Both real estate agents and mortgage lenders work to ensure their clients achieve the goal of homeownership. While we both serve the client in very different ways, the common goal of completing the sale of a home is the basis of a good working relationship between a Realtor and a Home Loan Specialist. In this article we will discuss ways you can collaborate with a lender to make a ‘dream team’ for your clients.
1. Make Negotiations Easier
When a client wants to purchase a home, it’s time for both their Realtor and the mortgage lender to step up to the plate and make the process as stress free as possible for them. This begins by understanding what the other person does, and how it affects the transaction for your client. Let’s start by looking at what a mortgage lender does for a home buyer:
A good Home Loan Specialist will work to make sure your client has secured financing before they begin looking for a home. Here at Churchill, we know Realtors are working harder than ever to get offers accepted in this competitive market. As Lenders, we can help make your buyer’s offers stand out when your clients are certified. Encouraging your client to become a Churchill Certified Home Buyer will help them get pre-underwritten which has several important benefits. This program gives your clients more than a pre-qualification or pre-approval, it positions them almost like a cash buyer. It also helps them get to close faster once their offer is accepted!
Once a client is certified, the next step is to be make sure they have secured a low interest rate. Certified Home Buyers can become a part of our Rate Secured program and cap their rate for 90 days as the house hunting continues. And the best part of our Rate Secured programs is if interest rates go down during that 90 days, we will honor the lower rate – so it’s truly the best of both worlds for your client.
2. Communicate Openly and Honestly
A lender will also make sure your client understands what they can afford, not just what they can borrow. This helps you, as a Realtor, to not worry about your buyers overextending themselves when purchasing a home, resulting in a sale falling through.
To work well with a lender, it’s important that communication is open and honest, especially when timelines are short. Lenders may have questions regarding the offer and the sooner we get answers, the smoother the sale. This open communication goes both ways, of course. You may have questions about what documentation to provide and it’s the Lender that should keep you updated on next steps.
As a rule of thumb, anything regarding the purchase contract should be relayed to the lender. This can include tax returns, proof of income, bank statements, and photo ID. While this falls on the shoulders of your clients, the more you are aware of as the Realtor, the easier the sale will be!
Most Home Loan Specialists will touch base with clients and their Realtors as new milestones are reached, such as when a loan is ready for underwriting, closing, etc. Just check with your Churchill Home Loan Specialist to see when those communications go out. You can also be proactive and choose a day each week to check in with both the lending team and your buyer. This can be done via email or text and will be a great way to check in and give updates if needed.
You may also want to speak to the buyer’s lender if you are the selling agent. To do this well, we recommend being direct in your communication. This way you can get exact answers on timing which keeps your seller on track. This can include questions around appraisals, titles, and making sure that the paperwork of the buyer is in. A lender will appreciate your candid questions and we’ll do our best to help answer them in a timely manner.
3. Track Progress
At Churchill, we use an app to help clients keep track of everything regarding their loan. This helps every member of the team to stay up to date with each aspect of the home buying process. In fact, our app will notify you, as the Realtor, every time a client reaches a milestone in their home buying process. You will be able to see how much your client is approved for, which stage the loan is in, and what documentation has been requested from your client.
Once you find a Home Loan Specialist (or a few) who you feel like makes life especially easy for you and your clients, ask them to be your preferred lender. This can have many benefits. Here are a few ways that having a preferred lender can be helpful to Realtors:
- Referrals. Finding lenders you prefer to work with will help build business for both you and the mortgage lender. Since most home buyers find their financing before they begin working with a real estate agent, this gives the Home Loan Specialist the opportunity to refer their new clients to you when they begin their home search.
- Expertise. No one knows the ins and outs of the local real estate market like you do. A good mortgage company will have the same level of smarts when it comes to financing. We know every aspect of lending laws, interest rate trends, and will be able to help you when you have questions for clients.
- Mix it up. By partnering with a Home Loan Specialist, you can expand into areas of the market that may be untapped. For example, lenders who have relationships with clients (and don’t just count them as a transaction) know when it’s time for clients upsize or downsize because we maintain communication with our clients and perform annual mortgage reviews to make sure they are always in the best financial situation possible.
Having a great respect for each other's jobs is the beginning to building a successful and long-lasting partnership. At Churchill, we know how hard Realtors work to make home buying dreams come true. If you're looking to work with a mortgage company that understands your business goals and wants to help you achieve them, reach out. We're here to help and are always looking to encourage people to get on the smarter path to homeownership.