Home Buying in 32547>Question Details

April, Other/Just Looking in 32547

where do I start on trying to buy a house,do I go to my bank or do you go to a realtor first?

Asked by April, 32547 Thu Mar 29, 2012

i know if I get my credit ran to many times it will make my score go down.so who do you start with first?

Help the community by answering this question:


The best way to start the home buying process is to:
(1) do a self-assessment of your financial situation, (2) discuss your loan options with a mortgage professional and get pre-approved for a home loan, and (3) start looking for homes with the help of a real estate agent.

You could start with a realtor, but the first thing the agent will ask is if you've been pre-approved. This is understandable: a real estate agent spends a lot of time searching for properties and driving you around to see them. The last thing they want to do is spend hours showing you homes outside your home affordability range.

So how can you best accomplish the first two steps before talking to a realtor? Check out MortgageHippo (mortgagehippo.com), a great online tool we built to help home buyers, especially first-timers, understand the mortgage process and evaluate loan options.

Most borrowers go into the mortgage process not knowing what to expect – What can I qualify for? How much can I expect to pay? How much can I afford? MortgageHippo guides you through the process so you know what you can afford, what's needed to be approved, and what steps are next. Your realtor will love you :)

First, we assess your personal situation through a series of questions, all done online and anonymously, to help determine your personal needs, preferences, and risk tolerance.

Next, we get quotes from multiple lenders based on these needs (commercial banks and direct mortgage lenders like QuickenLoans are each tied to one lender – themselves – leaving you no option for comparison shopping).

Our proprietary loan scoring system (HippoScore) then matches users with home loans based on compatibility, affordability, and safety, making it easy to evaluate multiple options.

Finally, you are given access to a personalized mortgage application portal that keeps the entire mortgage process running smoothly and facilitates communication with our live mortgage guides. You can even invite your realtor to see certain parts of your profile so they can get started looking for homes.

If you're comfortable using online services like TurboTax and Mint.com and are a first-time home buyer, this might be a great service to get started with. Let us know how we can help – we welcome it!
7 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 14, 2014
A realtor is a good place to start. They will probably send you to a lending institution as the next stop. I would not really worry about getting your credit pulled. That will not affect your score drastically. There are other nice to know things you can do to raise you can do to change your score.
Call me and I will share a recent seminar we just had.
Peter Mohylsky
Keller Williams
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
I read your post and wonder what other things can I do to raise my or do to change my score.
I would like some of the information that you shared with others in a recent seminar you just had. Please email at l.watson36@yaho.com
Peter Mohylsky
Flag Wed Dec 26, 2012
Hi April,

Our recommendation on this topic is always to begin the buying process at home. Meaning that one should always have a grip on their personal finances before considering purchasing property. We feel that the very first objective should be to review your monthly budget accounting for all income and expenditures. This will help prepare you for the next step....meeting with a mortgage consultant to get pre-approved for financing.

Once you have audited you finances and be pre-approved you will be equipped to work with a local real estate professional that can support your specific needs. We recommend investing some time in clarifying what you want and don't want in your future home prior to meeting with an agent. The buying process can be a give-and-take experience that usually requires people to set aside some expectations to be able to achieve success....realizing the perfect location is one that often exists only in ones mind.

I hope you find this information helpful.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 30, 2012
Always begin with a mortgage broker who will review your financial situation and assist you in determining "how much" home you can actually afford and if you are qualified to purchase a home. Only after you take this initial step should you go to a realtor.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 30, 2012
Hi April,

First step is to get pre-approved if you're not going to pay all cash. This allows you to know your price range. You will need to know this before hiring a Reator - the Realtor will need to know what your price range is so they will know what properties to show you.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
This is an excellent question. The best method is to go to a bank or lender and get a preapproval letter. This is a simple procedure but will give you strength if you find a home you would like to make an offer on. Next, contact a realtor--and Trulia is a good place to find a realtor who is engaged and active--read what they have to say to various questions and if you like the answers and information, give them a call or drop them an email. Also look for a realtor that has extra areas of expertise--have they gone for more education than just their license. This will be indicated by initials after their name. Check out their website and see if there is information that is helpful to you. You can also check places like facebook to see who is actively engaged in social media. You can tell much about a realtor by what they offer online (especially in this electronic age).

Best of luck, and if I can assist you in your search, please let me know.

Myke Triebold, gRI, ABR, LMC, SFR
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
First, a lender never tells you what you can afford they tell you what you can qualify for. So many first time home buyers screw up and buy a home that they can't afford and end up in debt. Unfortunately an agent isn't really concerned about your finances and what you can afford only what you qualify for and closes the sale. A lender doesn't take into account many expenses that first time home buyers and others overlook. You can figure out what you can afford on your own and it will probably be much less than you qualify for. Add up all current bills, including car ins, health ins, cell phone, food, gas ect. Take the amount you receive after taxes are deducted and figure out what you can afford. This should include taxes, home ins, cost to maintain the home ect. You want the monthly cost of the home to be much less than the left over. Do a lot of research you can figure it out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2014
Go to the bank and get a pre-approval letter. Finding a house is a big commitment and you don't want to waste anyone's time by looking at properties you can't finance.

Best of Luck
85 and Sunny
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2014
My company, Macro Financial Group, Inc.does everything for you. If you would like to call us with questions, our number is 303-757-5424.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 4, 2014
Get recommendation for some lenders from a Realtor and she/he can assist you how not to get your credit dinged. Then once the lender has reviewed your credit and advised you of what price range you can afford. Get with your Realtor to see homes. This market is hot and you need to have loan approval in hand so you don't loss a home you really like just because you aren't pre approved! Email me and I will be glad to help! Sharoncrouch@ebby.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 14, 2014
Your first step is become pre-approved by a mortgage provider. This will allow you to see your down payment and monthly payment on the amount you can afford. This will set the bar for you and your REALTOR. A REALTOR can point you to some of they best mortgage providers based on their experience.

If you have any questions, please contact me at 302-981-6585 or email me at jefflookformyhome@gmail.com. Visit my website at http://www.LookForMyHomeToday.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 14, 2014
A Realtor is your Best bet for All your questions, concerns, updated info on all facets of the Home Buying process! If you don't have a Realtor in mind than ask your closest friends, family who they prefer or shoot me an e mail......tdearco@aim.com, if your in Okaloosa or Santa Rosa County ,FL.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2012
Hello April,

I agree with those who say get pre-approved first with a lender, and with Bill who said gather up your financial information first.

I also agree with Tom in Jupiter, who said DO NOT call the listing agent on the sign in front of a home, and for the reason he stated " their initial relationship with the seller will prevent you from working out the best deal" for you.

Below is a link that will expand on what is known as "Agency" in Florida. Please take a look at the video links on that page, and the definitions of "agency".

Finally, I am a true "Buyer's Broker". No one in my brokerage takes listings, We only work with buyers. And I work right here on the Emerald Coast, and of coarse I would love to work with you!

Lyn Woods
Exclusive Buyer's Broker
KLW Properties LLC
Fort Walton BEach, FL 32548
(850) 240-7133
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 30, 2012
Dear April,

I feel you are almost always better off starting with the selection of a real estate professional as they will have some very good suggestions of lenders who are outstanding to deal with and can provide you the best service and lowest costs. I would liken it to picking out parts for a automobile repair before deciding on who will do the repairs.

The very best thing that you can do is find a professional Realtor@ to represent you and there are a few things I would tell you. First is to not sign a buyer's broker agreement with anyone. This is a form an agent will use to tie you up and ensure any transaction you make will only be through them. Find an agent who is happy to perform their services with the knowledge that if they do not properly meet your expectations they will lose your business. 

Second, never call a listing agent about a home they have listed as their initial relationship with the seller will prevent you from working out the best deal. 

Finally, I would recommend that you interview at least three qualified agents in your area to assist you and select one who you feel will have your best interests as their primary goal. Always get names of at least three clients they have found homes for over the past few months.

I work mainly as a buyers agent throughout Palm Beach and Martin Counties and certainly would be honored to be included on the list of agents you may choose to interview if your search brings you in this direction. If you would like to further discuss your particular needs please feel free to contact me at your convenience and I would be very honored to be of service to you and your family. The very best of luck and if I can offer anything additional please let me know.

Always at Your Service,

Tom Priester e-PRO
"Results Driven Real Estate"

Keller Williams Realty
561 308-0175
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 30, 2012
Hi April!

There are 2 ways to approach this.

Option 1-Contact a lender and get started on a preapproval. The process should take you approximately 24-48 hours (if you are working with a local, reputable lender) and then you will have a good idea of what price range you should be looking in. Also, having a preapproval shows Sellers that you are financially sound and serious about entering into a contract on their property.

Option 2-Contact a Realtor and discuss with them your target price range, criteria, etc. A good Realtor will be able to refer you to a lender that specializes in the type of loan that would be best suited for your purchase, or you are welcome to use the lender from your bank of choice. Either way, the combination of your Realtor and your lender working together should guide you thru the process and make it as seamless as possible.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. I am very familiar with FWB and all areas surrounding Elgin/Hurlburt Field. Have a great day!
Rima Cole
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
I ether would be good. A Realtor can put you in touch with a choice of good mortgage brokers to chose from. Good luck, and don't go with just the first Realtor you talk with interview 3 then make sure the understand how you want to work with them.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Hi April, either or! Discussing your financial situation with a lender is the very first step. You can start with your bank or you can interview Buyer's Agents first (you can research online, ask friends and family for recommendations, visit Open Houses ...) and find one you connect with. Your Realtor would be happy to give you some lender recommendations as well.

Comparing rates and fees is generally a good idea, if your credit is pulled around the same time by different lenders it will only count as one inquiry.

You also want to sit down and take a close look at your budget - your comfort level (the amount you can comfortably spend each month on your mortgage payment while still maintaining your current life style) can be very different from your loan approval! Understanding your wants and needs is the next big step on your home buying journey. Your Realtor can also offer some guidance in that respect.

Buying your first home is such an exciting time! I wish you all the best!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
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