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Home Buyers, Sellers & Borrowers: Do You Do Too Much Work?

Written by on Monday, 02 January 2017 9:43 am
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Buyers and sellers can overwhelm themselves by doing work - and yes, searching out online listings and viewing houses or condos is work - that should be done by trained real estate professionals.

Buyers, bitten by the "gotta find it fast" bug, want to see every listing. The result is that they swamp their brains with home-searching details collected online and off. Stress and mental exhaustion arise because they are not trained to quickly evaluate the pros and cons of a property on one short visit or from a succinct listing the way professionals are. Nor are buyers practiced at keeping the details of dozens of properties straight. Buyers are intently looking for "the one" and all the rest represent "time wasted."

Sellers are often doing overwhelming double duty.

  • They want to know all about the neighborhood competition, so they can disregard those competing listings. Sellers look for confirmation that their home is "the one."
  • At the same time, sellers may also be buyers, shopping in another real-estate-price range or location for their next home. Resulting double-duty stress may leave them too distracted and exhausted to limit emotional reactions to the offers they receive. This can prevent them from properly weighing offer details.

Buyers and sellers are only interested in "the one," but professionals know that every property they view augments their expertise. Their growing body of knowledge adds to their practical value for the buyers and sellers they serve.

Professionals view real estate because they love this work. They gain their livelihood from perfecting their skill in quickly and accurately evaluating each property they tour. Professionals are determined to analyze and retain information as they work, knowing they'll use this knowledge to serve their clients. Buyers and sellers would rather just walk into "the one" and be done.

Buyers and sellers also shop for lenders and financing instead of letting mortgage professionals do that for them. As mortgage borrowers, they are forced to learn a lot more about products and lenders than they may need to. They just want the mortgage that's "the one" - best interest rate is usually their main goal.

Borrowers often undermine financial opportunity by negotiating directly with lenders like banks instead of using professional mortgage brokers who are trained to professionally negotiate more than good interest rates—great deals for borrowers.

Consumers concentrate on interest rates. Borrowers do not realize there are many more features and options that can create amazing financial opportunity. Mortgage professionals exist to help borrowers - often at no charge when the lender pays their fee. However, many borrowers do not automatically include mortgage professionals as must-have resources when faced with arranging or renewing a mortgage.

For example, a small business client told me he recently received an early-renewal-savings call from the lender of the mortgage on his income property. He asked me why they would offer a slightly lower rate six months ahead of renewal. I asked him why he was asking me? That reminded him: "my mortgage broker arranged an excellent renewal rate and a significantly-better-than-average prepayment option when I renewed my residential mortgage."

He laughed and said, "I'll call my mortgage broker and ask him what is up with the lender. My broker can negotiate my next best deal - interest rate and terms - with that lender or another. Maybe that's a lesson I've finally learned."

2017 Resolution: Stop doing the work a professional is trained to do for you in the process of arranging the best deal in real estate and mortgages. Instead, in 2017, concentrate on selecting professionals who are trained to serve you and have acquired the expertise to outsmart those selling you things.

Invest time understanding the type and level of expertise you need to achieve your goals. Investigate a few professionals to discover the best match. Ask for disclosure of any relationships, biases, and fees that will slant the professional toward or against specific lenders, companies, properties, or products. Some professionals sell their companies products exclusively; others offer independent, open market searches.

With the chosen professional clarify exactly what you want, need, and don't want. Ask a lot of questions, answer their questions, and let them get to work for you. Leave them to view dozens and dozens of properties on your behalf. If you're shopping for a mortgage, let the professional scour the field of lenders.

The real estate professional will relay details and photos or videos of their findings and zero in to locate the handful of possibilities that you should see firsthand. Your mortgage broker will present the pros and cons of the few ideally-suited mortgages. In all cases, the choice will be yours.

If you're a seller, use your freed-up time to de-clutter the house and keep it pristine. If you are a buyer, concentrate on getting your finances in order and saving more money to buy the house or arrange a smaller mortgage. Or, in either case, just take a stress-free break.

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  About the author, PJ Wade

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