Keeping buyers happy in a tough market – REALTORS and lenders engage in discussion

How can lenders and REALTORS® with different levels of experience and areas of expertise come together in this competitive market to provide the best services to homebuyers? That was the focus for the panel discussion hosted by the Washington Mortgage Bankers Association (WMBA) on March 15. Four representatives from Seattle King County REALTORS® took time to answer questions submitted by WMBA, moderated by WMBA Past President Lynne Garton with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

“It’s great coming to events like this because you can bounce ideas off other people with different perspectives and experience in the industry. I’m happy to be here speaking with the lenders and figuring out ways we can help each other provide better service to our customers,” said Patti Hill, Seattle King County REALTORS® President.

Patti Hill along with Leslie Lucas, Georgia Wall and Michael Orbino brought their expertise to the table to discuss their experiences and suggestions for navigating our housing market. “Keeping your attitude positive is hard in this market,” said Leslie Lucas, broker with Coldwell Banker Bain. “But this is a place people want to live and they are still going to want to live here in the next 2-5 years. We will continue to grow if we allow developers to build, reassess zoning and increase density.”

Broker Michael Orbino, John L. Scott Bellevue, who works closely with builders and developers echoed a similar sentiment. “Maintain optimism and don’t get too skeptical. It is a new market and this is not the same as 2007-08.”

Moderator Lynne Garton asked the REALTOR® panel what lending partners can do to ensure REALTORS® and their clients receive top notch service. “Buying is already a high stress activity; my goal with lenders is to keep it low stress. I don’t want my clients seeing me or the lender sweating,” said Orbino.

“There are a lot of entry points for lenders in the buying process to foster a positive relationship. Whether it’s promotional swag, meetings in person, coming to open houses, etc…,” said Georgia Wall, broker with John L. Scott Bothell. All REALTORS® on the panel agreed that open and direct lines of communication is what they most look for with their lenders.

“You lend money to people to buy a house and we find them a home. At the end of the day, all of us in this room help people to achieve the American Dream,” said Lucas.