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With the restrictions of the pandemic easing up in some areas, the demand for housing continues, albeit with innovation and less physical contact. The stats are proving that buying and selling property are far from “lockdown” mode.

Smart agents are willing to go beyond the norm by embracing new ways to do old activities. Are you up to speed on the new skills that will be required? Here are a few tips to get you ready for the ramp-up:

  1. Invest in deep expertise.

Get fascinated with unearthing the real stats and hyperlocal data that will benefit your clients. That means going deep and being accurate with local statistics to fully inform both buyers and sellers of actual market data so they can make an informed decision.

  1. Speak from authority—not your opinion.

Michael F. White, a top mortgage coach, shares that new measures have arisen when it comes to qualifying for a loan.

For example, many buyers may not be aware of the pandemic’s negative impact on their mortgage-ability. Job security is in jeopardy for many as companies struggle to withstand the economic impact of the coronavirus. Therefore, triple confirmation of an applicant’s job security is happening right up to the hour of the transaction closing, and a last-minute snag can negate mortgage approval. Pay cuts or the loss of bonus compensation can affect mortgage approval, so be smart and cover all bases before finding the perfect property for a buyer’s needs. Contact a trusted lender to help determine strong pre-approval status and mortgage fitness for your buyer.

  1. Ask better questions when reviewing a pre-qualification letter.

White warns that not all buyer pre-qualification/pre-approval letters are created equal. Here are some tips to consider:

– Who issued the letter, and what kind of credentials do they have? Knowing the source of the approval is critical, and it is important to actually read the letter to determine the depth of the approval. In a market where inventory sells fast, the seller needs more reassurance that they can accept the best offer, especially in a multiple-offer situation.

– Does the letter represent the qualification through an actual lender? Do they have the capability to lend the funds? There are three ways to secure mortgage funding: through a bank, a correspondent lender that funds loans or a mortgage broker. All three channels are fine, but you need to make sure they have the authority in-house to lend money.

– Look for specific information on the qualification letter. It should include the loan officer’s name, company name and their NMLS license number, which indicates that they are licensed. If the letter is from a new loan officer, it could be secured from a senior-level person.

The bottom line during these uncertain times is that you need to be the trusted resource. By following these guidelines, you will ensure that you are always keeping your client’s best interests in mind.

Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, consultant and master coach with Workman Success. She is the author of five books, a TED Talk speaker and radio host on KWAMtheVoice.com. For more information, visit TerriMurphy.com or email Terri@TerriMurphy.com.

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