Linkage: Local Lenders Offer Edge In Home Bidding Wars

Leading today’s Linkage with a WSJ piece my colleague Dan Hanson sent me on how local mortgage lenders can offer an edge when you’re in a bidding war. This isn’t about going with a small local lender. In fact my friend Alber Saleh is quoted in the piece, and he’s the number one loan officer at Wells Fargo, the number one lender in the country for the last several years (until the last two quarters when QuickenLoans passed them).

Local means loan agent, not lender itself. Local loan agents live in the communities where you want to buy, and are as valuable as your real estate agent when advising on properties. They know where the street noise is. They know the new developments happening in the areas which impact present lifestyle and future value.

And most important, they know the realtors on the ground so when they’re writing a pre-approval letter for you, they usually know the listing agent representing the sellers, and of course they know your agent representing you—in many cases, your agent probably referred you to your loan agent. This means they can help your agent sell the strength of your offer to the listing agent, whose primary goal is to select an offer in a bidding war that’s going to close fastest and easiest. It also means you’ve got an additional advisor on your transaction as a whole, not just an advisor on the financing component.

As technology makes it easier for more lenders go online, it’s tempting to work with a lender who doesn’t have boots on the ground in your area for the sake of convenience, but this isn’t ideal when buying (as opposed to refinancing) in an extremely competitive market where local credibility still matters when getting offers accepted. You need to find a lender that has all the digital simplicity, plus the smart local advice.

The WSJ piece has a few more valuable tips about selecting a local loan officer.

And of course, Linkage is full of other good reads for today. Enjoy your Saturday.