“Some First Time Home Buyers Listen to the Wrong Advice”

“Some First Time Home Buyers Listen to the Wrong Advice”


I will follow up on clients that I have done a pre-qualification for and haven’t heard from in 60 days after issuing the pre-qual letter:

1)      Do we need to make any adjustments?

2)      Have they stopped searching for a home?

3)      Are things working out well with their Realtor?


Especially with first time home buyers, they will often get advice from family or friends that get in the way. Sure they mean well but sometimes doing more harm than good. The advice they receive can consist of:

1)      You should offer at least 10% below asking price.

2)      You shouldn’t make an offer on a home that needs some work.

3)      You should live in this area or that area.


When prospective buyers get free advice from family and friends it can be misguided. Fortunately a little coaching from someone like me goes a long way to get someone back on the “Right Trac”.

 Image courtesy of Davidcastello/freedigitialphotos.net

“Too Much Negotiation Can Be a Problem”

“Too Much Negotiation Can Be a Problem”


A hand full of my clients that I have done pre-qualification letters for are all currently negotiating for homes and three of the five are in multiple bid situations. I have advised all to make the strongest possible offer, otherwise risk not getting the home that they wanted.


The three clients that are in Connecticut are negotiating in a buyer’s market, but according to agents did not make strong offers and may not get the homes that they wanted. Sure everyone wants the best deal they can get, but if the offers are for homes that each really wants then make sure the offers help insure success.


A number of years ago, Gail and I purchased a beach house and it was “the home” we wanted. When my Realtor asked me what we were thinking for an offer, I told her “We’re going to offer full asking price.” This was not a property we wanted to buy as an investment. Long story short, we purchased the property and have never looked back or second guessed ourselves.

Image courtesy of Phanlop/freedigitalphotos.net

“Reply ALL, by Mistake”

“Reply ALL, by Mistake”


I was included in a “Reply All” email. My client asked me to send a copy of her Pre-Qualification letter to her Realtor as well as to herself.


The Realtor forgot to take me out of the email and let my client know that she didn’t like doing business with a mortgage person she didn’t know and would she object in speaking to her banker.

My client’s response was:



I saw this as an opportunity, as I didn’t want my client to change her Realtor, so I decided to “Reply All”.


“Thank you Joyce. I truly appreciate your kind words, your trust and loyalty.


Barbara, I’m sure you hit the reply all button by accident or at least I hope it was by accident. Since we don’t know each other, I can understand your concern about not being comfortable working with a mortgage broker you don’t know and am sure the person you work with is very good and you want to do the best possible for Joyce.


I will look forward to working with our mutual client and hopefully I can prove myself to you during this mortgage process.”


How would you have handled this situation?

Image courtesy of stuartmiles/freedigitalphotos.net

“But I was Preapproved”

“But I was Preapproved”


We hear this kind of story too many times, but why and why does it keep happening?


I understand how frustrating it can be when someone gets turned down for a mortgage when they have already received a preapproval. But this prospective home buyer should never have been preapproved to purchase a $400,000 home and also should have known that he could not afford a $2800 mortgage payment.


This was a self-employed individual who brought in $76,000 in revenues, but paid taxes on $51,000. Yes, the loan officer screwed up. I’m not sure what questions were asked but this preapproval should have never been issued.


When I asked this person if he could afford a $2800 mortgage payment he said, “Not really”. If that is the case, why would you ever buy a $400,000 home that you couldn’t afford?


When I went over the math and we discussed a mortgage payment he was comfortable with, the answer was $1800 tops. He told me that his wife will be disappointed which is understandable, but losing the home would be a bigger disappointment.


I issued a pre-qualification, but they will be looking to purchase a much more affordable home. I know the Realtor is a little upset with me as she wanted sell the $400,000 home, but I explained reality to her and hopefully she understood.


 Image courtesy of stuartmiles/freedigitalphotos.net

“Realtor in her 80’s”

“Realtor in her 80’s”


I asked Carmen how she is doing so much business into her 80’s when many want to call it quits. She referred three mortgage clients last week and already sent another today. They aren’t always the easiest transactions, but it doesn’t matter to me. I’ve learned when she has faith in someone that is a good enough reason for me to work with them.


I loved her answer, “I ask myself every day who can I help today from my life experiences”.  “I know there are so many folks I can help, so why not be fully useful”.


She lost her husband a few years ago and a child before that, but nothing is going to keep this good woman down.


She told me a few years ago, neither of us have enough sense to give up on any transaction. I couldn’t help but laugh, but know she is right.

Image courtesy of stuartmiles/freedigitalphotos.net

“I Have Another Tough One for You”

“I Have Another Tough One for You”


Bring it on! I don’t care if the loan is considered tough by many. I love the challenge just the same.


Divorces bring a steady source of mortgage business and fortunately for me, many attorneys send me business in all 8 states I do mortgages in. It is so much easier to get the lowdown about the situation even before the divorce has been completed.


Attorneys have realized that when they’re dealing with a divorcing couple when a mortgage will be needed, it is best to get a mortgage broker involved earlier rather than later.


We just completed a loan that has taken nearly a year. This couple got divorced and the decree was a real mess. There was a lot of language about each party holding the other harmless for certain obligations, so often this creates all kinds of problems.


The person that was currently in the home was not on the mortgage. But they originally put up the down payment of $90,000 and prior to them being responsible for the payments on the mortgage, the payment was late pretty regularly, a big problem. A car loan that was in both names, again constantly late and the person in the home had 12 months to refinance with all these credit issues going on.


The attorney that drafted the divorce documents called and asked for help. It took nearly a year to make it all work. When I started the mid-credit score was 504, when we closed it was a 566.


When the attorney called saying, “I have another tough one for you”, I couldn’t wait to hear what miracle I was being asked to solve. No matter the case, bring them on. I love a good challenge. 

Image courtesy of Jesadaphorn/freedigitalphotos.net

“Is that Really You in the Photo?”

“Is that Really You in the Photo?”


I recently got a referral from a Realtor I had never met. She scanned over the purchase agreement which included her contact information along with her photo. She indicated the home inspection was being done the next day and I was doing the mortgage application the next day as well.


All went well with the mortgage application, but the client indicated there would be some negotiations regarding a couple of supposed issues. I let the client know that any credits would need to be a seller credit toward closing costs.


An addendum was worked out and the Realtor was going to drop off the agreement as she was going to be in the area and she wanted to meet me anyway. About a half hour later my secretary let me know she was downstairs.


I walked down to greet her. There were a number of folks at the office at that moment and I literally walked right by her, as what she looked like in real life was nothing like her photo. It was a bit embarrassing for me, probably both of us but I apologized without making a big deal about it.


Do you have a photo in any of your marketing? If so, when is the last time you updated the photo or photos?


Image courtesy of Gualberto/freedigitalphotos.net


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