Thirty years ago, someone looking to buy a new home would call up a Realtor® and schedule a date to tour houses in their desired location. The home buyer would set up a meeting with their banker to discuss the amount they were approved to borrow. Everything happened on paper. There were no emails, no websites to look up homes, and no mortgage-only websites.

Can you imagine that today? No! There are so many benefits to having online resources to aid our home buying process now. However, being able to work with real, trusted sources in this process is more important than ever. Let me tell you why.

Common Problems with Mortgage-Only Websites

You’ve probably heard about websites that offer you a mortgage approval in just minutes whenever and wherever you may be. Hey, I’m all for getting things done on my own time, in my own home and in the comfort of some cozy slippers. But, there are common problems home buyers experience when they choose not to work with a trusted bank and its professionals, such as:

  • Misleading Information – A downfall of the internet is that anyone can put anything out there. Great for some things, but not great when you’re looking for information related to major purchase decisions, like a home. Be aware that nationwide home selling websites do not always have accurate information about home values, land values and which homes are on the market.
  • Inaccurate Approvals – Given that your home is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make, understanding the financials involved in the process is important. The information you get back from mortgage-only sites is only as good as the information you put in. This often leads to inaccurate approvals. The result is a delayed closing process, or losing the home you really want because your approval isn’t sufficient for the cost of the mortgage you’d need.
  • Scams – If you’re on a website that’s offering quick and easy mortgages, incredible rates and everything that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I’ve even seen home buyers be charged for the online mortgage site and receive nothing in return.

Benefits of Working with a Trusted Bank and Loan Originator

Working with a bank and mortgage loan originator you trust comes with a number of benefits, including:

  • Relationships – Working with your bank’s mortgage team gives you the ability to meet and discuss questions and concerns about your financial situation and how that will impact your home buying process. The relationship you build here will also give you someone to reach out to down the road for a refinance or other relevant home equity products, like home equity loans and home equity lines of credit, when you’re ready for them.
  • Mortgage Products and Resources – Mortgages aren’t a one-size-fits-all product, so when I work with home buyers, I like to show them at least three loan options. We can discuss which one best fits their situation, and provide information and access to local grants and down payment assistance programs.
  • Accuracy – Your bank is the best source for finding accurate rates and fees involved with the mortgage you choose. Your loan originator will help you understand what information you’ll need to gather in order to receive an accurate approval for your mortgage.
  • Expertise – The mortgage team at your bank will help you understand the steps in the mortgage process, the do’s and don’ts once you’ve applied for a mortgage, ensure a timely closing and guide you through a smooth transaction.

Benefits of Working with Realtors

Speaking of working with professionals, I always recommend home buyers work with a Realtor. There are a myriad of ways a professional realtor – someone who is licensed by the National Association of Realtors® – will enhance your search for the perfect new home. Some include:

  • Representation – Realtors represent you throughout the home buying process and put your best interests first.
  • Credibility – As a professional licensed in real estate, Realtors commit to a code of ethics, have passed the necessary exams and have the resources to help you where needed.
  • Expertise – Realtors live and breathe buying and selling homes, so they know how to best present your offer, negotiate prices, navigate the inspection process and successfully close on your new home.
  • Community – When you work with a Realtor based in the area you’re looking for a home, the Realtor will be familiar with the local community and can share information about zoning, school districts, neighborhoods, builders and more.

Three Next Steps

1. Subscribe to our email updates using the form on the right hand sidebar learn more about getting a mortgage, buying a home and homeownership.
2. Read our other Homeownership articles to find insight on your home buying process.
3. Contact me if you’re ready to buy a new home.