Selecting the right team will substantially increase the chances of a smooth transaction with superior continued service down the road. When you locate one solid connection, he or she can recommend more solid people to assemble your team. Birds of a feather flock together.
Mortgage broker: Selecting your broker should always be your first step. Find someone you are convinced is right for you (or your family) and complete the mortgage qualification process. If the mortgage qualification process does not go as planned, there is no point in researching more team members. FYI, there should be no cost to use a broker. We are free and paid by the lenders! Again, getting a great rate is easy. It’s the additional advice, strategies, and on-going mortgage management that truly differentiate a quality broker.
Here is a breakdown of how we separate our mortgage team from the rest. The majority of mortgage brokers, and especially bank reps, are transaction based. Follow-ups after completion are far too uncommon in this industry, which can be very costly for you. Our team actually manages your mortgage and monitors your portfolio through our Annual Mortgage Review Process.
During this time we look to:
- Reduce interest rates on existing liabilities (credit cards, line of credits, student loans, investment loans, etc)
- Ensure your mortgage rate(s) is(are) the best the market offers
- Monitor your credit score and offer suggestions on how to improve your credit
- Look for tax loop-holes to increase your income tax deductions
- Set Goals: we show you exactly how to buy your next property and grow your real estate portfolio
- Avoid Payment Shock (explanation coming in Qualification section)
These concepts actually earned our mortgage team a roll in Oprah’s reality show twice! All this comes in a wonderful report, free for all of our clients.
Realtor: There are thousands and thousands of realtors out there. Do your due diligence and make sure you have a good fit. Again, your broker can likely recommend someone they have done business with and trust. Interview them; essentially they are auditioning to earn your business. The realtor needs to ask you the right questions. Don’t think about just now but also in the future: kids, schools, parks, safety, etc. They must determine your present & future needs.
Financial Advisor / Insurance: Far too often this step is skipped. When budgeting, people often forget to add the cost of critical illness, disability and life insurance. Please do not rely on life insurance through your work. What happens if you leave the company? If your budget is too tight for this expense, then you are over-leveraging yourself and should purchase a less expensive property. Be aware that accidents happen. Protect yourself and your family.
Side note: Lenders will try to sell you on lender insurance. Never take this because the chances of you staying with the same lender for the entire length of the mortgage are substantially less these days. If you switch lenders upon renewal, you will have to obtain new insurance, likely at higher premiums. If you need to apply for a new policy, there could be problems with your application and you could be denied insurance.
Lawyer / Notary: There is a false stigma about notaries being cheaper than lawyers. The most expensive legal fee I have seen in real estate was from a notary. Where you do see discounts are single person notary operations that can save you a few dollars. This could go the right way or the wrong way. For example, the lawyer or notary you select will need to be on the lenders “approved list”. If they are not, it could affect the completion of your mortgage and cost you by having to hire a second lawyer or notary.
We see this all the time. We recommend Tony Spagnuolo's team who has offices everywhere and are accepted by all lenders.
Purchasing a home should be a fun experience with minimal stress. Working with the right people and being properly prepared makes a world of difference.