Buyers in today’s housing market are, rightfully, very cautious. As Realtors, we want to make sure that we give our clients the best information without giving information that is outside the realm of our profession, such as legal and tax advice. A very common question that Buyers raise is where and how to get the best mortgage rate.
Real estate agents obviously have experience in dealing with certain lenders and mortgage representatives. We know who offers the most comparable rates and who will be prompt, reliable, and show up at the settlement table prepared with the money! (I do want to stress that the reliability factor is just as important as the rate factor.)
What we, as agents, do not know is where your rate will end up after they have explored your financial background. Everyday mortgage lenders put out new “published prices,” which are the rates that they will offer to a borrower/buyer who meets their conditions and requirements. Those published prices will differ from lender to lender. Ideally shopping rates by researching those published prices would potentially allow a borrower to get the best rate on their purchase-price. However, that turns out to be rather difficult a task.
The issue is that published prices are not public information. Lenders distribute those prices to the loan officers, brokers and others privy to the information. These agents are not obliged to quote published prices and they often will avoid offering a client inaccurate information for obvious reasons. A Realtor's job is to sell homes. A mortgage representative does the selling of the money.
To shop rates properly you need to gain access to those published prices. One way that Buyers can do this is to look into a multi-lender website that obtains the published prices. Three examples of multi-lender websites that offer those reports are: mortgagemarvel.com, zillow.com and mtgprofessor.com. You do not want to mistake multi-lender sites with lead capturing sites. Lead capture sites have dealings with hundreds of lenders. They do not collect price data from lenders. Rather, they collect financial and contact information from people that is sold to multiple lenders.
Finally, the only way to know exactly what your rate will be is to supply a mortgage representative with your financial information. Surprisingly, they can give you an approvable home purchase amount and a qualifying mortgage rate within 24 hours if you verbalize the correct financial information to them. I hope this helps. Happy home and mortgage shopping to you!
(Need help buying or listing a home? Caroline Watts, Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, Ocean City, NJ 609-254-4756 www.ocnjmls.com)