Lending Leaders
How A Mortgage Insider Buys A Home Pt. 2: The Value of Realtors

We’re back to talking about Jim’s experience buying a home as a mortgage professional. On part two, we’re diving into his experience using a realtor, the value of realtors, and how his view of realtors changed during the homebuying process.

As a mortgage industry pro, Jim was skeptical at first about the need for a realtor, but soon had his mind changed by the expertise and guidance of the realtors he wound up using.

How did you find your realtor?

Jim ended up working with someone he knew before starting the homebuying process, but he didn’t set out intending to do so. He and his wife started by inputting their information into a Zillow listing. Of course, they heard from a realtor in like 30 seconds. After an initial chat, things didn’t really go anywhere beyond continuing to receive emails and listings from the agent’s CRM.

Afterward Jim got in touch with his wife’s friend, Mandy, who had gotten her real estate license and joined her dad, a home appraiser and realtor with 30+ years of experience in the area. Mandy is a fellow millennial, so it was nice to have the best of both worlds: a young newcomer to the industry and a veteran with expert local knowledge of neighborhoods Jim and his wife were shopping in.

Bidding for properties in a crazy market

Having pros on your side with knowledge of the locale helped Jim and his wife navigate an insane market. Per the realtors’ advice, Jim and his wife bid $50,000 over asking on their first desired property. Still, they were probably the 20th most competitive out of 30 offers. That property sold for $128,000 over asking with no inspection. Sometimes the market is just insane.

When Jim and his wife first saw the listing for the house they ended up buying, it was out of their price range. Despite an unexpected price drop, they still weren’t willing to make an offer. But Mandy and her dad were confident the seller was motivated. Mandy’s dad knew the selling realtor. Jim and his wife put in an offer below asking, which was accepted, and they didn’t have to waive inspection.

Key Takeaways

Real estate is a relationship-driven business, in which local expertise will probably never be irrelevant. A good realtor knows her or his area, and has valuable relationships to offer homebuyers.


Thanks so much for being tuning in to LodeStar Lending Leaders! We can’t wait to resume our conversations about the mortgage industry and related topics when season 3 begins in September 2022.

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For anyone looking to purchase a home in the greater Philadelphia, Jim can’t recommend the following realtors highly enough:

Amanda Benincasa
Elfant Wissahickon Realtors
P: (215) 247-3600
C: (215) 520-0991

Jim Benincasa
Associate Broker
Elfant Wissahickon Realtors
P: (215) 233-3434 Ext. 532
C: (215) 850-6020
F: (215) 233-0903