Do not work with a direct lender or bank
Big mortgage companies like Quicken Loans and banks like Wells Fargo can typically make 4-6% in fees without buyers even knowing it. This is because direct lenders do not have to disclose what they are making on the loan. It’s best to work with a mortgage broker who has access to wholesale lenders since they offer the same loan products at a much lower cost. There are many startups like RateJab.com who use technology to match you with the lowest rate and lowest closing costs for your specific situation.
You can put down only 1% in certain states
Home buyers are led to believe that they need a large down payment to get the best rates. But online lenders who work off a much more aggressive margin (less overhead and fewer fees) can undercut big banks and pass on savings to the buyer. These cost savings can be put towards the down payment which means buyers only have to put down 1%, with an additional 2% coming from the mortgage company. Click here to see if you qualify.
Do not trust Zillow
Zestimates are way off and they do not have all the listings. Zillow is a middleman, basically just redistributing the same info and photos that they get from real estate agents. They do not produce anything new. It’s best to work with a local realtor near you to find the best deals.
Work with the best realtor
It’s not enough to work with any licensed agent. In today’s market, you need a good one. A good agent will know the inside news on specific neighborhoods and give you access to pocket listings before they hit the market. This will give you an advantage in your quest to negotiate the best deal. But, there are many agents who have licenses that really are not worth working with. Like any profession, some can be lazy, cut corners and not have the best info. Make sure you work with only the best professional and you will end up saving time and money. Click here to receive a list of the Top 5 realtors near you.
Tour it online first
Don’t waste time. Tour your home online first. Ask for videos, drone shots and 3D virtual tours. The more you can see of the home online, the less time you have to spend driving around and actually visiting houses. 3D tours are a great way to feel like you are actually there. More and more sellers are opting to go this route, because it cuts down on unnecessary traffic through their homes and endless open houses. With costs of 3D technology going down and VR headsets from Samsung, Google and Oculus becoming more mainstream, this trend should continue to pick up steam in 2017.
Check out example of Philadelphia home in 3D – also compatible in VR:
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