Your New Best Friend

We hear it time and time again from our agents and their customers.  Were it not for the collaboration between two of our most important core services—MSC Mortgage and MSC Title—numerous property transactions might never have closed on time.  Or, for that matter, at all.  That’s why we were delighted last week to see these two teams of top-drawer professionals receive the local recognition they so richly deserve.

As reported in the Business Weekly section of last Monday’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune, these key divisions of Michael Saunders & Company have assumed their rightful place among the region’s top community lenders and title agencies.  According to the latest rankings compiled from records available courtesy of the Sarasota County Clerk of Courts, MSC Mortgage made more loans in the Sarasota market than any other locally-based community bank or mortgage broker.  Only the nation’s largest banks—including Wells-Fargo, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase—disbursed a greater volume of new loans in January.

“MSC Title was no slouch either,” the newspaper continued.  “It closed 25 real estate deals in January totaling $6.9 million, making it the fifth largest firm in the region based on the total transactional volume of deals closed.”   Only three major local law firms and one statewide title agency enjoyed greater volume.

Once upon a time not so very long ago, qualified buyers rarely had to focus too much of their attention on mortgage and title issues.  Banks were lending freely; and title issues in the days before distressed properties became a major part of the landscape were far less worrisome.

The economic meltdown of the last two years put an end to that in very short order.  Suddenly mortgage and title issues loomed extra large; with one or both able to quickly derail an otherwise smooth real estate transaction.

Loans—if you could find one—suddenly required stellar credit and sizeable down payments.  Jumbo mortgages, though now very much on the comeback, all but dried-up during the darkest days of the financial crisis.  Plus, the historic increase in distressed properties just as suddenly opened a Pandora’s Box filled with scores of new ways in which a home’s prior ownership could drastically interfere with your property rights.

There are nearly eighty ways—each with its own menu of supplementary hazards—through which you can lose your property rights and become susceptible to potentially ruinous litigation.  Needless-to-say, protecting yourself from undetected title defects has never been a more crucial to a successful property transaction.

Congratulations to Ann Stickel and Laura Bowers—respectively, Managing Directors of MSC Mortgage and MSC Title—along with their very able and talented teams.  Theirs is the official duty of offering our agents and their clients the major convenience, efficiency, accountability and peace of mind that comes with one-stop real estate services.

A survey—conducted two years ago by the National Association of Realtors—reveals that 96% of respondents believe one-stop shopping makes buying a home easier.  As a result, three of four respondents said they would seriously consider using a firm that offers this important benefit.  Which, in addition to today’s highly challenged market, helps explain why one-stop shopping has increased more than fourfold since 2002.   The key advantages cited are that it makes the transaction less expensive (77%), more manageable (73%) more convenient (73%), prevents major issues from falling through the cracks (73%); and ensures timely completion of the transaction (71%).  Moreover, people who used one-stop shopping to obtain their mortgages were 44% more likely to be completely satisfied with the outcome than those who didn’t.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  When you choose an agent from Michael Saunders & Company each link in the real estate chain—from finding the perfect property to financing it free from all title defects—is as sturdy and seamless as it can be.  In addition to having more than 550 of the market’s most talented and experienced agents, the combined teams from MSC Mortgage and MSC Title have proven through their own headline-making performances that they are a buyer’s best friend.

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