In one of the most competitive housing markets in history, a local pre-approval is not only a good idea, it is a necessity in giving buyers a competitive edge when competing with other buyers for their dream home.
Home purchasers seeking to stand out in this competitive housing market should consider a mortgage based on the area in which they are making the offer.
“In a housing market where bidding wars are common, buyers who need financing can strengthen their offers by working with a locally based mortgage broker or loan officer,” said David Riemersma, Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt (Grand Haven, Michigan).
Listing agents want to work with buyers whose lenders know the local market and have a proven record of getting deals done. The listing agent’s job is to make sure that the offer on their client’s home will close, and in a timely manner. In markets such as West Michigan, where buyers frequently go up against multiple offers and all cash bids, confidence that a sale will happen can separate a winning bid from the rest.
Borrowers have many options on line, but listing agents caution that a small difference in rates isn’t the most decisive factor in choosing a lender.
“Ability to close is the single most important factor Realtors are looking for from borrowers in multiple offer situations, and a reputable, proven lender gives us the most assurance that we will close,” Riemersma said. “The lender has ‘skin in the game’ unlike a remote lender who has no relationship with the borrower or the community they are purchasing in. Reputation matters.”
Speed is another factor when sellers are fielding multiple offers. The seller will choose a buyer that can close quickly. In a fast-paced market, local lenders have their processes in place to work quickly in a competitive market place unlike many outside, or online lenders.
A 30-45-day closing is often going to be beat by a shorter closing time table, provided by an experienced local Mortgage broker.
“When I see a preapproval from out of town, or from an online lender, a red flag goes up,” said Jeff Grysen, At Home Realty (Grand Haven, Michigan).
Finally, working with a mortgage lender who has an existing relationship with the buyer’s agent brings a level of personal contact, providing prompt answers to questions.
“You can call the lender on the weekend or send a text at 9:30 at night and get an answer, which is huge in this market.” Grysen said.
Online or out of town lenders often times are too slow to respond in a fast-paced market, causing a buyer to lose out and have to start from scratch.