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Mortgage 101 – importance of realtors | April 2021 Part 3

In this episode of Mortgage 101 with Clinton Wilkins and Todd Veinotte, as heard on News 95.7, the guys talk about the importance of realtors, pre-approvals, and what you can do when you can’t get approved.

Mortgage 101 with Clinton Wilkins & Todd Veinotte – April 2021 – Part 3

Don’t feel like watching the video? Check out the transcript below.


Welcome back to Mortgage 101!

Todd Veinotte: [00:00:15:18] Not my choice. Who’s that?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:00:18:15] That’s Lady Gaga. You wanted Lady Gaga.

Todd Veinotte: [00:00:20:13] It’s not Lady Gaga.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:00:21:10] Yeah, it is. This is a more,

Todd Veinotte: [00:00:22:13] I was thinking more Poker Face.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:00:23:26] Ok, we’ll play poker face next. How about that? We’ll wrap this up with a little Poker Face.

Todd Veinotte: [00:00:29:02] Because that’s way better than that.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:00:30:16] I mean, I think you like acoustic. What are you saying?

Todd Veinotte: [00:00:33:27] I do like acoustic, but I like to differentiate. I like to be diversified.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:00:38:16] This is also why we don’t let Todd pick the music. I mean, he gets to pick the music right now, five days a week, live on News 95.7 where you get to listen to him on the Rick Howe show.

Todd Veinotte: [00:00:48:16] Which you were a guest.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:00:49:24] Which I am a guest, I was a guest yesterday.

Todd Veinotte: [00:00:54:00] On Friday.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:00:55:04] You know, I can’t wait to come back on.

Todd Veinotte: [00:00:58:00] It’ll be a regular occurrence as long as I’m there till Rick gets back. And then when Rick comes back, I’m going to tell Rick, I’m going to say you have to have Clinton on radio. You were anyway.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:01:04:26] I mean, I was really on regularly. You know, I was in the studio a lot. So for those of you who don’t know, we’re actually, we record this live in my office here in Dartmouth, which is kind of cool. And it’s on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. So if you don’t catch all the show, you can certainly listen to it. And it’s available on News 95.7 on the website and it’s going to be on there. You can listen to it any time.

Todd Veinotte: [00:01:27:16] That’s right. And for those of you who are just tuning in, it’s Mortgage 101 Your Guide to Homeownership with myself, Todd Veinotte and Clinton Wilkins. And again, I know we’ve done this earlier, but we’ve got new listeners. So, again, a bit about what you do just for new listeners here.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:01:38:21] I’m a mortgage broker and Dartmouth. I’ve been in the industry for 15 years. And, you know, I think the first place that, you know, anybody, listeners need to check us out is check us out online at Lots of great information on the website. And, you know, we love helping borrowers here in Halifax and across Atlantic Canada. You know what? We’re moving people from across the country into our market. There’s no better place than being here in Halifax. And I think it’s, you know, really exciting times. And spring is one of those markets that is typically the busiest real estate market of the year.

Spring means new beginnings

Todd Veinotte: [00:02:12:02] Why is that?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:02:13:14] I think people think about spring like new beginnings.

Todd Veinotte: [00:02:16:12] You being serious right now or are you just making this up.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:02:18:20] No, I’m actually being serious. It’s new beginnings. Have a fresh start. Live in a new home. You know, I think we all like, you know, a bit of a change. And, you know, the last 12 months have been tough. You know, a lot of us were trapped at home and maybe not in the type of home that maybe best suits their needs. Like I heard from borrowers today, they relocated here to Halifax. They were living in a one bedroom Airbnb with their newborn and a dog. You know, and they had made offers on eight different properties before they secured the property that they got. They are so excited to close. They came to my office, signed the documents, so, so happy.

Digital home viewings

Todd Veinotte: [00:03:01:20] How many people are purchasing sight unseen?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:03:04:21] I don’t think that’s very common. You know, I think realtors are really being kind of very progressive. Like I know I looked at a property over FaceTime, made an offer on the property. I did write in the offer that I,

Todd Veinotte: [00:03:17:05] Recently?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:03:17:21] Recently, yeah.

Todd Veinotte: [00:03:18:26] You’re getting a new purchase?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:03:20:08] Nah, I didn’t get it.

Todd Veinotte: [00:03:21:11] Oh, you didn’t get it.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:03:21:29] No, they rejected my offer.

Todd Veinotte: [00:03:23:10] Is that right?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:03:24:08] Yeah, unfortunately.

Todd Veinotte: [00:03:25:04] This is kind of big. You didn’t tell me about this. I thought we were friends.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:03:27:27] Well, I’ve made offers on actually quite a few properties and I haven’t got any yet.

Todd Veinotte: [00:03:31:21] Told me none of this. So we’re not friends after all.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:03:33:14] Well, you know what I don’t want to really say until I know.

Todd Veinotte: [00:03:37:19] Are you friends with Jonathan?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:03:38:06] I mean, Jonathan probably knows I made the offer because I was like probably screaming that I didn’t get the offer. Like, who knows. You know, the producer gets all the all the slack. I’m sure it’s the same at News 95.7. You probably give all the flack to the producers.

Todd Veinotte: [00:03:51:10] Katie takes all the all the heat. How closely do you work with realtors here in the region. A lot of close relationships I’m sure.

Importance of realtors

Clinton Wilkins: [00:03:58:01] Yeah. There’s a lot of realtors that we work with every single day and you know, there’s a lot of realtors who we’ve never done business with. But I think it really depends on where the client comes from. A lot of clients will come to us for mortgage financing. You know, in terms of a boutique mortgage brokerage, you know, we’re doing hundreds and hundreds of transactions every year. So as you can imagine, we’re dealing with many different realtors and, you know, really the transactions all the same. And, you know, the mortgage piece has so many different nuances that we’re really, really able to hold that borrower’s hand to get the approval, get the conditions done, and then satisfy the financing, which I think is just so, so important. You know, if you’re making an offer on a property, you really want to know that you can secure it and you don’t have any issues with your financing.

Todd Veinotte: [00:04:47:02] What advice do you give people when they’re selecting a realtor? Because it really can make or break a deal at time of finance. Well, for a whole lot of reasons. But give people some advice because you know, these realtors, you know the good ones. You know, I’m sure you get some realtors, deals, that come across your desk and you go, oh, no, this guy or girl.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:05:06:03] No, you know what? I really cringe when I see yeah, when I get offers in and the client didn’t have a pre-approval, I’m like, what the actual. Like what’s going on here? And, you know, I just don’t know if it, if maybe they had kind of a pseudo pre-approval with another lender and they really wanted to come to us for the expert advice, which I really do appreciate. But I think sometimes, you know, and it’s shocking in this market, but offers are being made without a good, solid pre-approval. And, you know, I think it’s just so, so important to know that you can be approved. Like I saw an offer the other day. We didn’t end up doing the deal, but the borrower could afford to buy a home for about $375,000. The offer came in at $460,000. Riddle me this. Unless you have a lot more money for the down payment, you’re not getting approved. And, you know, I think this borrower situation, they end up needing to get a co-signer. They end up going to a different lender for whatever reason. But I think in that case, I’m not sure why they made the offer. You know, I think they kind of jumped in with two feet without knowing that they could get the financing together, which is a little bit of alarm. Alarming, because there’s so many, you know, things that are going on in terms of offers and whatever you want to know that if you’re going to get a solid deal, you can get it together.

Todd Veinotte: [00:06:27:29] So, again, this is one of the things that you would say would tie in to a realtor. And being a good realtor, they would automatically want to know that.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:06:36:16] Oh, yeah. And I can tell you, there’s realtors that we do business with everyday, that if a client doesn’t have a pre-approval, they send them directly to us because they know that, you know, we shoot from the hip as well, like we are not going to mess around. It’s like Canada Post here. We have to get it done because guess what? There’s lots of transactions behind that that also need to get done. So we are not just like sitting around, waiting around for documents to come in. We’re really on top of it. And we have a huge staff, which is really kind of unique and different. If you’re dealing with someone maybe at a bank branch or maybe even other mortgage brokers, they’re like one person and they’re doing everything. Here we have people answering the phone, we people collecting documents, we people who are doing compliance, we have people who are doing communications and technology and all of these things. And it’s a smooth oiled machine. I’m busy, but guess what? I still see clients every single day.

Todd Veinotte: [00:07:30:12] Do you do less of that as your business grows?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:07:32:16] No. If anything, I’m seeing more clients today than I ever have seen before. But it’s because I have all of the support, so I’m able to do it. I’m able to see clients. And you know what? If I know a client has a has a time frame, if I know there’s a financing condition due, if I know there’s a rush, I can pull it off. Because I will prioritize that before there’s, you know, all kinds of other things. I was in calls all day today, and I had 50 emails in my inbox. Guess what? Now, today I’m down to less than 15. And before I go to sleep tonight, I’ll have that at zero.

Todd Veinotte: [00:08:02:05] You didn’t answer email today.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:08:03:28] Well, you know what? Yeah. You didn’t wait long enough for me, for me to respond. I knew it wasn’t a hot action item. It wasn’t that you want to talk to me today. You wanted to talk to me tomorrow. So you would have had a response.

Getting a pre-approval

Todd Veinotte: [00:08:13:25] That’s true. Okay, so if somebody wants a pre-approval because they’re out there looking for something and they see something, they’re eager, obviously this is a stressful situation for sellers and buyers. More for buyers right now.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:08:25:21] I would agree.

Todd Veinotte: [00:08:26:03] What’s your turnaround time for a pre-approval?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:08:29:10] So if we have an application, we’re talking to the client, we do a pre-approval while we’re on the phone. So as long as we have all the documentation up front and we have that application and the consent, you get your pre-approval. A lot of cases, we either don’t get the application up front for whatever reason. We always send it to the borrower or we don’t have the supporting documents up front.

Todd Veinotte: [00:08:47:07] What are the documents?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:08:49:00] With the pre-approval we want to solidify your income, your assets and your credit. So if we get applications that don’t have all the information that we need, then we have to get on the phone with you and get all that information. And then we need to request your income documents if you haven’t sent those.

Todd Veinotte: [00:09:02:05] You want to have those before. Somebody tells you I make $85,000. You don’t buy that.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:09:09:10] Never.

Todd Veinotte: [00:09:09:26] You need to see it. How many times have you heard people say, oh, I make $90,000 and then you get the income and you’re like, no, you don’t. Does that happen?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:09:17:02] Daily. Every single day. But guess what? Sometimes they actually make more than they think they make. It’s not always that they think they make less or they always think they make more. Nobody really knows what they are going to make or they’re like, oh yeah, I remember what I had on my T4 I made $90,000. Well, your salary is $50,000, you just had a lot of overtime and bonus. What did you make the previous year? Because what you make in one year doesn’t mean that that’s sustainable. Obviously we went through a bit of a bump and that brings up a really good point. There’s a lot of people who have been laid off or whatever, and they think, you know what, I’m not going to qualify for a mortgage now because I was off for a couple of months because of COVID last year. You know, there’s enhanced income verification. Sometimes in those cases we’ll get a job letter from the employer to state what their actual salary is, and we can use that or maybe we’ll get three years of their T4s and justify what they made in 2018 and 2019 and really give the rationale of why 2020 was low. So, you know, I think coming to an expert like us, we’re really able to work through some of those things.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:10:19:00] But we also shoot from the hip. I tell people every day, sorry, we can’t make this happen for you. I had a borrower reach out to me this morning over email to say, you know what their credit was, you know, hit because of COVID and they made some bad decisions and whatever and their credit scores were in the 500s. So I said to them, you know what, we can probably get you approved, but you need a larger down payment. You need 20, 25, 35 per cent down and likely you’re going to have to get your credit cleaned up. And so I really went back to them and say, do you have access to this type of money for the down payment? Because if you don’t, there’s no point us doing an application and they didn’t, but they were going to work on the credit and they’re going to revisit. And, you know, I think just giving them quick and honest advice really has a value. And when you call us, you’re not calling a call center. You’re calling our office. And all we do all day long is mortgage lending.

Can’t get approved? Let’s make a plan

Todd Veinotte: [00:11:16:14] So how difficult is it to have those conversations? And I suppose over time you’ve you’ve become hardened to it. I don’t know if that’s the right term to have a good bedside manner.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:11:24:13] I don’t know. I think some people think that I’m short.

Todd Veinotte: [00:11:27:05] Oh, is that right?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:11:28:02] But, you know, I don’t,

Todd Veinotte: [00:11:30:01] A little cruel?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:11:30:17] No, I don’t think cruel is the right word. I think it’s more like I don’t sugarcoat it. And, you know, I may not be that a handholding warm and fuzzy, but do you want great advice? Do you want to get the transaction done in a timely manner? That’s why people come to me. Am I going to say there there, it’s okay, we can’t get you approved. No, I’m going to tell you why you can’t be approved. And I’m going to tell you what you need to do to get it done. And we’re going to make a plan together. And I think that’s better than kind of like dancing around it. And I think sometimes when you go to a lender, if you go to a mortgage broker, if you go to, you know, your bank, sometimes they just don’t get back to you. They avoid, they avoid it, they avoid. We don’t have time to avoid. Right. And, you know, we want to give that open and honest advice. And we love making a plan because you know what? I see clients today that I saw 10 years ago and they took my advice and they’re ready. And that’s exciting.

Todd Veinotte: [00:12:28:27] So what do you do, schedule a follow up in a year? Something like,

Clinton Wilkins: [00:12:31:21] Yeah, sometimes it’s a year, sometimes it’s five years, sometimes it’s six years. But every single Canadian can get a mortgage. Everyone. It’s just obviously, if your situation isn’t as good, maybe the rates are going to be higher and maybe you need to have more skin in the game. But every single Canadian can get a mortgage. And I think that sometimes we forget about that. You know, we think that maybe there’s been a blip in the credit or there’s been a blip in the income. And, you know, now just because one lender said we can’t do it, no, it can’t be done. That’s not always the case. There’s so many different nuances and so many different options, specifically even around self-employed borrowers. More and more people are becoming self-employed everyday. And there’s lots of great programs out there for those people.

Todd Veinotte: [00:13:13:27] We have one more segment left. What do you want to get to tee it up? Let everybody know.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:13:17:10] Talk a little bit more about the spring market. And I think that, you know, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about refinancing, because I can tell you, refinances are at the top of the priority list. And I can tell you we’re seeing more and more refinances now than we ever have before.

Todd Veinotte: [00:13:30:14] Okay, we’re going to talk more about the spring market, as I mentioned, and refinances that’s Mortgage 101 with Clinton Wilkins myself, Todd Veinotte right here on News 95.7. We’ll be right back.

If you have any questions, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.