Date Archives June 2014

How do I know I’m Getting the Best Deal (on a loan)

Shopping for a loan is hard. Comparing loan terms and offers can be harder. When I recommend a lender, there is an incredible amount of conveyed trust in that recommendation.

A client asked me the other day –

“How do I know who has the best terms?”

So naturally I asked a lender I trust for his answer.

Matt Hodges with Presidential Mortgage wrote:

Well, there’s the following:

1. Rate & points & fees & lock in time frames

2.  Meeting commitment/close dates

3. Breadth of products

4. Uniqueness of products – i.e. closing prior to starting your job, gift for 100% of down payment, 100% LTV deals, etc.

We all should be .125% in rate apart on any given day, but you might see outliers.  For example, I had a rate shopper asking for a conventional 20 year loan and I was able to quote 3.875%, and no one else was better than 4% and some were higher than that.  There are a few exceptions to that pricing point, but in general it’s the value a loan officer brings to the picture to get to the finish line with the least amount of upset and on time.


I’d add to Matt’s last sentence with this: there is tremendous value in a lender (or any professional for that matter) who will:

– Foresee and anticipate problems

– Acknowledge problems

– Communicate problems

– If it’s their mistake, own the mistake and …

Fix the problems

Also. I like local lenders; as a buyer’s agent, they make me immensely more comfortable. As a listing agent, I value a local lender (whom I know to be good) tremendously – and convey that to my clients.

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Giving Useful Feedback on Listings is Valuable

So much for valuing feedback

Here’s a new question I’m going to suggest sellers ask the real estate agent they are considering hiring. “Do you give good feedback to your fellow agents?” (“Do you use professional photographers” should be one of the top 5 questions asked, by the way)

Giving feedback on houses I’ve shown kinda sucks. It’s tedious. I don’t always remember which house is which (after showing 12 houses in a day, 20-some over the course of three days, the houses sometimes run together – even for a professional!), and the feedback requests usually come a couple days later.* Frequently I have to search the MLS for the house so I can remember it. And the listing agents tend to not use the mnemonics my clients and I use to remember houses – the stinky house, the cold house, they yellow house, the house on the hill, country house with road noise …

But. Feedback is valuable.

I can make the argument that giving feedback could damage my buyer client’s position. (ie. If the listing agent asks what I think of the price, I say it’s probably pretty accurately priced and then my client and I make an offer 10% below asking ) But for this post I won’t make that argument.

As a listing agent, getting (actionable) feedback is extremely valuable:

– The house smells (for God’s sake, get rid of the smelly things, people!)

– Fix the carpet

– Mow the grass

– Replace countertops

– The price is way too high

Sometimes the feedback is “they didn’t like it” or “the house is too big” or other inactionable things.


A big reason I diligently try to give useful feedback to listing agents is because I want them to give me feedback when they show my listings.

Charlottesville is a small town; with not so many productive agents. Building, having and maintaining those relationships is crucial to my clients. Being able to be candid and have good relationships and rapport is absolutely critical, and while giving feedback on listings may be one of the less fun and sexy parts of being a real estate agent, it’s one of the many important little things that matters.

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Charlottesville’s Homogenization Continues

Great story by Sean Tubbs with Charlottesville Tomorrow

Anderson’s Carriage Food House on Barracks Road and C’Ville Market on Carlton Avenue both closed for the final time on Friday, with managers of each store citing tough competition as one reason for going out of business.

Nice usage of “-monger” in the story, too.

Homogenization is not what makes Charlottesville special; but that’s economics.

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