It’s common knowledge that in order to buy a home, you’re going to need both a real estate agent and a loan officer. What many people don’t know is who to contact first.
We’d say the majority of people start with a real estate agent. Well, nowadays they start with online shopping for a home (hello, Zillow, Realtor, and a million websites just like them). Then, they contact a real estate agent, often when they are ready to go see a home in person.
Most people who go down that road don’t end up at our door until they’ve found their dream home and are in dire need of a mortgage.
We don’t recommend taking that route, but the answer is it doesn’t really matter who you contact first. However, we think that finding a loan officer first is the smartest move.
We know, it sounds pretty biased, but hear us out.
You’ll have realistic expectations.
By finding a lender first, you’ll know just how much house you can afford. This means there’s no chance you’ll fall in love with a home just to find out you can’t afford it.
While a pre-qualification works if you’re completely honest with us about your financial situation, getting pre-approved will give you a concrete range in which you’re qualified to purchase in.
You’ll get recommendations.
Chances are, your lender has worked with their fair share of real estate agents and may feel comfortable giving a recommendation. Don’t be afraid to take it as a genuine recommendation either, because compensation for recommendations like those are illegal.
You’ll be taken seriously.
Once you’re pre-approved, both your real estate agent and any potential sellers will see you as a serious buyer. You’re past the just shopping around phase and are looking to buy within the next couple of months.
Sellers really appreciate pre-approved buyers because it lets them know that you’re not only interested in their home, but able to afford it.
You can still shop around.
Just because you’re pre-approved by one lender doesn’t mean you’re stuck with them. As much as we’d love for you to choose to stay with us once being pre-approved, it’s the buyer’s right to shop around.
As you can see, there are quite a few advantages to finding a lender before your real estate agent. But, like we said above, it’s completely up to you. You’re running this show, we’re just the supporting cast. Happy home buying!