Instead of going to your neighbor or a well-meaning family member for homebuying tips, why not go straight to the source? We asked our top-producing loan officers what they think every homebuyer needs to know to come out ahead in today’s still-hot housing market.
For many buyers, these hints could prove priceless. Compared to last year’s lows, mortgage rates have already started to climb. More homes have also become available. But with such a large inventory shortage to begin with, many areas are still seeing buyers compete over listings that remain tight.
What this essentially means is that homebuyers are still active, trying to find the right home and purchase now to save money before the next rate and home price increase. If you’re feeling the heat in your local market, all hope isn’t lost. Taking pointers from a skilled loan officer could expedite the process and improve the odds of your offer getting accepted.
Loan officers share their top 10 homebuying tips
Here’s the insider insight our loan officers are giving to their own clients:
1. Find out early what it takes to become a homeowner.
“The strongest advice I can give is to push back through your barriers, and learn now how you can be a homeowner. It can never be too soon to know your options! Having the right team can also make or break you from becoming a homeowner.”
2. Know your buying power before shopping.
“Take an important first step, and get prequalified. Your lender will review your income, debts, and assets to determine how much home you can afford. Being prequalified shows sellers you’re ready, willing, and able to buy.”
3. Get creative with your down payment.
“Aside from saving money, there are three home loan down payment options people often forget: 1) Gifted funds from a relative. 2) Loan or disbursement from your 401(k). 3) Down payment assistance.”
Click here to read more about 8 smart ways to reduce your down payment.
4. Stay current on your payments.
“If you’re going through the loan process, be sure to pay your bills on time! One late pay could drop your credit score by up to 100 points and, in turn, affect your interest rate, as well as your ability to qualify for the home loan.”
5. But don’t get too down on your credit.
“Even so, your credit does not have to be perfect. The sooner you prequalify and get a game plan in order, the better.”
6. Make them an offer they won’t want to refuse.
“When making a bid to a seller, don’t aim too high or too low. Start at asking price, and go from there. Your realtor can also help you determine the right offer price.”
7. Leverage your loan officer to strengthen your offer.
“Your offer is only as good as the team that represents you in your local marketplace. Pick a trusted, respected, and seasoned loan officer to work with you.”
Click here to read more about how to win a bidding war in a hot housing market.
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8. Seek out a loan officer with great reviews.
“Having an excellent local loan officer for your financing will give you the greatest opportunity of getting your offer accepted. Especially in this seller’s market.”
9. And, look for one who’s local.
“Don’t put your earnest money at risk with an unknown lender you can’t meet face-to-face.”
10. Search for one who’s flexible too.
“If you’re looking at houses after hours and on weekends, pick a loan officer who’s also available at these times.”
Click here to read more about using a like-cash loan program to get your offer noticed.
Your loan officer is only a call (or click) away
Have questions about the homebuying process? Get them answered in no time. Reach out to a loan officer near you, or download our free mortgage app, plug in your info, prequalify in minutes, and connect to a local loan officer who can guide you each step of the way.*
*During normal business hours.
For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.