Thursday, March 02, 2006


National Association of Realtors® Consumer Protection Tips For Home Buyers

1. Check your credit report for accuracy and completeness. Buyers with inaccurate information on their credit report may have a hard time obtaining financing, or be offered loans at higher-than-market interest rates. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives consumers the right to a free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies every 12 months. Visit to request a report.

2. Use the Internet wisely. NAR research shows that 77 percent of all recent buyers used the Internet to search for homes. Not all real estate Web sites are created equal, however. Buyers who provide personal information online to be referred to a network of real estate professionals are, in effect, authorizing the owners of that site to sell their information to third parties. Instead, find a Realtor®. A person who is committed to the higest ethical standards in the industry.

Many buyers use the Internet to research mortgage lenders. Be careful when sharing financial or other personal information over the Web – predators can steal this data and the user’s identity. Realtors® can refer buyers to reputable, reliable lenders.

3. Educate yourself about mortgages and mortgage fraud. Many mortgage products are available in today’s market, but not all of them work for all buyers. NAR warns consumers against exotic loans and predatory lending practices that can poison the home buying process and trap unsuspecting borrowers into years of financial hardship. Visit and search on “specialty mortgage” to read the brochure, “Shopping for a Mortgage? Do Your Homework First,” and consult a Realtor® to learn about different financing options and their implications over time. According to Fannie Mae, mortgage fraud has increased five-fold in the past 10 years. Unsuspecting home buyers who aren’t familiar with an area’s property values can be victimized by scam artists who have bought a property at a bargain-basement price and have made minor cosmetic changes to sell the home for much more than it’s worth. People with blemished credit can also fall prey to unscrupulous individuals who pose as real estate agents or mortgage brokers, offering promises of a new home and mortgage qualification. These buyers end up assuming a loan they can’t afford, and the lender forecloses. To protect yourself, work with a Realtor® who knows the local market, and check his or her credentials with the Realtor® board or association in your area.

4. Hire the right real estate professional for the job. When you’re buying a home, would you know what to do if your financing fell through the day before closing, your home inspection found a termite infestation, or your future neighbors had just built a wall on your property? As a buyer, you want someone who knows the market and who has experience handling the particular needs of home buyers, whether it’s identifying homes and neighborhoods, negotiating for the best deal, or coordinating the 20+ steps between contract acceptance and closing. Realtors® who have earned the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) designation have demonstrated their commitment to and expertise in serving home buyers. To earn the ABR designation, Realtors® must successfully complete a two-day designation course that covers agency, service delivery, marketing and promotion, and negotiation and risk management; take an approved elective course, such as buyer representation in new homes, second homes, or relocation; and have completed five transactions in which he or she acted solely as a buyer representative.

I am a Realtors® who has earned the ABR designation and has over 20 years experience. I offer first class service with Integrity.

I am also Co-Author of the book "How To Have Your Realtor Get You The Best Deal" Washington State Edition. Call me for your Complimentary copy, 425-308-3669.


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