Home Buying in 08096>Question Details

Chrystal, Home Buyer in Deptford, NJ

would it be better to get a free buyer consultation before i get pre approved for a mortgage?

Asked by Chrystal, Deptford, NJ Mon Oct 10, 2011

well me and my husband are going to begin saving to buy a house next year and my question is would it be better to go to a real estate agent and get a free buyer consultation before i would get pre approved for a mortgage or after?. because we would be first time home buyers and want to learn everything we can about the process and the costs. we want to buy a house in the woodbury section in south jersey. what should we do first besides save money?

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Before beginning your search, one needs to have finances, credit, debt, etc., in order; therefore it's always a good idea to begin by visiting with any loan officer; be aware that a mortgage pre-approval letter is required in order to determine your price range and for any offers to be taken seriously; thereafter choose an agent to work with....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
thank you everyone for the great advice as for Joe i was not offending your or your company i am trying to get the best advice i can. i am not looking for a free ride i am new to all of this. so how you can down grade a potential buyer is just wrong. so i don't have a right to ask questions Joe?. me and my husband will be new home buyers in the next few years. just because i haven't started to save yet shouldn't mean i can get advice. and for your info Joe the reason i haven't started saving is cause i am getting all my finances in order . i thought that is the first step to take Joe. anyway i well take all your advice to heart and defiantly will be meeting agent's and lender's to see me and my husband's options.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
CONGRATULATIONS Chrystal in entertaining the idea of having a consultation with an agent. I wish there were more buyers like you, afterall it is a major purchase and will probably be your largest monthly expense.

I would have the consultation, preferably with a good buyer's agent, so that you are comfortable and can build a relationship with that individual. In addition the better educated you are about the process, the better decision you can make for yourself and/or family.

I would go one step further and speak to a mortgage specialist also. Some agents have mortgage specialists that they work closely with and so the consultation can be done simultaneouly. I know you are not ready but it will give you an idea of what you must do to become mortgage eligible for the type of home you hope purchase. Most importantly you have an opportunity to review your credit and ensure that it is in order and if not take the necessary steps.

As a buyer's agent, I do this all the time and I don't consider the exercise a waste of my time at all. From my experience buyers are really appreciative of the time taken, and many do come back to me to purchase at a later date or refer a friend or family member that can purchase immediately. It's a win, win situation for all concern. Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
I suggest going to a local housing agency if there is one in your area that is unbiased for their first time home buyer education classes.

Best of luck from Boise!

Jim Paulson, CRS, GRI, EPRO, SFR
Owner/Broker - Progressive Realty Corporation
Designated Broker - License # DB-17066
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Hi Chrystal,

It's a good idea to get all the information possible prior to your purchase. Getting pre-approved would be among the first steps, however, an approval is only good for approximately 90 days. If you are not looking until sometime next year you may want to just have a consultation with your lender to get an idea about what you can afford and the different programs they have available. This will help you narrow your search and make your home buying experience more enjoyable. I would recommend speaking with 3 or more lenders as they all have different programs to offer. Good Luck to you and your husband.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Joe, Really?

"although it is pretty much a waste of their time since you're not qualified and still need to save the money to be able to buy."

I am not too sure what the problem is here with Chrystal and her question as she seems to be a potential buyer that has some inquiries about the home buying process. You jump down her throat as you obviously mis-interpret her question as some sort of de-valuing your service.. which I do not see at all.

Chrystal, my farm of clients range from the current next week buyer and seller to the 1- 2 year future buyer and seller... and I work with them all on different levels. I am sure that many *good* realtors would meet with you and advise the process and help you out without trying to charge you $100. to do so...

But, see what I mean? You need to weed out the good from the not so good!
Even Paul Howard looks like a gem in comparison!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Hi Chrystal,

At this stage, your best bet is to find an agent that you are comfortable with, review the market and get up to speed on what is happening in the real world of Real Estate -versus- the virtual world of real Estate. Two different animals.

When that feels comfortable, your Realtor would be the best bet of giving you 2 -3 Mortgage reps to speak to. Realtors usually know who is who and what company get the loans processed. The mortgage business is pretty tough.. so you need to watch yourself there. If you are buying “next year” and still saving, there is no need to get the pre approval at this time. I would speak to a rep once you find a Realtor and then wait until January, calculate how much you will have and then do the pre approval.

Find an agent that can explain the process and what is going to transpire along the way. Buying a home with the right agent providing you the details, general knowledge and expertise will make the whole process smooth as glass. Avoid the agents that join a “club” like saying they are exclusive this and that.. as it is just bait on the hook to get you in. We are all buyers agents, seller’s agents and disclosed dual agents in New Jersey.

I have put together a great "First Time Homebuyer" breakdown of the process that I give to all my buyers buying a home.

Call or Email and I can send you a copy to help you along and continue with your due diligence.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
If your timeline is a year out, my suggestion is to focus on saving that money for a down payment and getting your credit in good shape for the scrutiny that will come when it is time for the mortgage preapproval. A free Buyer Consultation is a great idea - and it will provide a good introduction to the process of buying a home. It will also provide an opportunity to meet with a real estate agent and very likely a mortgage pro as they often piggyback to provide additional expertise. Introductions to these important resources can really occur in parallel - and you may well find that whomever you start with will have a recommendation for the other.

The Real Estate Agent will provide info on the process, the market overall, and the local market you are interested in. The Mortgage Rep will give you feedback on your credit situation and what you can afford, plus help you develop a game plan to get where you'd like to be in a year.

As for the Buyer Consulation, worry not about getting that for free - it should always be free - what I encourage you to do is if you are pleased with the Real Estate Agent and Mortgage Rep that help you now, reward them with your loyalty.

Good luck to you!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 11, 2011
Hi Chrystal,

It's a great idea to talk with a buyer first. Often, they can recommended a great lender.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 11, 2011
Definitely do your research, ask questions, and get recommendations. The process can be quite daunting for the new buyer.

Online research can help, but since real estate is local, interviewing a few people wouldn't hurt. Keep in mind, there are A LOT of professionals involved in a transaction. Again, depending on your local real estate market, those professionals will seek you to do business if they know you are in the market to buy.

Save money, clean up your credit, no big purchases (CAR!) for the time being and happy researching!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Hi Chrystal,

Thanks so much for taking your time to submit a question. Lots of great answers here. We will always be here for you should you have additional questions as you go through the home buying process. Good luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Hi Chrystal,

I would recommend talking with the buyers agent first because they can connect you with a lender that you can rely on. If you already have a lender in mind, then I would recommend getting another pre-approval. Find the best loan for yourself.

The buyers agent can walk you through the entire buying process and once you get your pre-approval you will be able to start your home finding process.

GoodLuck with everything,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Chrystal, it is our belief that it would be best to find a realtor you are comfortable working with who can put you in contact with a reputable lender and help you throughout your process. The realtor can set you up to receive new listings that come on the market that are within your parameters for your new purchase. They should be available for any questions you have.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
as a realtor, I always insist on a buyers consultation for new buyers before we consider beginning to look for a home. A pre approval for a mortgage is a part of that process. It is important to know exactly what the buyer is looking for and expecting in a home, their time table and their motivation. It is important for the buyer to know what he can expect to get in a home and how realistic his wish list is. If he is looking at third party homes or foreclosures, ir is important that he understands the process and what he can expect. The preapproval is a part of the consultation to know if he can afford what he is expecting in a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Hi Chrystal,
So your debating whether or not it's to your advantage to accept a FREE service from an agent who is GIVING AWAY thier time, advice and guidance? So it appears you give so LITTLE value to this consultation, that even when it's FREE, your unsure if you want it. That's an interesting observation of the real estate agent's business model and the value you percieve in their services.

To answer your question, most agents will meet with you briefly in the hope that you will appreciate it and buy from them next year.... although it is pretty much a waste of thier time since you're not qualified and still need to save the money to be able to buy. Most buyers won't really appreciate the consultation, they'll just take it because it's free and when (or IF) it comes time to actually buy, they'll do whatever they percieve to be in thier slightest advantage or convenience..... which usually involves NOT going out of thier way to remember that nice real estate agent who helped them when they needed it.

So, I'd be happy to meet with you for a $100 consultation fee and if or when you buy a home from me I'll refund double that amount to you. If not, I recommend you focus your attention on fixing the issues so you CAN get a mortgage, THEN worry about finding a good agent. That's the best Free advice you'll get anywhere.

Joe Montenigro REMAX Home Team
Broker, GRI (856)374-2800 x106
Serving Gloucester Twp, Washington Twp & South Jersey Real Estate Markets
Read me: http://hometeamNJ.com/blog
Watch me: http://youtube.com/joemontenigro
Like me: http://www.facebook.com/JoeMontenigroREMAX
Search for Homes: http://hometeamNJ.com/search
About Joe: http://hometeamnj.com/about/

Note- Email me directly for follow up questions or answers, I don't monitor this forum for replies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Chrystal, avoid agents that say "We are all buyers agents, seller’s agents and disclosed dual agents in New Jersey. " That statement is false and intentionally so. I am EXCLUSIVELY a buyer's broker. I am NEVER a seller's agent or dual agent. As a buyer, you should avoid agents that say such things- like the plague. Statements like that are attempts to confuse you. Look at HUD's settlement cost booklet on page 6 where they recommend (in bold) considering an "exclusive buyer's agent" to represent you. Get the booklet at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/ramh/res/Settlement-Booklet-J…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
You got a lot of good advise here. If you are not buying for a while, there is no need to run your credit today, but it is important to know what you feel comfortable handling. An agent can give you a rough idea of the monthly payments on any home, but it will vary by the tax amount. So two homes at the same price could have significantly different monthly payments. Also, what you qualify for today may be totally different from 6 month to a year from now, depending on what happens to mortgage rates. For instance on a $200,000 loan the payment will go up $182 per month if the interest rate rises from 4% to 5.5%.. If I can help you, no obligation, please call me to discuss.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Hi Chrystal, I have helped many first-time home buyers (references available). If you're not buying until next year, I wouldn't get a full pre-approval now as it will expire by then (usually within 90 days). I would hate to see you have your credit run unnecessarily as it does affect your score every so slightly. I can simply run your information by one of my trusted mortgage professionals to see what ballpark sales price you can afford. We can then order your credit reports from the free government site AnnualCreditReport.com.

So yes, I would decide on an agent that you would feel comfortable representing you. You want them to be knowledgeable and fun (I say fun because you are going to be spending a lot of time with them!). They can help you understand the costs, etc.

I do service the Woodbury area, so if you would like to interview me, just get in touch.

Good luck to you! Eric
Web Reference: http://kurfiss.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Either way would work really. Meeting with an agent will give you an opportunity to learn as well as ask questions before getting started. That agent can also help you to contact a reputable mortgage lender. Make sure you ask about first time home buyer programs!

If you would like to sit down and talk I'd be happy to assist as well as educate you on first time buyer program.

Thomas Leone
Weichert Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
You will need to know how much you can afford/how much you want to spend before you actually shop for a house. However, if all you want to do is speak with an agent to go over the process, you don't need a preapproval to do that.
When I work with first time buyers, I educate them as we look at homes. But, most agents will take the time to sit down with you to go over the process.
The only reason I see necessary for you to see a mortgage rep first is that it appears you have already chosen the neighborhood you would like to live. You might want to be sure you can afford it before you get your heart set on living there.
Another alternative is to ask questions here about the process. Most agents respond with helpful info.
Finally, speak to more than one mortgage rep. Different reps=different programs/rates, etc.
Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
The earlier you talk to a good buyer broker the better. At least get a chance to see their buyer agent contract, a sample of a sales contract and the steps in the process. The agent also should be able to give suggestions regarding mortgage programs that might benefit you. If you want an exclusive buyer agent you can go to http://www.naeba.org/find-an-agent.asp

Paul Howard, Broker/Owner
NJHomeBuyer.com Realty
Web Reference: http://www.njhomebuyer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
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