Why do some Realtors feel it's necessary to answer questions in finance when they have no clue what they are?

Asked by Darren Miller, CA (Licenced in 50 States) Sat Mar 22, 2008

talking about? When a borrower asks a somewhat complex question, referring them to a loan officer is not an answer, it's a referral... If the borrower asks if anyone knows any good LO's in an area, that "answer" would be suitable. I understand the good intention, however it's not helping the borrower get their question answered. I see this all the time: "I don't know, but you should call jane doe at broker's r us"

I try and keep myself in the finance section and answer only things that pertain to finance that I know, If I don't know it, I don't answer the question.

I would like some feedback to what everyone thinks about this subject :)

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Melinda J. R…, Agent, Grand Rapids, MI
Mon Mar 24, 2008
Darren, I like to joke with my buyers and tell them I know enough about mortgages to be dangerous! Of course then I tell them to refer to a lender for all of the specifics and figuring out what type of loan is best for their situation. However, maybe I am being funny here, but one of my LO's that I use tells me I have the most knowledge out of any other real estate agent that she works with in regards to mortgages. I don't just want to look completely uneducated to my clients. As an agent I believe I should know surface things about mortgages. I want to know all of the in's and out's so I can at least answer basic questions for buyers and in many cases sellers. I ask a lot of questions:)

I feel that as agents we should be able to answer basic questions regarding mortgages but then tell the buyer for more details and specifics that they should really be asking the mortgage professional. This is just like when a loan officer gets asked real estate questions they should know surface things, but always referr to us as real estate agents.

Trust me, I get irratated too when lenders tell my buyers stuff like you never offer more than at least 10 -20% off of the asking price in this market for example. (True example by the way.) True if the house is not priced right, but not true when a house is priced to sell and there are 2 other offers on the table.

I can appreciate where you are coming from. We should always be helping each other out and referring back and forth to each other.
Web Reference:  http://www.gomelinda.com/
1 vote
Janet McAlli…, Agent, Ann Arbor, MI
Sun Mar 23, 2008
I agree with you! We refer lenders because they are the professional! I almost lost a Sale because the buyers agent quoted taxes.(way too low of a quote) We have to remember we chose lenders to refer because that is their expertise, not ours. I want my clients to have a knowlegable lender and when they get to closing, no surprises. A great lender is critical to the transaction. I don't want to mix the two. I will stick with my expertise and let the lender do their job and what their paid to do.
Web Reference:  http://mcallisterteam.info
1 vote
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Hello Darren. While I understand what you are saying and I agree we should not answer questions outside our area of expertise, I think it would be alright to tell someone that they need to speak to a mortgage professional as many people are not sure which question to ask of whom. So basically, the answer is just pointing them in the right direction. We have many questions that we really can't answer here at all as we don't have the necessary facts and there's no point to run someone through a bunch of scenarios and options without knowing their particular circumstances. I agree that referring someone to a particular professional without being asked for a referral could be annoying, but in the end I'll just leave it up to the poster of the question to decide whether they are annoyed or not.
1 vote
Leanne Smith, , 95247
Thu Apr 3, 2008
I agree with you! Yes there are some agents out there that do both sides very well, But I believe that I need to stick to what I am good at, selling real estate. I have several lenders I refer buyers to based on the type of loan they will need to buy the property and leave it at that. A matter of fact before I will take a buyer out they must be pre qual'd and the letter in my hand. They can of course use there lender of choice or mine... which ever as long as I have a copy and am sure they can buy. A good lender is worth there weight in gold!!
good luck out there!
Leanne Smith
Century 21 Tri-Dam Realty
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Apr 2, 2008
I am a Dallas real estate agent, and Dallas loan officer I believe if an agent works with a good loan officer they learn the trade when a good real estate agent needs to discuss the buyers qualifications. Good loan officers only assist realtors to become better professionally.

Therefore it allows the realtor to bring in additional business for all assist the buyer or seller

Many very seasoned real estate agents should be a loan officer in some instances they know more than loan officers out there.
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Joel Scott, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Wed Apr 2, 2008
We should all stick with what we know.

Windermere Real Estate, based in the Seattle - Bellevue area, is a fantastic company, always putting the customer first.
0 votes
Tman, , 30642
Sun Mar 23, 2008
Happy Easter Miller,

>>> "Realtors feel it's necessary to answer questions in finance when they have no clue what they are?.." >>>

Excellent question ...

This topic has been brought up many times, just under different subjects ... usually it gets shot down because everyone pretends it doesn't happen and hope no one will notice and it will quietly go away - it doesn't.

This is just one of the many that never get answered: "What do pros think about pros from outside their area answering "local" questions?"

Why do some realtors in California feel it's necessary to give property values in Virginia .. or, why do some realtors in New Jersey feels it's necessary to give values in Georgia.? .. or home inspectors, appraisers, etc etc ...

Consumers couldn't be anymore confused ....

0 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Most consumers ask questions that can't possibly be answered in the blog: such as " I have so so credit, can I qualify for a loan?" Occasionally, I can pick out something from the post that allows me give a specific and definite answer. - Like May just asked if her banker was right about it not being a good idea to pay points if planning to stay in the home less than five years. It was a good question, one that can only be answered theoretically because no one (or very few) can predict with absolute certainty that will stay put for more than five years.

Most agents are trying to do this stuff the old fashioned way. Asking for the business, drumming up referrals for their cronies so they can get referrals back from the same cronies. Some are shameless, others are well intentioned. It is a learning curve, when I first came to Trulia I posted my info at the bottom, until someone kindly pointed out the mustard on my tie.
0 votes
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Sat Mar 22, 2008

Many of us Realtors are proficient in financing; however, the nuances are best handled by the loan professionals who are suited for this on a day to day basis. We attempt to be knowledgeable in a broad scope but some times we need a professional.
0 votes
Darren Miller, , CA (Licenced in 50 States)
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Thank you guys, I really appreciate the input... I can understand your point of view as well that you are trying to point them in the right direction.

Bill K, the question really had to do with Trulia about answering posts without any substantial information.

There are a lot of Realtors who know a lot about loans, things are changing every day now (like you said Bill S), were seeing 4-5 rate changes per day, programs disappearing before we know about it, underwriting changes, I still have a stated/stated product which I'm just waiting to disappear, etc. It's a lot to keep up with.

Here is a good site if you haven't seen it yet: http://ml-implode.com/
0 votes
Bill Schwent, Agent, Santa Fe, NM
Sat Mar 22, 2008
I have to agree with you. It is enough to keep up with our end of the business to also try to stay on top of your end as well. I always advise our brokers to refer their buyers to a lender to answer their questions about mortgages since we don't usually know what the current requirements are at any point in time. I am sure that there are real estate sales people out there who still think 100% financing is readily available to even marginally qualified buyers.
Web Reference:  http://www.remax-santafe.com
0 votes
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