How to be prepared for a bidding war!
Facing a Bidding War? Take your Realtor’s advice and work with a Local Mortgage Lender.
In this ultra-competitive housing market, where sellers are choosing between many competing offers, home buyers looking to have their offer stand out should consider working with a mortgage professional based in the local area.
When the offering price, type of mortgage financing, down payment and earnest money are all comparable, the mortgage lender’s reputation may be the factor that helps the buyer win the home.
Agents want their buyers to work with lenders who know the local market and have a track record of getting deals closed. This reassures the listing agent and the seller that the sale will close. One local realtor is known to advise his buyers “Work with a local lender so you can shake their hand or wring their neck at closing.”
When your lender is part of the local community, their reputation is very important to their ongoing career success. Local lenders know if they cannot get loans closed, they will not get referrals from past clients or agents. Online lenders may have less motivation to get your loan done as their business is driven by national advertising, not referrals from friends and local realtors. If they fail to close their borrowers’ loans, their phone will continue to ring.
My advice is to ask your realtor for a referral to at least two local lenders to interview. Strict Federal Regulations (The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act aka RESPA) prohibit lenders from paying realtors for referrals. When a Realtor refers you to a lender, it is because they want you to work with a lender they trust to give you good service and get your loan closed.
In addition to getting a Loan Estimate to check their rates and fees, ask about their experience. Have they worked in the profession long enough to know how to work through the challenges that will undoubtedly arise? See how they communicate. Do they promptly return calls? Are they available evenings or weekends, when you are looking at homes? Can they close in less than the 30 days required by most online lenders? Do they offer a closing guarantee?
Remember, Online lenders can offer convenience and good financing terms but small differences in rates or fees may not matter if you can’t win the home.
Skip Thompson-Loan Officer
3009 Pacific Ave SE #102
Olympia, WA 98501