If you are looking to buy a home, the process may seem overwhelming. Planning well in advance can save you time, money, and stress. Whether you’re ready to start preparing or just wondering about the home buying process, we’ve created a list of important steps to lead to a smooth home purchase:

18 months before your home purchase

12 months before your home purchase

6 months before your home purchase

3 months before your home purchase

The home buying process can be long and daunting, but adequate preparation truly is the key to your new home. If you have any questions about the home buying process, contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin the home buying process, click here to get started!

* NFM Lending is not affiliated with any real estate companies. You are entitled to shop around for the best lender/real estate company for you.

** NFM Lending is not a Financial Advisor or Tax Consultant. Please make sure to consult your own Financial Advisor or Tax Consultant regarding the use of your personal tax refund.

The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule will take effect on October 3, 2015. TRID will significantly change the way real estate transactions are processed and settled. To avoid delays and to ensure that each settlement goes as smoothly as possible, it is important for real estate agents to be informed of all of the changes TRID will introduce to the closing process.

New Documents
When TRID goes into effect, there will be two new disclosure forms: the Loan Estimate (LE) and the Closing Disclosure (CD). The LE will combine and replace the Good Faith Estimate and the Truth in Lending disclosure. The CD will combine and replace the HUD-1 and the final Truth in Lending disclosure.

The LE is a form that explains the loan’s features, terms, and risks. This form is due to the borrower within three days of their submitting a loan application. The CD provides the borrower with final details about the loan, including projected monthly payments, fees, and other costs. This is due to the borrower at least three days before closing.

New Timeline
The new disclosures will also instate new timelines for real estate transactions. The lender now has two new deadlines. They are required to provide the borrower with the LE at least three business days after loan application, and to provide the borrower with the CD at least three business days before loan consummation. Click here to view a timeline chart.

The latter deadline can, in some instances, delay closing. If the lender does not provide the borrower with the CD three days before closing, a scheduled closing may be delayed. Additionally, there are some cases in which a re-disclosure, or another three-day review period, will be necessary. If the lender provides the borrower with the CD, and the loan terms in the CD are significantly different from those detailed in the LE, a re-disclosure will be required. Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has specified the following three situations under which re-disclosure would be necessary:

  1. An APR increase of more than 1/8 of a percent for fixed-rate loans, or 1/4 of a percent for adjustable loans (A decrease in APR will not require re-disclosure if it is based on changes to the interest rate or other fees.)
  2. The addition of a prepayment penalty
  3. The loan product itself changes, (i.e., from fixed-rate to adjustable-rate)

Preparing Clients for these Changes
In order to avoid closing delays or confusion when TRID goes into effect, it is important to spend some time reviewing the new forms, so that you can answer any questions your client may have. Keep the new timelines in mind when drawing up contracts, coordinate closings carefully, and avoid any last-minute changes or negotiations. Encourage your clients to review the documents they receive carefully, and to communicate with the lender and ask questions. Finally, avoid making promises that cannot be kept. Initially when the new disclosure forms are implemented, loans and purchases may take longer to close. Make sure your clients are prepared for this possibility.

Knowing how Know Before You Owe, or TRID will change the mortgage industry will help you better serve your clients, and prevent delays in closing or other issues. The CFPB and the Mortgage Bankers Association have published resources for real estate professionals to educate themselves and their clients on TRID. These resources can provide further information and answer some of your questions about how these changes will affect you and your clients.

For more information about TRID, and how NFM Lending is preparing for TRID, click here.

When you think about branding yourself as a real estate agent on social media, Google Plus may not be the first social network that comes to mind. If you have a successful Facebook page or Twitter account, then another social media account might not seem necessary; however, Google Plus offers its users many perks that can benefit you and increase your online visibility. Here are four Google Plus tips to help improve your branding and online reach.

  1. Search Engine Optimization
    Google automatically ranks posts from a Google Plus page higher than it would rank a business page from another social networking site. When you post links, videos, or photos to your Google Plus page, those posts will show up as top results in Google searches. This means that if a potential client is searching online for information, and your posts are relevant to their search, then your posts and profile will be some of the first results they see.
  2. Communities
    Google Plus is full of communities that you can join to meet other industry professionals, network, share news, promote your website, or ask questions. Join communities related to real estate and post your own blogs, or links to your website. This is a great way to build an audience for your content. You can also engage with community members in other ways, such as commenting on their posts, or posting questions for them to answer.
  3. Analytics
    Your time is valuable. Google business page analytics allows you to save time by posting content that is relevant to your specific audience. Analytics show you the traffic to your page: how many visitors are viewing your page, which posts are more popular than others, how many new visitors you have versus how many are returning visitors, and more. This allows you to tailor your content to suit your audience and learn more about your followers. For example, if you see that your posts about home renovation aren’t driving much engagement, but your posts about home buying are, you know to post more articles about home buying in the future.
  4. Drive Website Traffic
    You can also use Google Plus to drive business to your website. Share your link and invite your followers to check out your blog posts, customer reviews, online applications, or anything else you want to share. Post it to your main page, then share it to the different communities you belong to. Not only will you reach a wider audience, but these posts will be highly ranked in Google searches, driving more search traffic to your website.
    Google Plus is a highly valuable tool for real estate professionals. In this competitive industry, online presence and branding are essential. Using Google Plus business pages can improve your online visibility, help you educate potential clients more effectively, and build relationships with other industry professionals. Click here for more information about Google Plus.