Viewpoints: Joseph Smith, Branch Manager, Guaranteed Rate, Boston

by Alonzo Turner


Joseph Smith is a branch manager with Guaranteed Rate working in Boston.

Every week, we ask an Boston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Boston real estate.

This week, we talked with Joseph Smith, a branch manager with Guaranteed Rate. 

Boston Agent (BA): How important is your online presence to your business?

Joseph Smith (JS): It’s important, but not critical. People want to do business with people. People often feel more comfortable providing information and discussing programs either in person or on the phone. Having an online presence is important for providing information like mortgage calculators, answers to frequently asked questions, etc.

BA: Are Boston’s high home prices making it difficult for middle-class buyers to obtain financing in the city?

JS: Obtaining financing in the city has generally not been a problem.  There are many loan programs with flexible terms that allow many people to qualify.  Boston has many affluent people – in fact, there is a large percentage of buyers who pay cash.  This has become the problem for buyers who need financing in order to purchase a home who are competing in a bidding war with cash buyers.  Cash is king.  Sellers will often take a cash offer even if it is slightly lower than an offer with financing, because there are fewer contingencies.

BA: How has the city’s persistently low inventory affected your business, if at all? Are fewer people looking for financing?

JS: Yes, it has affected our business. Demand is far outstripping supply.  I have done many pre-approvals for the same property only to have all my customers lose to cash offers.

There are still many people looking for financing, but they are getting frustrated by rejected offers.  I feel like we run a free pre-approval service with relatively fewer loans going into process than pre-approvals issued due to the lack of supply.  My Realtor partners feel the same.  They are running free offer writing and property showing services  very little to show for their efforts and relatively fewer buyers going under contract.

Read More Related to This Post

Join the conversation

Oops! We could not locate your form.