The real estate industry really is a unique animal. In what other industry is it considered perfectly acceptable to ask a complete stranger “How much do you owe on your home?” or “How much can you afford to spend on your home?”? It is usually asked with a little more tact, but the inquiry is still the same.
So, the question must be asked….how much do we have a right to know? Should lenders have a right to information that the Realtor may not have a right to know? If a purchaser has supplied their Realtor with a loan approval from a reputable lender, does the Realtor have a right to know the details of that loan?
As an example, a selling agent presents an offer and a loan approval letter to a listing agent. Negotiations take place and the offer is accepted. A week prior to close, it is discovered that one of the conditions of the loan is the buyer starting their job. Three days later, it is discovered that the buyer must also present a pay stub. Did the listing agent have a right to know that the entire loan was predicated on a job that the buyer had yet to start?
Some may respond that the details of the loan it is none of the listing agents business. Others may feel that a loan being contingent on starting a job is equivalent to the contingency of a buyers house selling. If neither one takes place, the loan falls apart. How much should have been shared between all parties?
This is a day and age of transparency. However, in serving the public, how much information is too much information? How far should personal information travel? The message is certainly contradictory. Lenders need extreme amounts of personal information…Realtors need the results of that information…but should all parties have access to all of the information? It’s a fine line that is walked…and one that all parties should be mindful of.