Home Buying in 93314>Question Details

Lorelei Sher…, Home Buyer in Bakersfield, CA

Which goes first, work with a realtor or with a lender?

Asked by Lorelei Sherry, Bakersfield, CA Thu Jun 13, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


I would respectfully disagree. Your choice of lender is almost as important as your choice of agent/broker, as bad lenders/lender reps can cost you money, potentially not deliver on deals, or potentially lose a home for you in a competitive situation.

Find the right representative and he/she will have quality lenders to refer you to that should give you the VIP treatment coming in as a referral.

Then go get pre-approved and you are ready to start looking.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
King Realty Group

DRE# 01384425
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Working with a Lender first will help you with your quest of finding a home that you can afford. When you need financial advice they will outline a plan that will keep you with a budget that calculates your monthly bills and how much income that will be used toward your house payment , yearly property tax and home insurance. A Lender will also pre approve you for a loan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 11, 2013
The answer is go to the lender first. The Lender will need to have a conversation with you. You will have to provide your personal information to determine if you will be prequalified , at this point they will get your permission to run your credit. The next step in the process is preapproval which requires you to provide the documentation. Copies of your ID, 2 most recent years W2's & tax returns, bank statements, any other asset statements you may have such as, 401k, IRA, Stocks, Pension Plans, CD's.....
When you get prequalified & preapproved, you will know exactly what you options are, how much house you can afford, then you should go out looking for your home with a realtor. You will be a better buyer and offer on a purchase with a preapproval letter from the Lender would be taken seriously. Smart Realtors only spend their time and gas showing buyers who have already been preapproved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 8, 2013
I agree to go to a lender first to get a pre-approval letter. Be prepared to be serious about purchasing since a pre-approval letter is good for approximately 3-4 months. After getting pre-approved, don't make any large purchases in anticipation of buying a home since this will possibly affect the loan amount for which you qualify (such as TV, furniture, car, etc.).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
You must know your finacial status first.
Can you afford to purchase a house? This a lender will tell you and pre qualify you.
You can do this online or consult your bank lending department.

A realtor will ask you what price you want to stay under ?

Good Luck.

Kadibhai (Kadi)
Better Homes & Gardens Gary Greene, Realtor Katy/Houston
Phone: 832-228-7978
Fax: 281-646 1841
Email: kadi.kadibhai@garygreene.com
Web: http://www.har.com/kadi
"The highest compliment I am ever given is when
I am referred to your family & friends!"

Save on Electricity/Gas & get it for FREE http://www.EZNFree.energy526.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
It is best if you speak with a lender first to find out if you qualify and if so for how much. That way when you start looking at homes with your real estate agent you are looking at homes you know you can afford to purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
If you have excellent credit, go ahead and talk to your banker and get a pre-approval letter to take with you to open houses until you meet the agent you feel comfortable with. If you have less than perfect credit, I suggest that you work on finding an agent you feel comfortable with and let them give you some referrals to lenders that they know have helped people with lower credit scores.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
A lender will tell you how much you can spend, the agent will help you find what you can spend. Never shop without your wallet in hand ;)

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
"Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" There are any number of reasons why one should consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage prior to identifying an agent. The biggest being that you can get a pretty good idea of what your limits. With this information, you can target communities and locations that are within your identified budget.

Additionally, some agents will want you pre-qualified before they even show you any property as a matter of protecting their time invested. At the very least, being able to tell your future agent that you are pre-approved should hold their attention and view you as a serious and motivated buyer.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
A lender can go first. But it is not necessarily bad to speak with a realtor first either, because they can point you in the direction of several quality lenders that they have worked with in the past.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
In my opinion you should go to a lender first. Get lender referrals from friends, family, real estate agents and pick two lender and no more than three to interview in person or over the phone. Maybe call an agent or two to interview and get a referral from them, then maybe get referral from someone you know that's closed a loan recently that didn't come from Realtor. When you talk to loan officer tell them agent you plan on using, ask their opinion and if they have any referrals for real estate agents. Also ask the reasoning behind that referral. It's important to spend the time to make your Real Estate/lending team as this is a huge investment. Don't go off emotion or pressure from referral source. If you feel pressures then walk away.

I have come close to losing a client last year because my client’s agent strongly referred them to a lender they preferred. My last client told me the agent tried so hard to have them switch from me to their lender they felt something fishy and thought there might be more to the story. The company agent referred them to; rate was higher and fees $2,000 higher. That agent told client they could beat me easy and they didn't need to come back to me as they were safe with them (used car sales talk). They couldn't come close to what I gave client (rates where the same the day I quoted as when they got quote from other lender). The agent tried one last move to get client to her mortgage referral by stating her preferred mortgage company has top appraisers and they will get the best appraisal with them(hard sell and BS political type talk). I closed the loan early and my appraisal came in above value and my clients got the best deal. They said they will not be referring that agent after that experience.

I see this once and a while so don't just rely on the referral from your agent. In this case I found out the mortgage company the agent was referring pays desk rent at their office and shares some advertising so the agent needed to send a certain amount of clients to this lender to keep that desk rent and advertising dollars coming in. The agent steered clients to a lender that would have cost her clients thousands more dollars.

Be aware and shop 2-3 lenders. Maybe use 1 bank, 1 direct lender and 1 broker to get quotes and their opinions. Brokers tend to have more programs and easier qualifying and lower fees for any given rate. But this depends on the individual broker or direct lender and loan program. Most banks are not that popular with agents unless that agent gets feed business from that bank (then of course they like the bank). If you deal with a bank I suggest Wells Fargo. Direct lenders: The Mortgage House and imortgage are popular. Broker: Myself at C2 Financial. (I'm told we are 2nd largest wholesale broker in the country We have many other good lenders in town to choose from. Service comes from the loan officer, rates and fees come from the company.

When shopping lenders try and get quotes from the same day and ask if rates have changed that particular day when getting quotes. Use the rate the first loan officer gave you and ask them what the adjusted origination fee is for that particular rate. (Adjusted origination is all the lenders fees and credits combined, it does not include escrow or other 3rd party fees that are not related to lender). That's basically how you know how to compare loans with adjusted origination fee which most lenders don't disclose until you get Good Faith Estimate when you are in contract. Ask the lender to give you a copy of the rate sheet they quoted you which shows cost or credit for all rates. I always email the rate sheet with my quoted fee sheets. Also ask the lender how long it’s taking to close similar loans and what would cause a delay. Ask how fast they order appraisals and put the loan into underwriting. Ask the lender and agent for 3+ insurance referrals. Also ask what your actual real taxes will be after the loan closes. If they can’t answer this then move on.

There are a lot of good answers to your question and we all vary in opinion. If you ever want a fee sheet along with rate sheet from me, then send email to markbarrettreverse@gmail.com. I need to know some detail before I can send quote. i.e. Is this owner occupied, FICO credit scores, credit issues?, Down payment and where that is coming from, Condo or detached residence, etc. I can give quote from that info but that doesn't mean you qualify without me looking at income and assets and cash to close, etc.
Mark R. Barrett, Loan Officer
C2 Financial
Direct: (661)544-8787
DRE LICENSE #: 01438387, NMLS #: 279056
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 1, 2013
I would look first for a Realtor whom I can trust---for professionalism, knowledge, integrity and WHO RETURNS MY PHONE CALLS!!! Let that agent refer me to a lender or lenders with whom they have had satisfactory experience. Once the lender has given the green light, then start looking for the right property with the agent. NOT BEFORE THEN!!!
Please feel free to call me at 661.809.8425
Thanks---Brad Barnett, GRI/Broker Associate
Prudential Tobias, REALTORS
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 13, 2013
I prefer to work with buyers that have been referred to me by a Realtor I know and trust. It is easier to get to the closing table if everyone is pulling in the same direction. The agents that refer their clients to me know what to expect from me and vice versa.

A few of the previous comments bring up shopping around for a lender, I call that swatting flies. Last month a prospect went with another lender and now they can’t get the deal closed. The problem of shopping for a lender is the buyer selects only one or two items to shop for, interest rates and closing cost for example, and that isn’t the big picture. If you call enough people eventually you will find one that will say what you want to hear. What if you “find” a lender that quotes closing cost that are $200 better than another lender is quoting, good deal, huh? The cheap guy doesn’t look at the big picture and it ends up costing the buyer $10,000 in extra interest, does that example sound like I pulled it from a real life experience? It should.

Don’t swat the flies and get crushed by the elephant.

My advice is to find the best Realtor, one that you trust and then have them introduce you the lender they trust the most. Don’t even listen to that garbage if they tell you they must give you 3 names, you want the one they trust the most. Why would anyone want #2 or #3?

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
Web Reference: http://jamessimms.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
This is a very appropriate question.....most would tell you that working with a lender to get "pre-approved" initially would be the best course of action.

Doing so will help you by establishing a price point with which you can focus your search which will in turn help clarify your target locations. It will also streamline the offer process once you have identified the property you will be going to contract on.

Agents always like to hear that their customers have take the initiative to make financial arrangements before coming to them.....good question.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
Well, I totally disagree with Trevor. Maybe that is the way they do it in New York but in Bakersfield CA, I still say you get with a Realtor who will get you started in the right direction. It is true that it will save the REALTOR time if a buyer goes first to a mortgage lender but I do NOT feel this is in the best interests of the buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
Good afternoon Lorelei,

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 Mon Jun 17, 2013
As a follow up, this isn't about being first or wanting to be in control. Going with a lender recommended by an experienced, reputable agent/broker will save you time, aggravation, and money. And since you have already chosen your representative in advance of getting approved for a loan you will be ready to go the second you know how much you can afford.

It's the most efficient use of time and the best way to get off on the right track.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
Lorelei, call a local REALTOR. If that Realtor tells you to call a lender and doesn't help you find a lender, call another Realtor. Believe me, this will save you a lot of time and energy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Lorellei Sherry,
Continuing story regarding the chickin or the egg...the lender or the agent.
Perhpas a peak behind the curtain will remove the discusson out of the phiosophical realm.
Here's some breaking news regarding those 'big lenders."
This is not about Bank of America but Chase. The "TO BIG TO CARES" all have common attributes. This artical reveals one of the common elements. It is intregral to the ambush all of the 'To Big To Cares" have waiting.
Imagine what would happen to your home owning prosepcts if in some befuddled state someone stumbled into the lobby of Chase.


Start with your real estate professional and avoid the headaches and heart breaks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Lorelei Sherry,
Every one wants to be first!
Some to control the situation.
Others to control you.
And a few who want to provide you the most reliable options to acheive your goals.
An Example: You, in a state of utter confusion, walk into the lobby of Bank of America and get yourself some mortgage papers that say,,,"You can qualify for a loan up to $300,000 with $30,000 down. (total $330,000)
You find yourself a home that 'speaks to you' in a hidden away community where few homes ever come on the market. Nothing has sold or been available for over 18 months. You negotiate a price of $305,000 for this home.
Your real estate agent knows this home will never be yours if you use B of A.
The sellers agent knows exactly the same thing if they are not in a state of utter confusion.
Because B of A did not know what you are buying they can't and of course won't reveal they will inject themselves into the negotion process and create demands that can not be resolved.
Some lenders/brokers want to be first in line BECUASE they will compel the agent to whom they refer you, to pay a fee (disguesed as rebates or to offset the lenders fees).
Had you followed the recommendatin of your real estate consutant, they would have identied the lender who has the agiliity to circumvent or avoid entirely the predictable ambush B of A will attempt.
Your real estate consultant wants to position your pruchase offer so the seller can SEE the assurance of a closing that will be on schedule, under budget and drama free. We do this dozens of times a year. The obstacles in the road ahead are related to the real estate you choose and the agility of the lender involved. The wrong lender results is huge disappoiintment, lost money, high anxiety, growing frustration...and who will you blame? Your real estate agent. You see, we are the most invested in a successful outcome. We are the ones you will see most often. We are the face of this real estate transaction. The selection of the wrong lender DOES impact what happens in the end. We already know to whom blame or creadit will be assessed.
Think about it. How can a smooth closing be promised if the purchase subject is not identified? If, however, the lender will FULLY COMPENSATE you for your costs, missed closing date, tempeory housing costs, inspections and appraisal fees, now you just might have a lender who shares in the same goal you have. Since this lender DOES NOT EXIST, you should consider begining with those who are most invested in your success.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Of course, everyone will have a different opinion. Even though it is more time consuming for me as a Realtor, I prefer to spend that time to speak with my potential buyer FIRST. I work with a number of very qualified lenders and in my 30 some years of working in real estate, have learned the lenders to avoid where I have had bad results. Having the right lender pre-qualify you can save you MONEY and TIME in the long-run not to mention losing the house you really want. So, my advise is to call a Realtor of your choice and let that Realtor get you pointed in the right direction. There really is no sense at all in looking at properties in this market until you are pre-qualified, however. What is on the market for sale one day, is gone the next. If you want more information, please feel free to call me. Dee Oliver - Miramar Real Estate Group - 661-747-7763.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Hi Lorelei,

It seems most folks are answering your question on chicken vs. egg basis. When it comes to real estate, I think the agent comes first. A truly competent REALTOR® will partner with you at the center of the transaction. It is your REALTOR's® responsibility to help you throughout the entire transaction, explaining the processes, putting you in touch with service providers (including lenders) and advising you on the pros and cons of each decision.

As a REALTOR®, my least favorite part of the process is looking at houses...but it is absolutely necessary in order to meet your goal of getting moved! The more important parts are advising you on the effect of contract choices, negotiating on your behalf, and overseeing the transactional details so that the process is as smooth as possible.

In order to accomplish this, I work with a team of preferred professionals, so that I can help my clients find the right lender, escrow company, inspectors, repairmen, insurers, etc.

Because buying a home is one of the biggest financial transactions of your lifetime, it makes sense to spend some time first choosing the professional that will help you with the entire process. If you have questions that you would like to talk about directly please feel comfortable calling me at 661.375.REAL

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Hello Lorelei, You asked should you work with a realtor or with a lender first? It is best that you work with a lender and get pre-approved first. When you do this, you will know exactly how much you qualify for. This is so important, because if you began looking for homes in one price range then go to get pre approved the amount may be less than what you initially thought. Another reason to get approved first is because the market is so hot right now! When you find the perfect home, you have to be in a position to present an offer, or you can very well lose out! Find a great lender, know the amount you can spend for your home, then look and find the perfect one for you! I hope this helps! Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 13, 2013
Great Question. The lender goes first. It's hard to go shopping when you don't know what your budget is!!

There's no harm in contacting Realtors and selecting who you want to work with while being pre-approved for a loan...

but ultimately, you can only make smart purchase choices once you know your price range.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 13, 2013
Hi Lorelei, I am a realtor and it is always easier if you are already pre-approved with a lender. That helps both of us identify how much money you have available so that we are not looking outside your price range and it causes you to be realistic. It is very difficult to start looking, find a house that you love and then find out you don't qualify for it. Getting your financing in place before you start looking is the best option for everyone. If you are not currently working with an agent, I would be happy to help you....hope this answer helps you and have a great day. Jan DeTomaso, Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 13, 2013

Of course you want to shop around for a home loan first. I would love to help you find a home! Please let me know if you ever have any questions regarding the home buying process?
You can call or text me at 661-240-0161

Jennifer chou/ Realtor
Tholco Real Estate Group
Bakersfield, ca 93312
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 13, 2013
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