Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Christi Borden, a Realtor with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene in Katy.
7. Community Awareness: Giving back to my community, both professionally and personally, is very important to me and to my clients. I love to see this in everyone on my referral team: lender, title, inspectors, etc. I feel it is crucial to appreciate like-minded professionals.
6. Understanding: I work with many clients that have lenders already lined up or are required to use a certain company due to their relocation benefits, so I cannot refer all clients, nor will I refer to only one lender. There are certain niche markets I work in that require niche service from a lender i.e., international, bi-lingual, first-time homebuyer, VA, etc., and not all lenders match up perfectly with all clients. A good lender will be on top of mind when the fit occurs. And please, as a new lender, do not send mass emails or messages on Facebook expecting to get business. This is earned through word of mouth and past successful transactions.
5. Professionalism: I work with buyers from all price ranges and all walks of life, and try to match them with a lender who will be a good fit. My referrals reflect back on me, so I expect my lender referrals to show the same professionalism that I utilize in my business; that includes the way they act, dress and present themselves both in life and through social media.
4. Preparing Buyer for Sale: I love a lender who helps the buyer understand what closing costs to expect prior to delivery of the HUD. Also, even though I work hard to help buyers understand that they need to avoid making purchases or even looking at high-ticket items (cars, furniture, etc.) during the loan process, it is always helpful if their lender prepares them as well. I have seen more than a few buyers heartbroken upon finding out that their new car or furniture purchase has derailed their home purchase.
3. No News is Not Good News – No News is No News: We would rather hear bad news than no news at all. If there is a problem, the lender should let us know about it, even while they are trying to solve it. We can better prepare clients for alternative plans, and our Code of Ethics requires us to be “fair” to all parties, which includes letting them know if we are aware of a problem in the process. Most problems can be solved and, maybe we might be able to help. Nothing is worse than finding out the day before or day of closing that there is a possible “fatal” problem that the lender has known about for weeks, but either wanted to try and solve it or was just too scared to let the other parties know about it.
2. Updates: I love being updated, at least once a week early on and then almost daily as we get down to the wire.
1. Communication, Communication, Communication: Not just with me, but with all parties. There is nothing I like better than a lender who reaches out to the listing agent to keep them updated, as long as this does not conflict with their confidentiality agreement with the buyer. After all our hard work is done – after finding the property; negotiating the terms; scheduling inspections; negotiating repairs; and coordinating appraisal/survey/title issues – the lender is the only link I have to making sure we are on track to close. Plus, nothing makes a Realtor look better to their clients than knowing what is going on – and that includes the good, bad and the ugly.
Christi Borden is a Realtor with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene in Katy who, in addition to her CIPS, MCNE, ALHS, GRI, ABR and e-PRO designations, has been on the HAR Board of Directors since 2010, and has been involved in the MLS, Technology, Communication, Risk Management, TREPAC and International Advisory Groups.