Get ready, I’m on a soap box today.
I list properties all over McLennan County including: Hewitt, Mc Gregor, China Spring, Crawford, Lorena, Waco, Woodway and more. There is one questions that can make or break the beginning of a beautiful relationship, “Have you spoken with a lender and started the pre-qualification process?”
As a listing agent, I get calls all the time from folks wanting to set an appointment to see one of my listings or even a listing from another agent or company. In the past, I would have gladly set the appointment and met almost anyone at the home. But these are different times for Sellers AND Realtor’s.
Imagine if you will, you have all your worldly possessions, jewelry, cash, firearms, artwork, collectibles, prescription drugs and photos of your children all around your home. Now imagine being asked to leave your home, allow your doors to be unlocked and allow any stranger off of the street to come on in, spend as much time as they want, inspect it, open closets, see what’s there, who lives there and how to get in and out. Would you do it? I would think not. But that’s exactly what we ask Sellers to do when they decide they want to sell their homes. To make matters worse, we ask Sellers to stop what they are doing, stop their dinner, load their kids and pets, leave their homes or not go straight home after work because someone wants to see their house.
To add to this, imagine if your Husband, Wife, Father, Mother, Daughter or Son came home and told you that they were going to put a perfect stranger in their car, that they spoke to on the phone for 5 minutes or so and drive them all around town or even worse in a highly remote part of town for HOURS to look at vacant properties or homes where no one else would be there but the stranger and your family member. Sounds like a great idea, huh? Would you be okay with this?
I love my job, I love my clients and I appreciate the trust that they have put in me to protect their best interest. That’s why Mr. or Mrs. Caller, it really is nothing personal but saying that you “guarantee” that you are good for the funds to be able to purchase the house or that your current home is in a high priced subdivision, is not enough. The Sellers and I probably don’t know you from Adam but I do know plenty of people that live in luxury homes that are up to their eyeballs in debt. Additionally, bad people, who mean to do harm, can also live in nice neighborhoods.
You know what does mean something? A PRE-QUALIFICATION LETTER from a valid local Waco, TX lender. This letter is the golden ticket. This means: you are a serious Buyer, it is worth the Seller’s time to be away from their home for as long as it takes and that the showing Realtor can focus on the his/her job of Real Estate instead of whether or not they are about to be attacked and/or hurt.
So you see, when a Realtor asks for a pre-qualification letter before setting an appointment to show a listing, it is not a personal attack or judgment on the caller. We simply don’t know you. It is our job and fiduciary duty to protect our Seller’s property AND safety as well as, our own.
Therefor, the next time you call and ask to set an appointment to see a house, please have a little more understanding if the Realtor on the other end of the call refuses to set an appointment without a pre-qual letter. Because I am certain that if you were selling your home, you would not only want but expect your Realtor to do the same thing.
If anyone is interested in receiving a list of recommendations for some awesome local lenders that can do a pre-qualification letter in about 15-20 minutes, feel free to call me and I will be happy to email a list.