What should I get first, a realtor or a pre-approval for the loan? Am I better off going to a bank or a lender?

Asked by Kate, 08619 Thu Mar 31, 2011

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11
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Mon Apr 29, 2013
Good afternoon Kate,

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
Gina Marie M…, Agent, Hamilton Square, NJ
Mon Apr 29, 2013
Double edged question --- you will need a pre-approval before most agents will begin to show you homes, but...most buyers want to get out and see homes right away...the problem with that is most buyers don't have any real idea of how much money the lender is going to lend them. So...I believe your best bet is to establish a relationship with a knowledgable, full-time Realtor who can walk you through all the necessary steps in getting in the home you can afford. IF you do decide to go for a pre-approval beforehand my recommendation to all my clients is to make sure the lender is a reputable one and that you will actually have a mortgage committment at the closing table. Good luck in your home buying experience and if I can answer any further questions, please feel free to contact me!
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Aug 12, 2011
Choosing these two important resources should happen at the outset - I would vote for agent first, she will have recommendations of reliable, credible lenders that she has direct experience with - a great starting poitn on the lending front. To James point, he's right, any resources I suggest I alway remind my buyers, it is their choice and their resource so they want to do their own due diligence and make their own choice. But the recommendation from someone you trust and respect is a great place to begin.

Align yourself with the best resources you can find - agent, lender, attorney, inspector - and you will be on your way....

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Aug 12, 2011
Choosing these two important resources should happen at the outset - I would vote for agent first, she will have recommendations of reliable, credible lenders that she has direct experience with - a great starting poitn on the lending front. To James point, he's right, any resources I suggest I alway remind my buyers, it is their choice and their resource so they want to do their own due diligence and make their own choice. But the recommendation from someone you trust and respect is a great place to begin.

Align yourself with the best resources you can find - agent, lender, attorney, inspector - and you will be on your way....

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
James Unger, Agent, Buckingham, PA
Thu Aug 11, 2011
Afternoon Kate,
As most buyers look at a few homes before they find their dream home you could contact a Realtor to give them your Wish List, location you want, bedrooms, baths, garage, yard, single house, condo etc....
As a comment below said an agent usually will be able to provide you with some names of lenders who can help you. Just remember the agent suggestions on lenders are to just help you and you should pick only the one you feel comfortable with.

If you should like I am a Realtor in NJ and PA I would be more then happy to discuss some if this with you, provided that you have not signed with another agent as of yet. I do not believe as commented below that you have your agent until settlement, I believe if you are treated correctly by your agent they will be your agent for life, and that is always my goal with clients. You can also go to my website to start a search for homes.. http://www.ungerrealestate.com
Wish you the best of luck
0 votes
Jerry Barker, Agent, Atlantic City, NJ
Fri Apr 1, 2011
I just want to add here that you can also check out this website http://www.sjrates.com to help search for the lowest mortgage rates at the local banks and credit unions in New Jersey
Web Reference:  http://www.sjrates.com
0 votes
Dan V., Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Fri Apr 1, 2011
Hi Kate -- You can start shopping for your agent and lender at the same time. The most important thing is that you do shop around, try out several options and go with the people you feel most comfortable with. Some agents just want to get you in any house, collect their commission as quickly as possible and call it a day. Others are really on your side -- they want you to get the best price for the house that best fits your needs.

As for the lender -- they do not set your budget -- you do. Your lender can tell you what you qualify for, but that may be more than what you want to spend. Figure out what you're comfortable spending given your financial and personal situation. As for the bank vs. mortgage broker question -- I have had good experiences with both types, so I would meet with a few and go with whomever you feel most comfortable. There are still (even after the past two years) shady lenders out there, so be on the lookout.

Best of luck,
Dan
0 votes
Kevin Olson,…, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Thu Mar 31, 2011
I am an agent, and would suggest a lender before an agent. Find one you are comfortable with, where you stand, and how much you can afford. Then go and find a Realtor, not necessarily one the lender refers you to. You're going to have the loan for 30 years. You have the Realtor until you close on the house. Emphasis should go to finding the lender first.
0 votes
Scott Hulen, , 64068
Thu Mar 31, 2011
Which came first the chicken or the egg? I think picking the right full time agent is first, then they should be able to refer you to several lenders who can help. There are many different types of loans for different types of situtions. Are you having a custom home built then a contruction perm loan may be best, do you have a lower credit score then other types of lenders are better, do you live in a rural area then a USDA loan product may work, do you live in the city then credits & incentives may apply, new energy star home with tight ratios then bank of america may be best. I've covered a few what ifs but your agent should be able to help you choose what is best for your sitution. Hope this helps! Scott
0 votes
Doc & Ellen…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hi, Kate,

You're going to get a lot of different opinions on this one. Our experience in San Antonio indicates that finding a strong lender who will quote a fair price, get the loan approved, get the documents to closing ON TIME, and communicate with the buyer and agent are ESSENTIAL. My experience with the banks is DISMAL. I know several local lenders who are superb in getting the deal done without headaches. Usually, they turn out to be the most competitively priced as well.

If you find a really good Agent, ask them what their local experience is and who they trust. Of course, you need a second opinion, but your agent will know who doesn't deliver and who is consistently reliable.

Good luck,

Doc Stephens, REALTOR
Web Reference:  http://TellEllen.com
0 votes
Elizabeth He…, Agent, Agawam, MA
Thu Mar 31, 2011
Get pre-approved first so you know what your budget is, then contact a Realtor is usually the best way to hit the ground running. Regarding a Bank vs. Lender, call around and ask about origination fees and other costs and compare them. Good luck!
0 votes
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