Helping a real estate client choose the right home loan can be just as important as helping them choose the right house. The financial process in buying a home can be stressful, so helping new clients to understand the home loan process will make the home buying experience easier.

Start with a mortgage consultation

Different mortgage options will be available to different clients. As well, clients will have different mortgage preferences. Some may want a fixed-rate loan, while others may want an adjustable-rate loan. There are also clients who may need bridge loans if they are buying and selling a home at the same time.

The mortgage consultation should include an assessment of the client’s finances, determining a credit profile and going over the details of any mortgage history. Both the Realtor and mortgage consultant should discuss short-term and long-term homeownership goals with the client in order to choose which type of loan best suits the client’s needs.

The home loan pre-approval stage

Begin the home loan process as early as possible.

Hopefully, this includes having a down payment savings plan that has already been put into action. The next step is completing the mortgage application and applying for pre-approval. The following items will help this process go as smoothly as possible:

  • A good credit score and credit history
  • Having financial documents in order, such as pay stubs and asset statements
  • An understanding of loan options, such as fixed-rate and adjustable-rate
  • An understanding of initial disclosures around the terms and conditions

All information should be delivered as quickly and thoroughly as possible. A good Realtor wants their clients to get approved for a home loan and to help them find the home of their dreams, so any bit of assistance will go a long way in achieving these goals.

The home loan is approved: now what?

After a client is approved for the loan, ensure that all of the terms and conditions are properly understood. All required documents must be signed in a timely manner, and only after everything has been finalized will funds be transferred. Residents in California are also required to sign a deed of trust before they can secure the loan.

Once the loan is secured, remember to work within a client’s budget and keep the previously discussed short term and long term homeownership goals in mind. The home loan process can be complicated and draining, so your dependability and expertise as a Realtor will be much appreciated from start to finish.

Danielle Lazier, Senior Broker-Associate, Keller Williams San Francisco, is a top 10 San Francisco real estate agent. She is founder of SFhotlist.com, San Francisco’s first real estate blog.