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Welcome to your constantly updated resource for news and views on the Brookline Real Estate market. Here you will find commentary and statistics to explain the daily changes in the Brookline specific housing market.

Whether you're looking for an estate in Cottage Farm, a condo in Brookline Village or are just stopping by please feel free to read along and comment at will. If you are interested in speaking about renting an apartment, buyer representation or listing your home please feel free to contact me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thoughts from the media

Today I was forwarded an article that appeared on the 26th in the New York Times. The article was an editorial piece on Countrywide Home Loans and their aggressive telemarketing campaign which was designed to lead buyers into higher cost (and higher Countrywide profit) loan programs.

[Disclaimer: My home loan is through Countrywide and I have had nothing but the best experience with them]

Here's my initial reaction: How many of these buyers chose to engage in a Buyer's Agency Representation contract? I've had the pleasure of interacting with a disproportionately high number of you buyers out there, and I know your initial reaction is to avoid working with an agent until you find the house you fall in love with. Well, guess what? Now you've found your agent and you don't know if you actually like him/her, you just know you like the house they allowed you into. This is now the person who will "guide" you to your mortgage and legal representation. Are they qualified? Do they know your financial strengths and weaknesses? Can they make sure you're matched up with the mortgage company that will have the best programs available for you?

My guess is the answer to these questions is a resounding "no." Buyers, you spent hours, days, weeks, and months trying to find the perfect house. First, that's not your job, it's mine. Second, now you're stuck with someone you don't even know and have most likely barely even spoken to. How can you qualify the advice they're giving you? Yes, they're most likely qualified to give you advice, but do their experiences and knowledge base match up with your specific needs and interests? I hope for you they do...

Why did you not interview three or four agents (like you would if you were selling) to see what services they offer their buyers? Why did you not get a feel for how they'll react and respond to you during the negotiating process? Why have you not already struck up a relationship with and "shopped" their preferred list of lenders/attorneys/inspectors before settling on your next home? These are the reasons people ultimately walk away disappointed in the process and then think they can do as good of a job on their own.

Now all of a sudden people are in mortgage programs they were not full prepared for. Now they're finding out they didn't find out enough in the beginning, and now everyone is on edge.


Take a second to interview an agent. Find out which one (there are lots who are all good) fits your needs and personality the best. See which lenders/attorneys/inspectors they have a relationship with and make sure they they're able to help you negotiate the best rates and programs possible. This is still an amazing time to be in the market, it simply requires a little more planning and homework now.


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The views expressed on these pages are the opinion of the author and any public contributors. They do not substitute for the advice of a legal or financial professional. These opinions are not representative of any firm or business. Please always consult an attorney, financial professional or sign a contract with a Buyer Agent or Seller's Agent for specific advice.