Banks or the Crooks That Represent Them

Published: September 23, 2009

It’s not unusual for me to field complaint calls from members – apparently they are labouring under the assumption that I 1) care and 2) can do something about it. (For the record I do and I try)

Most complaints have to do with one of two things – banks or the crooks that represent them. Sound familiar?

tellOne of the most prevalent complaints – and the subject of three calls today, have to do with the pre-quals/pre-approvals required by the banks before they’ll look at an offer. With many of your Buyers submitting multiple offers in hopes of landing one, this can be a very cumbersome and time consuming process in and of itself.

So the question is – is this really necessary? And the answer is – probably not…BUT.

vaultProbably not because it is my understanding that few banks actually require this as a matter of policy. So if you’re feeling brave and foolhardy you can call BS on the agent and ask to see that in writing from their lender or servicer. It’s supposed to be available. Of course doing this probably guarantees that your offer will never see the light of day but you’ll feel better in your heart. In some locales this may also constitute an MLS violation if they are mis-representing the reason for the request as a bank requirement. Yeah, you want to take that fight on.

beadsBut is there some legitimate reason for requesting a pre-qual from a 2nd source? You bet there is and we brought it on ourselves. How many of us with listings used to ask for a Buyer to be pre-qual’d with our lender of preference even back in the ‘good old days’? Why? Because too many deals were going sideways because fly-by-night agents using fly-by-night lenders w/fly-by-night escrows (often one & the same) were tying up properties with offers that couldn’t fund on a prayer even when First Franklin was handing out mortgages like Mardi Gras beads.

So is a bank likely to take their property off the market for 3+ weeks in this market just on your say-so? Not bloody likely. Truth be told they prefer cash these days anyway. And of course aside from the altruistic, lenders may have other reasons to want to contact your clients, not all nefarious.

It can be frustrating for you and your client but right now you’re not setting the rules of engagement, are you? The real estate industry in general isn’t setting the rules right now and that can be problematic. Let your Legislator know banks need to get back into the lending business, government needs to focus on the latest crisis du jour, and let Realtors® get back to the business of housing. Everything works better when there’s that balance.

Years from now, survivors will talk about the 00 decade as one hell of a ride. They’ll be telling stories about this to their grandchildren. And they’ll be right. Of course that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.

I’d love to hear from others that may have dealt with this issue successfully in their market. Or just tell me the problems that exist in your area. Like I care. Thanks.


Last modified: September 23, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Originally published: September 23, 2009 at 4:48 pm
Printed: September 24, 2020