SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (9/1/15)--Through its HomeAdvantage program, CU Realty Services is offering a new eBook: Engaging Home Buyers through Real Estate Advocacy.
The eBook describes gaps in consumers’ knowledge about real estate transactions and mortgages, and gives tips to launch an effective advocacy program that closes those gaps and earns members’ mortgage business.
While buying a home is one of the biggest purchases most people make in their lifetimes, many aren’t prepared to make good decisions because they don’t understand mortgage terms or how the process works, according to studies by the National Association of Realtors.
“What’s happening is that buyers aren’t receiving a lot of guidance so they don’t make informed decisions--yet, they are still signing on the dotted line,” said Mike Corn, CU Realty Services president/CEO. “For example, many people don’t understand fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, so they may end up with an adjustable loan even when rates are very low. Or they confuse pre-approved and pre-qualified. If no one helps them learn about credit and how to clean it up, it’s a bitter disappointment when they get turned down after months of house-hunting.”
Corn says only 7% of buyers even talk to a lender when they first start to look. “By the time your member is ready to take out a loan, (he or she is) probably working with an agent who recommends a lender--one who may be more interested in earning the mortgage than delivering what’s best for the buyer,” Corn said.
The answer, according to CU Realty Services’ Marketing Director Tandy Vincent, is for credit unions to be positioned at the start of the buying process--before members select an agent or a loan.
“In the typical home buying lifecycle, buyers find a real estate agent in the second phase, when their home search gets serious. They don’t think about the mortgage until much later,” Vincent said. “Credit unions can disrupt the buying cycle by engaging members at the start of the process. Then they can become trusted partners for information and education on all aspects of buying a home.”