Top five essential steps to take before hiring a local real estate agent, according to Andy May, President of ADRMortgage.com. Many consumers incorrectly think that the first phone call made should be to a Realtor(R). Millennials, military families, new home buyers, and repeat or move-up home buyers should implement the following five step process prior to signing a buyer's agreement obligating the consumer to the real estate agent.
Step one is to obtain information by researching mortgage topics on the web. The first topic researched should be, "what is a buyer's contract". As many consumers have read my past articles (due diligence and earnest monies, construction mortgages, military home loans), when the consumer signs the buyer's contract (and yes, there is a new contract that just came out in North Carolina - that I've written about - and it's not so great for the consumer) the relationship changes from a relatively low level of fiduciary responsibility to contract law (think, "I can't get out of this contract?").
Step two is for the consumer to search websites for mortgage calculators to get a feel for qualifications for a mortgage. Search the web. Research loan officers at nmlsconsumeraccess.org. If the consumer feels comfortable reach out and speak to a state licensed loan officer (banks typically don't hire state licensed loan officers - so check out the loan officer on the nmlsconsumeraccess.org to make sure the loan officer is a professionally licensed loan officer). Once the consumer has a feel for qualifications, step three comes into play.
Step three is to understand that the consumer can lose thousands of dollars in today's real estate market, just by making an offer to purchase a home. If the consumer is working through a builder, do not hand over a $50,000 deposit check (as the consumer may very well lose this money). Preliminary house hunting can be treacherous and the consumer needs to be well educated and advised before showing up to a new home development, or signing a buyer's agency contract with a real estate agent. Know what's at risk, before starting to physically meet professionals. Due diligence and earnest money is at risk and can add up, particularly if the consumer loses out on the home purchase, which can be for almost any reason.
Step four in the process is to now engage a real estate agent, and select an independent state licensed mortgage professional. Type into Google the word complaints and any bank - one such search found 850,000+ hits. Complaints are one way to identify if the consumer's selection is a risky one. Independent parties are important and serve as your fiduciary. The one-stop shop concept has pretty much imploded as consumers opting for this approach get limited education and all entities are pretty much working as one against the consumer, rather than for the consumer.
Step five is to understand the timeline and reduce expectations of a quick close. The last five years have seen billions of dollars in advertising regarding how fast a consumer can close on a mortgage loan. The reality is that nearly all 30 year fixed rate mortgages are held by a government entity for some period of time. The front end origination of a mortgage is simply a conduit to the federal government (be it a bank, credit union, mortgage bank/broker). The consumer needs to engage licensed loan originators (knowledgeable and educated) in order to make it through this process. Hiring a call center person that lives a million miles away and may or may not be under the state laws of the consumers' state, is a sure-fire way to obtain less than optimal results. With rates set to rise over the coming years, now is also the time to lock in fixed rate product. Don't be fooled by some entities that call adjustable rate product, fixed. 30 and 15 year fixed rates are the ones that nearly all consumers should be reviewing in this historically low interest rate environment.
This overview touches on some of the more important aspects of the home buying process. Make no mistake, the process has changed and the laws that have been implemented have extended the timeline for completing the mortgage process. Advertisements to the contrary should be reviewed with an eye toward honesty and trustworthiness.
ADRMortgage.com is owned by Andy May Group, LLC and is a state licensed mortgage company in North Carolina and Virginia since 2005 (NMLS #88010, MLO #103418). Since 2005 the company has received Zero BBB complaints and treats customers as family. Family owned and operated from Raleigh, North Carolina the company serves military (VA mortgages), Jumbo, conventional, FHA, USDA and other families looking to obtain the lowest financing costs available. ADRMortgage.com competes on rate and service and is located at 8522 Six Forks Road, Suite 201, Raleigh, North Carolina 27615. Andy May may be reached at 919 771 3379.