Buying and Selling a Home is a very intimate process. The people you work with have an up-close POV to a lot going on in your life. And of course, there are many people who work with a friend who is an agent. So how much personal information does your Realtor find out about you?
When I go to meet a new client or someone I know who is going to be selling or buying, the questions I ask are:
–“Why are you selling or buying now?”
–“When do you hope to move?”
–“If you are buying, Have you been pre-approved with a lender?”
Once a client has been pre-approved, here is what I find out:
–“What budget a client would like to stay within”
–“How much down payment a client has to use for a purchase.”
–“What a client’s FICO score is.” (sometimes I don’t even know this)
–“If a client is being given money to help in the purchase. This is called a “Gift” and is usually from an immediate family member”
–“The amount of proceeds a client may be receiving from the sale of a house.”
Here is what I don’t know and can’t find out unless a client chooses to tell me:
1. “What a client’s salary is.”
2. “Any bonuses a client has received from an employer”
3. “What taxes they paid or their tax returns” (sometimes if a client is renting a landlord may ask to see this)
4. “Any debts, or credit card bills a client has.”
5. “How much money a client has total in savings, retirement, stocks or any other investments”
6. “If a client has been previously married or divorced” (unless the home you are selling still has a previous spouse still attached to the title or loan.
7. “How much and on what a client spends for personal use each year.”
I write this blog because so often I am helping a personal friend/acquaintance to buy or sell a home as many real estate agents do. And no matter how close we are, there is still information that most people prefer to keep private. I completely understand and am actually the same way, especially when it comes to some of these financial pieces of information. The lender is the one who finds out most, if not all, of the very personal financial information a client has. The lender is not allowed to share these things with me and it is a good idea for every buyer/seller to talk with their lender about what information they share and with whom do they share it. A client can also just tell the lender (even though it is already this way) to not share any extra un-needed information with anyone, especially just for the piece-of-mind of saying it out loud and letting it be known that you want to keep things private.