I’m Ready To Buy a Home: Should I Find a Realtor or a Lender First?

March 15, 2022
I’m Ready To Buy: Should I Find a Realtor or a Lender First?

Now that you've decided to buy a home, you probably have many questions about the process. Out of the gate, you’ll probably be asking, "should I find a realtor or lender first?"

While you’re not required to be preapproved for a mortgage before speaking to a realtor, it's generally a good idea to seek a lender first.

3 Reasons To Start With a Lender

There are good reasons to connect with a mortgage broker before beginning your search for a home in earnest.

1. You’ll Know How Much House You Can Afford

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding the perfect house but later learning that you cannot qualify for a mortgage equal to its selling price. Knowing the highest amount a bank will lend you allows you to search for homes in your price bracket.

2. More Realtors Will Be Willing to Work With You

Many real estate agents, although not all, will not work extensively with clients who are not preapproved. They may send you a few listings for a "drive-by" look but not take you to tour homes. Or they may insist you get pre-approved before they do anything. This is to ensure that they will be able to earn a commission on all the work they will do for you.

3. It Speeds up the House Hunting Process

You already have your mortgage company locked down and know your budget. You won't waste time looking at houses you can't afford or spend hours hunting for a bank that will lend you the money you want.

The 5-Step Home-Buying Process

Every home-buying experience is different, but there is a standard order to the process that is the most efficient use of your time:

1. Understand Your Budget

Begin with an idea of your budget, including all your current debt payments and what is a comfortable monthly payment for you. Then, start thinking of neighborhoods that may fit your criteria.

2. Choose a Mortgage Lender & Get Preapproved

You’ll want to choose a mortgage lender, such as MacAsh, that can get you the best rate. You’ll also want to explore the different types of loans that prospective homeowners can qualify for:

3. Find a Realtor

Find a realtor who works in the neighborhoods in which you are interested. Make sure they know your budget and are willing to stick to it. There's no greater waste of time than visiting homes you can't afford.

4. Make an Offer

When you find the home you want, make an offer. Your realtor will walk you through the steps. The seller may accept or refuse the offer or make a counteroffer.

5. Seal the Deal

Once you and the seller have signed a purchase agreement, the mortgage lender can complete the underwriting process.

Have Questions?

Talk to the lending experts at MacAsh Home Loans. We can answer your questions and begin the preapproval process.

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