Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsReal_estate

Bruss Taken to Task for Mortgage Advice

November 05, 1995

I was appalled at Robert J. Bruss' article of Oct. 8 in which he advised home buyers, "Reveal as little as possible about your situation. . . . Do not tell the agent how much cash you have available for down payment or if you have a deadline to buy."

As a San Fernando Valley broker employing more than 100 agents, I can assure home buyers that the only way we, as real estate professionals, can meet your needs is if we are dealt with in an honest and forthright manner.

We work for you, the buyer. To that end, we serve as your allies, protecting your needs and interests. If you do not feel you can be open with your agent, find a new one, someone with whom you can create a productive and trusting relationship.

JAY BELSON, RE/MAX on the Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

*

Who does Bruss think he is to "advise" buyers and sellers to not tell the truth to their real estate professionals about down payment, motivation or desire in buying or selling in a transaction? This business is hard enough, and yet he advises the public that if you tell "them" (real estate agents) the truth, you may not get the best deal. In a climate in which most properties have little or no equity, how are we supposed to help our clients if we don't know the truth?

Mr. Bruss, if you are so damned smart about real estate, why don't you stop writing about it and come here and compete against me in this market?

VALERIE FITZGERALD, Vice President/Rodeo Manager, Estates Division of the Prudential Jon Douglas Co.

*

I am a fan of Bruss and for the most part agree with his opinions. However, I want to cite an instance wherein his advice, when taken literally and categorically, does a disservice to his readers.

I am a mortgage broker. A customer contacted me on refinancing her home. She had recently purchased the property with 10% down and had a high-margin adjustable plus private mortgage insurance. I was able to obtain a 90% fixed first combined with a piggyback line of credit second with no PMI, thus saving her a significant amount of money. In addition, the borrower opted for a zero-point loan, which we acquired for a slightly higher interest rate. So far so good.

Having signed the loan documents, the borrower advised me and the lender that she would not pay any "junk" fees, which included underwriting, processing, document preparation fees and the like. Unless she had a check for these fees immediately, she would exercise her right of rescission and sue. She quoted Bruss as her source.

I have read where Bruss advises borrowers to negotiate these fees. Negotiation should be done at the beginning of the loan process, not after signing loan documents. Moreover, in this instance, the lender's only fees were the above-named, which cover some of their administrative overhead. There is no free lunch. Lenders cover their costs with such fees or by an origination fee (in this case there was none) or by a combination of both.

TOM BRYAN, Ojai

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|