This episode deep-dives what you need to know about getting a home loan and how to compete in a seller’s market. I speak with Julie Johnson, Regional Vice President and head of the Johnson Team at Cross Country Mortgage here in Seattle.
HOW WE MET
We met in the coolest way. She was the lender for the offer a client accepted on a Seattle Townhome. The offer stood out because it was financed AND closed in 15 calendar days. I just had to find out how she did it because it made the offer, which was actually not the highest, stand out. Of course, she closed right on time.
In the Seattle market, there are few levers left to make your offer more compelling that aren’t just offering more money. Well, time is money, my friend. And that offer won and closed. Fast.
Here’s a few topics (plus more) we’ll touch on in this episode:
- How to buy and what to expect in the lending process.
- What should you expect when you’re buying in Seattle?
- How lenders work with your Restricted Stock Units (RSUs).
- The dos and don’ts for getting your loan once you get under contract.
I ASKED HER ABOUT HOW SHE CLOSES SO QUICKLY AND WHY YOUR LENDER MATTERS
“If you want to compete in this your market, there’s a few things that you have to do, and one of those things […] is move quickly.”
She starts with educating clients in a consultation and shows how to put their best foot forward. The conversation will be around client goals in terms of home size and location. “What we’ve been offering, for probably eight or nine years, is basically underwriting, pre-underwriting is what it is.”
“When I look at a file, I’m really confident it’s going to be great. It’s going to close.” Her process makes sure that “all the heavy lifting is done before the offer is even made”.
Then the letter we can give the client basically says: fast track. Underwritten approved, and that just makes the other agent, […] the listing agent, really happy. Because [the listing agent will] understand [the buyer is] approved, not just pre-approved. Because there’s actually a lot that can go wrong.”
“It allows us to allow our client to feel really safe and close quickly. All the heavy lifting is done before the offer is even made.”
She walks through the Dos and Don’ts of being under contract.
Hint: Do NOT quit your job. “After [you close] you can join a band, do whatever you want.”
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Your earnest money. Unofficially, it’s your skin in the game. It is the initial deposit towards their down-payment that buyers make 2-3 days after going under contract. Usually earnest money is deposited and held by escrow, the neutral third party that facilitates the transaction. To win a home today, you may need to release your earnest money immediately to the seller.
HOW TO GET IN TOUCH