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Buyer’s Advantage

We’ve previously discussed how buyers can compete in any market. We’ve talked about informally bundled services; one stop shopping if you will. Some pundits have derided the idea. I’ve disclosed that Prudential Northwest Properties owns Columbia Mortgage outright and a portion of Transnation along with Coldwell Banker, Windermere and John L. Scott (12.5% each (Land America Title is the mother company)). As a Realtor and therefore independent contractor, I receive no monetary benefit by encouraging the use of Transnation and/or Columbia Mortgage (RESPA laws make sure that is the case). What I get is confidence that the transaction will go smoothly. Now I can guarantee it. Prudential Northwest Properties will put its money where my mouth is. So, without further adieu, introducing:

Not only is it a buyer’s advantage, it is a seller’s advantage. If the buyer uses Columbia Mortgage and the transaction is closed through Transnation, we will provide a one year AHS Warranty to the buyer. Previously when we have written offers, we’ve asked the seller to provide that warranty.
Additionally, the program offers (straight from the main office text):

 

1. FREE CREDIT LOAN APPROVAL

Obtaining loan approval will help you search for the right home and allows you to be ready when you find it. It’s a free service of Buyer’s Advantage.

2. FREE HOME WARRANTY

Buy with confidence and peace of mind. Buyer’s Advantage will provide you with a free One Year Basic Home Warranty from the industry’s leader; American Home Shield. A $290 value.

3. CLOSING COSTS GUARANTEE

No more surprises at closing that stretch your budget even more. We guarantee that your closing costs will not exceed those stated in the FINAL GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE or we will pay you the difference.

4. ON-TIME CLOSING GUARANTEE

One of the most painful delays in a transaction is an unmet closing date. It can cause great financial and emotional hardship for both the buyer and seller. We guarantee that we will meet the closing date specified in the Purchase Agreement or we will pay the Buyer and Seller $500 each.

5. FULL LOAN APPROVAL GUARANTEE

We guarantee that the Buyer is able to close using the approved loan program or we will pay the Seller $1000. You, the buyer, now have an advantage when your offer is presented. The Seller will know for sure that you are qualified to purchase their home as stated in the Purchase Agreement. We guarantee it!

6. 3-DAY TITLE REPORT GUARANTEE

We guarantee the fastest turn-around for the best rates and we put it in writing. We guarantee to deliver the preliminary title report to the agents, lender and escrow within three business days of written request at the lowest possible title rates.

7. HOME SERVICES

When you buy a home with Prudential Northwest Properties, you gain exclusive access to our industry leading Home Services department. Our Home Services coordinators work as a personal concierge to help you with all your home ownership needs.

 

Pundits, have at it.  Serious buyers, give us a call.

7 Comments on “Buyer’s Advantage

  1. My reply to each of Larry’s points:

    1) I never charge for a credit loan approval. I’ll even lock it for free with a property to be determined.
    ***Columbia never charged our clients either. Some brokers do, we’re just advertising the point.

    2) Free Home Warrantees are easy to negotiate
    *** If the Warranty is negociated in the offer, the seller is paying for it and it is coming out of their pocket. If two identical offers come in, the one with the warranty included is $335 net less to the seller.

    3) A Final Good Faith Estimate is generated days before closing and all costs are known. They can still be way off teh origional GFE. My guarantee is taht my origional GFE will be within $500 of teh final GFE.
    *** Under Buyer’s Advantage, if it is off, we pay the difference.

    4) I make 90% of my closing dates. When I can’t it’s usually due to addendums missing or changing at the last minute.
    *** I don’t know what the normal rate in Portland is but Shawn Headlee, our Columbia Mortgage broker, claims 99%…

    5) A True Credit Approval IS a guarantee that a borrower qualifies for a loan to purchase the house at a set limit. The $1000 is nice, but would only come in if the borrower did something to lower their credit.
    *** Valid

    6) a 3-day Title Guarantee is pretty much the norm. I’ve found Title charges to be very competitive in Portland.
    *** Differnce between charges and service- we’re talking a service guarantee.

    7)You Home Services act to direct buyers and sellers to affiliated companies. Any good realtor or mortgage broker will have an established network industry affiliated professionals.
    *** It makes no sense for me to be the yellow pages for my clients. Home Services vendors don’t get a lot of lattitude as Realtors aren’t going to stand for screw ups. Our time is better spent selling real estate. Do you verify that the contractors you reccommend you clients are keeping their CCB license up to date?

  2. None of these are unobtainable with a team of independant agents.

    1) I never charge for a credit loan approval. I’ll even lock it for free with a property tio be determined.

    2) Free Home Warrantees are easy to negotiate

    3) A Final Good Faith Estimate is generated days before closing and all costs are known. They can still be way off teh origional GFE. My guarantee is taht my origional GFE will be within $500 of teh final GFE.

    4) I make 90% of my closing dates. When I can’t it’s usually due to addendums missing or changing at the last minute.

    5) A True Credit Approval IS a guarantee that a borrower qualifies for a loan to purchase the house at a set limit. The $1000 is nice, but would only come in if the borrower did something to lower their credit.

    6) a 3-day Title Guarantee is pretty much the norm. I’ve found Title charges to be very competitive in Portland.

    7)You Home Services act to direct buyers and sellers to affiliated companies. Any good realtor or mortgage broker will have an established network industry affiliated professionals.

    Nice try Charles. It’s a wonderful marketing platform, but mostly smoke and mirrors.

  3. Charles, what Prudential has put together is a nice marketing package. It is not free. It comes out of the buyers pocket, or the companies pocket. It’s easy to pad fees slightly higher or charge a slightly higher rate to have yield spread cover costs.

    The reason I quoted 90% is due to clients whose realtors won’t cooperate with me. When realtors do cooperate then we have a much higher number. Most realtors will not allow their client to get credit approved prior to showing them homes. Most do not care if we can imcrease a borrowers scores by 40 points and get them a better rate.

    Yes, these are strong reasons to use your network, but they are also just as strong of reasons to use my network.

    The point is that a realtor and mortgage broker should have a strong working relationship. I jsut disagree with it being in-house.

    Under your model it should be ok for banks to sell real estate as it is in the clients best interest. How would you like to compete against Wells Fargo Realty or WaMu Realty? Even worse, how about Countrywide Realty? That one could happen.

  4. It is not a question if Banks will be involved in Real Estate, it is just a matter of time. Big deal, they will not be able to offer the same service, so I am not concerned at all. It will not affect my business, only people who are not offering the same level of service now will have problems dealing with it.

    This is an amazing program that quite frankly can not come close to being matched at this time, it is easy to see why someone else would try and shoot it down. It is a huge advantage for any buyer. To say the buyer is paying for it because fees are being padded is completely false and a pretty unprofessional. Be careful making statements that you can not back up. Just a case of someone grasping for straws. People can try and shoot it down all they want and say they provide the same service or can compete. Well one they can’t. IF you think you can put it in writing and guarantee it rather than talk about what you THINK others can’t do, we did.

    Kent Sisk
    Prudential NW Properties

  5. Still sounds a lot like “steering” to me. Just with a nice package. We’ll see how the courts rule over the legality of this growing practice in the RE and Building industry over time.

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