I have seen some posts that have discussed an upcoming ruling that will affect the New Home Builder Incentives that a Buyer receives for using the Builder's Mortgage Company.
The underlying idea is that some Realtors have argued that "forcing" a buyer to use a builder's lender... either their "preferred" lender, or a lender actually "owned" by the builder... is infringing on the buyer's freedom, especially when a buyer thinks they can get a better "deal elsewhere... or when the Realtor has some lender that he or she prefers to use... and may also have some sort of a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" relationship.
I really have to take issue with the new ruling.
If the buyer is totally free to use either their lender, or the Realtor's lender... not only will the builder's "marketing" be affected... but their profit picture will also be affected.
Yes, the builder wants their lender to be used by the buyer... and there are several reasons.
First: The builder usually had special financing set up... which they have paid an upfront commitment fee to get. With this program, the builder knows that once their buyer has been "pre-qualified" that there is a very small chance that the buyer would be rejected.
When the buyer uses the Builder's lender... Realtors often feel that the builder will financially benefit if the loan goes to the builder's lender.
The is probably true. Builders often pay for interest rate "commitments" to give special loan rates to buyers. They also know the individual buyer's loan qualifications that go along with those programs. If the buyer does not use that "committed" money program, the money goes unused... and the fee paid to secure that loan rate commitment is wasted.
Secondly, the builder probably will benefit from the loan going to their own lender... probably from either a rebate back to the builder, or some other lender concession back to the builder from the lender.
Sure, the builder makes some profit on the loan... but that is taken into consideration by the builder when arriving at a selling price. If that profit disappears... it's got to comeback from somewhere.
Second: It is very important for a builder's loan to close on or before the date it is supposed to... as written in the contract. If a closing is scheduled for the 29th or 30th of the month, and the lender runs into a "glitch," the builder's mortgage company will somehow find a legal way to close on the loan... to somehow make it work.
I have never seen a loan program that was promised by the builder's mortgage company "disappear" when it came time to close because the loan program disappeared.
I have seen this happen with some outside lenders. Often times... if a loan is not ready to close and falls into the next month... it is an outside lender. Usually the lender's typical answer is to simply let the loan fall into the next month for the builder and buyer... assuming it really makes no difference to anyone.
When the closing, and the loan, falls into next month... it can have a costly effect on the builder... making them liable for extra construction financing on their (the builder's) end. If this happens because of the buyer's lender... there's no way the builder is going to "eat" that cost... and they should not have to. That leaves the buyer to eat the cost... but often times the buyer cannot. What happens next... often the deal blows up.
Also... I have seen outside lenders break the bad news that a "wonderful" loan program that existed when the application was written... is no longer available. Now the buyer has to be put into a one of the outside lender's new loan programs... which may or may not match the program that disappeared. Again... a closing date is missed, and the buyer is usually facing a mortgage program not quite as good as the one that went "bye bye."
Again... I cannot remember this happening with a builder's lender.
My final thought. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And make sure while you are trying to find out if it IS broke... make sure you know ALL the facts.
(Note) The builders spoken of here are "production" builders... not custom builders who either have their own preferred lender, or feel quite comfortable with a buyer using a lender of their choice.