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Did You Hear Me?

Good agents pride themselves on how well they listen. Good clients should listen as well. Here is a case in point. 

I recently spoke to a good friend who was looking to sell their home and purchase a single level home to get rid of stairs. They wanted to go look at homes right away. I asked, do you need to sell before you can buy? They surprised me by saying, no, their loan officer said we are approved for $650,000 with a VA loan and did not require them to sell their current home. I immediately suspected a problem, but realized that financial situations change. So we went looking. 

Several times in the next week I asked again about the loan process. The clients were adamant that they were "Approved". I still had my doubts and told them that I would suggest they talk again to their loan officer. 

You see, VA loans allow for an amount of total loans over a period of time. My clients last home purchase was with a VA loan, and that used up some of their VA loan amount availability. I believed this is what my clients had heard and misunderstood. I discussed this with my clients but they still said they were approved. 

Fast forward a week and we find the home they want. I ask them to go get the pre-approval letter from their lender and when it comes in, right at the top, contingent upon sale of their home. Once again, they asked me to look over the letter again, because it says they are approved. Yes, I said, but with a contingency. You see, these clients were so in to buying a new home, they did not listen to or understand what the loan officer was telling them. They also did not listen to me, their agent, as I gently inquired about their approval. 

Several lessons here. 1) I as their agent should push more forcefully when I suspect there is a mis-communication, and 2) Buyers should carefully listen to their agent and loans officers as they start the process of purchasing a home.