doing business.

The agent can also get you referred to a lender to get pre approved for a loan.

I wish you the best of success!!!!!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 11, 2013
Hello Sjea,

You should start by looking at your credit scores now to determine where you are at and if they need any form of improvement prior to you beginning to look for that dream home in June.

Going shopping for a mortgage. It may seem backwards to shop for a mortgage before you shop for the house, but there are several reasons for doing this. Shopping for a mortgage will also help if you can get “pre-approved” for the amount you’d like to borrow. This means the lender has looked over your credit and financial statement and agreed to lend you the money. Sellers like pre-approved buyers because there’s less risk the deal won’t go through. First, you’ll find out how much you can borrow, which has a lot to do with how much house you can buy. After all Relators do not make the decision on if you can buy a home or not.

Whether you’re, buying, or building your dream home, you have a lot riding on your decision. Market conditions and mortgage programs change frequently, and I welcome the opportunity to serve your needs with quick and accurate real estate financing advice. I have the expertise and knowledge to help you determine the absolute best loan program to meet your objectives. Get my top 25 Questions for FREE that you should be asking your lender before you choose them to secure a mortgage. If you are already working with a lender, don’t be shy to give me call so I can price the same mortgage for you with less cost. What do you have to loose but your money?

Ensuring that you make the right choice for you and your family is my ultimate goal. And I am committed to providing my customers with mortgage services that exceed their expectations.. As always, you may contact me anytime by phone, fax or email for personalized service and expert advice.

I look forward to working with you!

Lowell Sterling
Mortgage Banker
NMLS# 968898
16800 N. Dallas Pkwy, Suite 290 | Dallas, TX 75248
Office: 972-646-2411 | Cell: 214-418-7022 | Fax: 214-614-4637
Bank of England /dba ENG Lending: NMLS# 418481
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 11, 2013
What a great question,Sjea. It is never too early to start working with a Realtor. All the advice given below is great. Begin by selecting an agent with a compatible personality, someone who is looking out for your needs and your best interests. The professional Realtor's goal is to streamline your property purchase process as much as possible.

Assuming you are not paying cash, the first thing the professional Realtor will do is make sure you are pre-approved by a reputable lender. Many agents and sellers now require proof of funds or pre-approval before they will consent to scheduling a showing. After all, what would be the point of looking at homes you would not be eligible to purchase? For example, if you are pre-approved specifically for an FHA mortgage, many many properties will not be suitable for your search. For example, most condos in this area cannot be financed through FHA loans. Why set yourself up for disappointment?

You have a reasonable time line if you start now. August is not that far away, in real estate transaction terms. Assume the search process will take several weeks, negotiations turning an offer into a contract typically take a week. Although most can close in 30 days or less, mortgage officers suggest requesting 45 days to close, in case there are any unforeseen issues. Unforeseen issues can be the buyer failing to produce required documentation in a timely manner, or the property not appraising for the offer price, or conditions interfering with the property's ability to be insured.

Do not hinge too much on closing on a home and ending your lease simultaneously. It can't hurt to have a discussion with the landlord to find out your options if you close quickly or if you could continue the lease on a month-to-month basis, should the situation call for it. That gives the landlord or management company fair notice about when they will need to be looking for new tenants. You can try to negotiate with the seller on this point as well, but if you are competing with other offers, if the seller is anxious to close as soon as possible, trying to extend the closing date for your convenience is not going to put you in a good negotiating position.

If you absolutely have to have a home by lease end, if renting month-to-month is not an option, DO NOT even consider making an offer on a short sale. Short sale end dates are unpredictable. Every offer to purchase for less than is owed by the seller is considered by the lien holders on its own merits. The investors who funded the first mortgage, second mortgage and other liens all must agree to the terms. And the seller has to cooperate all the way to the closing table.

I hope this helped to answer your question. You are about to embark on what will be a huge roller coaster ride. Keep your focus and know that someday, soon, you will be able to look back with satisfaction.

At your service!


Elaine Cloud Goller
Realtor® Certified SFR® & BPOR®*

Taking the drama out of real estate

* Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource® and Broker Price Opinion Resource®
are certifications earned through specialized education and experience and are among the few recognized by the National Association of Realtors®

Cell: (727) 235-8719
Office: (727) 367-3756
Fax: (727) 367-6170
Keller Williams Realty - Suncoast
263 Corey Avenue, St. Pete Beach FL 33706
Each office is independently owned & operated
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 11, 2013
Now is a good time to go ahead and talk to a realtor that can walk you through the process. If you don't have a mortgage broker I can send you several that you can choose from. Getting pre-approved should be your first step. That way you are only looking at houses that you can afford. Also, if there is anything that may be on your credit that needs to be cleared up you have time to do so. In the mean time you can be looking at property and getting an idea of what your must haves and your likes. Feel free to call me with any questions you have. I would be more than happy to help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 11, 2013
So you are 4 month away from being on the street or in a new rental. You should go get a pre-approval right away. Most loan pre-approvals will be good for 90 days, and you should be under contract in under 90 days if you want to have keys to a home before August 9th.

Once you place an offer it could be a few days to get accepted if it is a normal resale, If a foreclosure it could be 7 to 10 days, and if a short-sale it could be several months (so look like short-sales should not be part of your plan). Also remember that not all offers placed will be accepted.

Having a good Realtor working at your side will make the process much easier. Go to the "Find a Pro" button on the Trulia green bar above. Then search by zip code, and find a few local agents, contact them and see who you are more comfortable with based on their responses and reviews. Don't go at it alone, the services of a buyers agent are always free of cost. Was this answer helpful? If so please click on the "green thumbs up" or the "best answer".

Tony Vega
La Rosa Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 11, 2013
I would start when you are about 60 days before the end of your lease getting your pre-approval and starting to browse with a Realtor. Let me know if we can help!

Liane Jamason, REALTOR
Jamason Realty Group
Smith & Associates Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 11, 2013
Hi Sjea

You should interview several agents first and pick the one you feel the most comfortable with. Then you should get pre-approved and share your Realtor's info with your lender because they need to be able to communicate with each other to maximize the services each bring you.
The lender will tell you and your Realtor your financing limit and actually provide each of you a letter indicating so.
Then tell your agent all your needs and all your wishes and let them search potential matches for you.
From there you will have your agent set up showings of the properties you are interested in.
It should be an enjoyable experience, so do the first thing right and be very picky who you select as your agent, that's the key.

Good Luck

Kevin Cloutier, Realtor
A HouseSOLD Name
Southern Premier Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 11, 2013
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