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’re here to show you the benefits of finding a lender first.
We’d say the majority of people start with a real estate agent. Some choose to start by shopping for homes online on websites like Zillow or Realtor. For those that start online, they generally only contact a real estate agent 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 waiting until the last possible second to speak with a lender, mainly because getting a pre-approval before house hunting can benefit you in several different ways.
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 only 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. With pre-approvals, we actually verify all of your information so there is no doubt that you qualify for the loan you need.
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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 receiving compensation for recommendations is 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 shopping around phase and are looking to buy within the next couple of months.
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It’ll give you an edge in a competitive market.
It’s no secret that the Omaha housing market can get pretty competitive in certain price ranges. It isn’t uncommon for each home on the market to receive a handful of similar offers.
One of the best ways to make your offer more attractive to sellers is by being pre-approved. Seller’s agents are more likely to encourage the seller to accept an offer from a pre-approved buyer since they know that person is in the financial position to actually buy the home. Often, agents will steer their clients to accept offers from local lenders they have worked with in the past because they know the pre-approval was given by someone who knows what they’re doing.
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.
In fact, we recommend the following criteria when shopping for a lender.
- Compare rates and fees.
- Look through testimonials and reviews.
- Ask a trusted real estate agent about the lenders’ professional reputations.
- Evaluate communication levels.
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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.
Ready to start the mortgage process? Our online application takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes to complete. After it’s submitted, we can have you pre-approved for a loan in just a few hours.