An average day in the life of a Realtor® includes calls from potential buyers who want to be shuttled around to view homes for sale. Very few of these buyers are prepared to take that step, yet they get indignant when the wise Realtor® invites them to do some things in preparation prior to looking at homes to be sure that they are qualified first. Our promise to sellers is that we "will bring qualified" buyers, and not to allow just anyone with curious eyes to wander through their homes.
Don’t get me wrong, we are happy to spend efforts to coach those who aren’t quite ready and to help them do the things that will prepare them for home ownership. Let’s just not get the cart before the horse!
In order to really be prepared to purchase, a buyer must have their ducks on row, so to speak. I’m talking about the type of buyer who doesn’t have all of the cash in hand. They have to secure all or part of the funds to purchase from a lender. They should visit with their lender of preference preferably in person. That relationship with a loan officer is very important! Spend some time with them so that you can build a level of trust. Offer up as much information as possible about your financial situation so they can accurately assess your real financial status. The tendency for some buyers is to not be forthcoming with some items that may seem detrimental to obtaining financing. That stonewalling attitude may not be in the form of an out-and-out lie, or fraud, but such reluctance to reveal all, may jeopardize the loan once the purchase transaction gets down to brass tacks.
In a recent transaction that flubbed on the last day prior to closing, it was discovered that the borrower had concealed some unsecured debt that had been unaccounted for on their application. This caused the underwriter of the loan to reject the loan as soon as this fact was discovered.
The potential borrower should be ready to provide tax returns, debt information, child support obligations and even volunteer charitable donations. They will give consent to the lender to verify all of this information as well as consent to research their credit. Once they have gone through that approval process, the buyer has the credentials to begin their search. Armed with that preparation, the Realtor® will feel confident going to the limit as their agent.