Should I contact a Realtor or a lender first?

This is like……. “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”

First-time Homebuyers should speak with a lender first in my professional experience before you contact a Real Estate Agent / Realtor. Why in this order? When you work with a lender they will be able to answer all your questions about different local loans and if you qualify. They can inform you as to what you qualify for and help educate you to all the different types of loans that are available. Depending on the type of property you want, single-family, multi-family, condominiums, or mobile homes, they are all unique for the qualification process. The lender can help advise you if they offer a product/loan that will fit your needs. An example is a mobile home that is leased, mobile home on owned land, do they have a 433a permanent foundation filed in the county? When you work with a lender you will quickly find out what loan you qualify for and what properties also qualify. Condos could be another perfect example as some are FHA approved while others are not! Now informed with what you qualify for and what to look for when you sit down with me or your agent we can tailor focus a search from the MLS that will best fit your needs and save us both time.

Experienced homeowners have experienced buying property in the past so I would say skip the lender for now and find a qualified agent to help you find homes that meet your needs. The caveat is if you are ready to start looking at homes you should already be qualified with a lender for a multitude of reasons. These reasons can include:

Agent safety, knowing you have sat down with a local lender helps us know you are serious and your intentions are legit. It’s a sad day in the industry when someone is hurt by someone with bad intentions.

Most of my sellers and I are asking for Buyers agents to send us documentation that the buyer has been to a lender recently and is qualified! Why?

A few different reasons but a few that come to mind are; First of all, this keeps the lookie-loos / neighbors out, and those looking for decorating ideas for their own homes and gets us to the seriously interested parties! If you are a serious buyer, you will be ready to go.

Pro Tip: The loan approval letter also helps us structure your offer correctly and it makes your offer appear more serious when it is attached to an offer! If you have been a homeowner seller, you likely saw it.

From the Real Estate agent, buyer and seller, life has plenty of things for us to do and we could all make sure we use our time more wisely.

I have seen it in the past when I listed a home a buyer came in with an all cash offer! Great right? No, not at all. He was getting in from an IRA and he was not old enough to get it out! This didn’t yet kill the deal but they changed it to a conventional loan but his business had so many write-offs they took it to an FHA and still did not qualify!

Depending on your familiarity with buying a home I think that this will help answer your question…….If I should find a Realtor or a Lender first.

If you have additional questions, comments or referrals, please Contact me at 805-748-2262 or email #RealEstate #Agent #Broker #JamesOutlandJr. #Lender #OutlandandAssociates


James Outland Jr. Realtor, Real Estate Agent, Broker Associate, Co-Owner
Outland and Associates Real Estate (Family-owned Company since 2007)
805-748-2262 Mobile

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