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Monday, June 27, 2011

Ask the Loan Man - July 2011


I have just read a series of industry blogs about how people choose their home loan professional and their Realtor and because these blogs were directed from peer to peer, these guys really let loose and told the honest truth about some of the serious pitfalls and horror stories that befall unwary home buyers and sellers. What I took away from those articles was that these people are passionate about what they do and they believe in what they do and these are the people I want to work with. Since I am a loan professional, I am going to discuss the buyer’s side of things here today.

First of all, to put it in perspective, think of my good friend Ernie “Spaghetti” Buletti down at red Spaghetti tattoo in Forestville (where I get ALL my work done). Before you ask, YES! I am comparing choosing a tattoo artist to choosing a Realtor or Loan Professional. Think of the ultimate cost of getting a cheap tattoo…. Yes you saved fifty bucks today but you are stuck with a bad tattoo for the rest of your life. Think of your own business and how that works and how people choose you. Think about calling around to different brain surgeons and comparing costs when deciding on that upcoming surgery you need.

People do not necessarily understand how our business works and what they get for their money. There are some differences between mortgage companies for sure but we all sell our loans to the same places at relatively the same prices so you need to choose based on service, honesty, integrity and knowledge. Here is a real simple example: If your Realtor suggests you call a certain lender because they have been working with them for the last 15 years and this person is a full time professional who has an office near you and does what they say and has a long list of satisfied clients who also refer them on a regular basis…… but your half sister’s, babysitter’s cousin has a son who just got into the business and really needs the business so he can pay his rent this month…… which one do you choose? The really scary part is that you will pay about the same fees and get about the same rate but you just won’t get good advice from the part timer or newbie.

It works the same way with a Realtor, you want to hire an agent who will work on your behalf and have your best interests at heart and you want someone with local expertise and knowledge. A full time agent networks with other agents and has a good relationship with their peers, they know the inventory and can tell you how to price your home for sale or what to offer on your next home and they will have your back when negotiating a contract.

The way that good loan professionals and Realtors work is that they give you all of their time and expertise up front and they get paid when you finally find the right home and navigate you through the escrow and the loan process and get you to a successful closing. We get paid nothing until you get what you want. For this reason, it is important for you to give 100% commitment to that professional if you want 100% devotion in return. It is fine to shop around for the right person and ask questions but it is not OK to work with several Realtors or lenders at the same time, you will not get the attention you deserve. Ultimately, if you are wary of who you choose in the first place, you will be represented well and be taken care of now and well into the future.

I am fortunate to have worked in Sonoma County since 1995 and getting to know the best agents in the county. If you want a referral of a good Realtor, I can listen to your needs and give you a good match. If you need a mortgage professional, I have some ideas there too………..

Please email or call me with any real estate and mortgage related questions. I am happy to answer you and it may become the topic of a future article.

Hans Bruhner is a branch manager for First Priority Financial. Hans is licensed by the CA DRE # 01085398 and NMLS #243484 and First priority is licensed by the CA DRE # 00652852 and NMLS #3257.  If you have a question, please contact him at (707) 887-1275 or .