In my first few years reporting on the real estate industry, I learned just enough about lending to be dangerous. And if I had to guess, there are quite a few rookie real estate agents out there who might be in that same boat.
It wasn’t until I had to actually secure a mortgage for my own home that I came face-to-face with the fact that my knowledge of the property financing world was a little sparser than I’d like. I did all the things smart agents and brokers counsel homebuyers not to do: I didn’t shop around enough, went with the cheapest rates I could get and didn’t worry about how accessible the bank would be. I also didn’t heed warning signs like lost paperwork or long response times at critical moments.
Thankfully the deal didn’t fall through — but it easily could have. We ended up having to secure an emergency termite inspection at 6 a.m. on closing day and wasted countless hours at the closing table waiting for the bank to get its final documents squared away. And it doesn’t end there; after we moved in, the bank repeatedly “forgot” to submit our direct withdrawal paperwork and sent us threatening letters demanding the payments we thought they’d already taken.
In the end everything was fine, but in the thick of it, everyone was stressed. And if I had to guess, I’d say that’s what most consumers — and many agents — think about when it comes to the financing side of real estate. For those of us who aren’t “numbers people,” doing the math and shuffling around sensitive legal documents is enough to cause a major case of heartburn, even when everything goes well.
That’s the reason our biannual mortgage issues are so important. The loan officers and financial experts we interviewed for this cover story are in this business to form lasting relationships and make the process of buying residential property a smoother one. In the following pages, they share what to expect in the next year of lending, how they see the relationship between preferred lenders and agents evolving and how real estate professionals can counsel their clients in an age of rising rates. If you have thoughts, questions or anything you want to share with the magazine on this topic please get in touch at email@example.com.