Very recently, I read some material from a really great Realtor from New York who is writing articles about working with Realtors. I took issue with one of his points, so I will have him remain nameless in this post. He posits the idea that buyers should choose their bank first, before contacting a Realtor. I, of course would say that people should choose their attorney first, but that is a (as we say in Massachusetts "whole nother" issue. . .
If I take a step back and look at this from a purely (unsolicited) marketing advice kind of blog entry, I would say that as a Realtor you should encourage Buyers to choose their Realtor first and preferably, to choose you first! Many lenders have Realtors that they refer business to as a matter of course and Buyers are generally fickle to say the least. If a potential Buyer goes to a lender that you did not recommend, there is a possibility that they could be steered away from you! (Unless you have their business locked up in writing, you have no legal right to contest a later choice of Realtors) Not to mention that once a Buyer chooses a lender , even if they choose a "fly by night on- line, fail to disclose the figures before the closing, no accountability, delay the closing and almost lose the deal" kind of lender, Buyers tend to stick with those lenders too long in the process, making you wish that they had asked your opinion first - as to who they choose for a lender.
If I were a Realtor, I would promote the idea that I am THE MAN to assist Buyers from the moment they think about buying a house to years after they have closed. I understand that Realtors are concerned with liability associated with recommending any other professionals. Many offices adopt a "always hand out three cards" rule for inspections, attorneys and lenders. . . . I agree wioth this rule. It is better if your clients choose from three great professionals instead of hundreds of "so-so" professionals. Don't you look more knowledgeable when you have an opinion on issues that you surely have dealt with before like "Who should I call for a water test?" or "What bank would you recommend?". . .