Have you seen the latest? There are now companies that have been built on lead generation, not unlike Zillow and Trulia which generate leads at a price for real estate agents, but companies who generate leads for lenders.

Mortgage brokers, banks, credit unions, direct lenders and all types of money lenders for real estate buyers.

They are at the top of the search engines in the paid for spaces and their ads follow you around like a hungry puppy when you switch it up and move into the social media channels.

The problem, as with the real estate syndication companies that I have mentioned, is the price of admission to be the "referred to" agent.

It's money. Not reputation, though they may tell you that they are a "reputation-based" referral service.

However, I'll put a .44 caliber hole in that one - If I'm not willing to pay them, even though I am the highest rated Santa Clarita real estate agent or the Voted Best Santa Clarita real estate lender, they won't be sending me any leads.

As they say, "There is no such thing as a free lunch..."

That's a guarantee. They may call me to get me to come aboard(like over 10 times a day), but if I refuse, as I do each and every time, they send me nothing. They take the agents that are willing to pay them and place them on their websites that state, incorrectly, highest rated and best performing. The next question - Is who is doing the rating???

Now that you have the answer, I'll let you in on a little lender and mortgage official secret.

Santa Clarita mortgage lenders compete for business

There are top local lender outfits that will compete for your business, you just have to contact them independent of one another or have your real estate professional run interference for you.

We do this for all of our real estate buyers and want them to get the best rate at the lowest fee's possible. Our home buyers are not paying me any fee's to be their real estate representative.

I can sell all homes that are currently on the market for sale, including new homes and new builder community real estate. In all housing types, the same applies. My commission is seller paid. Not Buyer Paid! Remember that.

You will be paying a few items when buying residential real estate in Santa Clarita Valley and one of those items is the lender's fee.

So hence our method of helping our clients choose the right lender for the job. When you are ready to make a selection, we will need to speak because I will have some "additional" tips that you won't see in writing!

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Santa Clarita banks for home loans

If you have been at your local Santa Clarita bank branch lately, you will see all of the cardboard pretties that flood the location where the impulse sections of the local supermarket would be.

I'm including not only the local types - "Bank of Santa Clarita", but the mainline banks that are present with brick and mortar offices and locations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

  • Bank of America
  • Chase
  • Citi Bank
  • Union Bank
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • and more

They talk about "lowest mortgage rates", "best refinancing options", then they quote some rates on the cardboard that have changeable digits. (interest rates fluctuate, FYI)

Issues encountered in the past. Lenders not accessible after hours, won't return emailed during off hours times, will not give out their cellular phone nor are they communicative after hours, during weekends or on holidays. If some of these mainline Bank Lenders are not at work between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday with holidays off, you are not going to be helped in any way.

(Why after hour contact for lenders is necessary - below)

Banks, historically are not as nimble as mortgage brokers. This reason is why mortgage brokers have a lions share of the real estate lending business in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Banks, mostly, only loan out their own money. Brokers loan out money from those same banks and hundreds of other sources.

Credit Unions for Home Loans

Credit Unions are not without having lead generation companies show them a good time. There are many such organizations that pitch the various Southern California Credit Unions their game plan in order to get hired.

If they'd only contact me and I would show them how it should be done. I would show them how they are going to attract their own membership by offering various communicative properties and not by discounts.

Believe it or not, people need to be communicated with when buying real estate. Having a real estate lender who is requesting the same documents over and over by the different members of their staff is really bad for business. The repeat business in the lending world is slim to none.

BTW, to be fair - the repeat business with regard to the real estate representation world is also slim to none. This depends on how good the agent is and how they take care of their clients. If they are constantly reachable and have client service at the top of their list, they are golden and have referrals making up the mainstay of their local Santa Clarita real estate business.

We have been in operation this way since 1998 and it was because of something that my Dad told me when I was young. He said, "Son, there are many people who do the same thing in the world, the one that you want to hire is the one who is going to treat you as they want to be treated if the shoe was on the other foot..."

I was a Los Angeles Police Officer for a long time, honorably retired. We were members of the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union, the LAPFCU. We aren't any longer. We had a lead generation company hit us up to work with them and the loan/mortgage officers of the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union to generate additional loan origination business. Our mission was to refer everyone that was using us to buy a home to the credit union to get their home loan.

In turn, the LAPFCU would refer to us buyers that wanted to buy real estate.

We are no longer members of that program or of the credit union.

Mortgage Brokers in Santa Clarita Valley

"The BEST of the BEST - Sir"

At the end of the day, when I know a client is being mistreated and or overcharged by a bank, mortgage broker or credit union, I cannot keep silent. Even if my voice equates to me losing a referral source.

Mortgage brokers are not banks and not credit unions. They are "brokers" with access to many different sources of money.

Most break the mold and answer my calls and those of my clients on weekends, after hours and on holidays. As do I.

It's important because of various reasons to be able to get answers to your questions besides 9-5 Monday through Friday.

Why on holidays, after hours and on weekends

Why is it necessary to contact a lender after hours, during holidays or on the weekends?

Hey, I'm not being mean. Just because I do something does not mean that someone else has to do the same thing.

I know a lot of real estate agents that don't work weekends, on holidays on their days off. In fact, I know a lot of real estate agents in the Santa Clarita Valley who take "real vacations" and don't just leave the country and still take calls, answer client questions and continue to run their real estate business in a full-time manner.

The same can apply to real estate lenders in the Santa Clarita Valley. I know that most people can deal with an agent's staff. But do they really want to? Don't they want to speak with the person they had hired? How about you? Would you rather speak with an assistant or the person whom you hired to perform a service for you?

What is the need to speak with a lender during the times when "normal" people are off of work? I suppose that my last question made the point. You are off during those times, at least if you work a 9-5 job.

Even if you don't there are things that need to be attended to in real estate and in the lending field that may require attention beyond the typical hours of business operation.

1 - Pre Approval Letter issues

Of course - you may already have a pre-approval letter because you have interviewed a Top Santa Clarita lender and have made your decision that you were going to hire them, so you did. You then gave up all the paperwork that they needed in order to approve you for the home loan. It was at that time that they told you your maximum approval amount, the terms of your loan and what type of down payment you are going to need. They also covered things like closing costs and what they are going to be charging you for the loan. They would also have discussed interest rate and what you'd probably be looking at in that regard.

That should do it, right? You have the approval letter in your email inbox or have printed it out and you are golden? Not so fast. That pre-approval letter is great if that is the amount you want to spend and the amount of the offer you are going to be placing on the home that is for sale after you have viewed it.

  • The amount you want to spend - the pre-approval amount for your home loan may be too rich for your blood. Maybe you don't want to make that type of monthly payment? It could be you have your sights set a couple of hundred of thousands of dollars lower.
  • The amount of the offer - notice that I did not say the price of the home that is for sale. You should always offer that comparable value is based on the cycle of the current real estate market. If the market is in a declining nature, you may want to hit lower than the comparable value at a 90 day in the future estimate of value. If the home market is increasing, you may want to have the opposite approach and if the housing market is flat - then offer comp value. Offer as an investor would, as we tell our housing and real estate clients.
  • Seller thoughts - Why did the home buyer offer me so much less than I am asking? That question typically goes along with a pre-approval letter that is higher than the offering amount. Hey - they are human!

Of course with lower than asking price offers, the agent, as we do, should supply comps that give insight into the "why" and buyer's mindset so the seller does not get offended. It's business and that is all it should be. There is no place if it can be helped, for emotions in real estate. (easier said than done).

2 - Wanting more money

What if the home buyers are approved for $800,000.00 but fall in love with a great priced home that is listed for $825,000? Will they be able to make it happen? If they cannot speak with their lender, and if it's a hot market, they may lose out. If they lose out because their lender could have made it happen, but does not work when the buyer needed them to, they will lose the client for sure.

3 - Changes to interest rates

During the last couple of years, interest rates have been quite steady. However, from time to time the FED meets and things change. If a real estate lender is there during the weekend following a FED meeting, that is super helpful. If interest rates increase .5% that can impact a home buyer that was qualified for $500,000 at $50k less. Meaning if interest rates increased .5% that home buyer will only be able to qualify for $450,000.00. This is something that needs to be known JIC this scenario happens, as It has happened to my clients who brought their own lender to the table.

The BEST Lender Traps

Of course, if you are referred to a real estate lender by a real estate agent you may be thinking what is in for the real estate agent? Nothing legally. And I would venture to say that all those loose ends are tied up with all of the jealousy in the loan and lending world. If there is anything amiss, you can rest assured that someone would file some type of complaint.

WIIFM - For us and for the lenders who we refer our clients to, our reputation is at stake. If the lenders we refer our clients to do a bad job, it will reflect. I may say we don't vouch for anyone, but if I'm referring to, then I am vouching.

When you are giving up your information online after you have seen the ads for the companies that are online who will have the best and top Santa Clarita real estate lenders fight for your loan business, you will have a bunch of people in receipt of your personal and private information. They have just paid for it and you have fallen into the lender trap.

Be careful online, when searching you need to know just who will have your personal and private information. I'm Connor with HONOR and I have been in the real estate representation business since 1998 and I am glad to serve and protect your Santa Clarita real estate needs. Be safe - search well and when you are ready to get into contact with the best Santa Clarita real estate lender possible, let me me make that introduction:

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