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Who’s the Quarterback?


Given that it’s Superbowl Week (Go Giants!), I thought we might go with a football theme today. I can’t tell you how many different people I hear proclaim that they are the quarterback of the real estate transaction - the agent, the loan officer, an attorney, accountant or financial planner. But for goodness sake, the buyer/borrower had better be the one calling the shots. Not that everyone else doesn’t play an important role, but the buyer/borrower is the one most impacted by the choices made.

Here’s my opinion of how the team works best:

  • Head Coach (Your Loan Officer) - Your loan officer should be the Head Coach. After careful analysis of your income, credit and assets, this is the person in the best position to make sure you are playing to your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses.  Your loan officer can discuss the economic realities of homeownership, while listening to your quality of life concerns. (How often you’ll be able to eat out or vacation, for example.) The loan officer can set up the game plan.
  • Offensive Coordinator (Your Real Estate Agent) - Your real estate agent is your offensive coordinator. Armed with the game plan (which includes your limitations), the agent calls the plays, counseling you on the geography, the competition, the best ways to negotiate your way to your personal touchdown. Agents know the playing field (the inventory and the market). If you hire them to represent you, they can disclose the weaknesses of your competition (the seller).
  • Offensive Line (Your Attorney, Accountant and Financial Advisors) - Your attorney, accountant and financial advisors are your offensive line. They are there to protect you from the blitzes that come from outside (sellers, title issues, tax consequences, and protecting your assets). Not the glamour positions, but vital to any success you are going to have.
  • Running Backs and Wide Receivers (Your Friends and Family) - Your friends and family are the running backs and wide receivers. They often receive the glory and attention, but honestly, if everyone else doesn’t do their job, they rarely ever see success. Bad game plans, weak play calling, poor execution on the offensive line or by you, as quarterback, leave them merely as names on the roster.

As with any team, communication is the most important component to getting the desired results. Being the center of the action on the field, the quarterback (you) needs to honestly talk with your coaches and coordinators, so they can help direct you on the proper play calling. Simultaneously, you need to heed the feedback from your offensive line, running backs, and receivers to filter wise advice from emotion. Be the quarterback of your own home-buying process and you'll be more likely to realize your dreams (and not the dreams of someone else).

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About Dean Hartman

Dean Hartman is a 25-year veteran of the mortgage banking industry. He has achieved the designation of Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist (CMPS), and also specializes in sales leadership, seminar presenting, and team building.

10 Responses to “Who’s the Quarterback?”

  1. Zachary Hosford February 2, 2012 at 11:36 am # Reply

    First off, KCM thank you for all the great information and Dean for the fantastic post!

    As a Realtor I have always had a different "line up" and have always looked at "my team" as a crew on a boat. That crew has me, the agent, as the Captain ("Head Coach") and the Loan Officer as the First Mate (or something comparable to 2nd in command). The Captain (agent) is steering the boat and making adjustments as needed, this is obviously not possible without the First Mates direction (pre-approval, etc.) throughout the journey (home buying process).

    The Captain directs the crew (loan officer, home inspector, termite inspector, title/ attorney, etc.) what to do and when to do it. He/ she has the ability to look at the big picture but is also on the ground level going step by step with the client.

    Thoughts? Thanks again for the great post and keep it up!

    • Anonymous February 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm # Reply

      No problem, Zachary. We're sure most agents would agree with you that the real estate agent should be the Captain/Head Coach. On the other hand, most loan officers would probably agree with Dean that the loan officer should be the Captain/Head Coach. All parts of the transaction are equally important. As long as everyone focuses on doing what's right for the client, everything will be fine.

      • Dean Hartman February 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm # Reply

        and we know the loan officer is always right!  :-)

        • Mike February 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm # Reply

          How about a financial advisor being in the position of referee. Given the amount of consumers who were encouraged to buy more house than they could afford or did not understand the loan they were put into I think it is fair to say you need someone to call a foul if they see one. Someone who isn't in a position to gain from the real estate transaction but has a good understanding of finance is an invaluable ally in the process.

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