Most people who are in the market for a new home contact a realtor to start the house search. But if you ask George Dietrich, a lender with First Midwest Bank, he has somewhat different advice for you.
“Many people believe they can qualify for a house, but they’ve never sat down and run the numbers,” he says. “It’s critical to walk in with a pre-approval, because it gives the buyer negotiating power.”
That means buyers should be seeing a lender like Dietrich first before pulling together a list of potential homes. Negotiating power is important in a market like Hinsdale, where hot homes sell fast. Dietrich knows that better than anyone. The lifelong Hinsdale resident is a market expert in the area with 28 years of experience in mortgage lending.
Dietrich’s concentration is in the high net-worth market and construction lending. First Midwest Bank is a portfolio lender, meaning it’s not just securing loans to be sold to another bank. Rather, they’re lending the money directly to the buyers in many respects, which creates a certain advantage if you’re working with them.
“Many times, we’ll do a transaction that makes sense to us and our client, but not the market. We underwrite based on the client’s ability to repay, so we’re going to take a closer look,” he says.
Because of that, First Midwest Bank is a very relationship-driven lending institution where the focus is on concierge-level service. “That’s how we operate,” Dietrich says. “The goal is to move things along rapidly without a lot of bumps. I try to get all the information I need at the beginning of the transaction, so I’m not always going back and asking little questions. It makes the process go very smoothly.”
Dietrich is also an expert when it comes to jumbo construction and physician financing, which are often more difficult loans to approve. But it’s an area of specialization for Dietrich, and the bank has very competitive rates. “To me, there are many lenders out there, but it’s the tools in your tool belt and what products can you offer that set you apart. With our construction product and doctor programs, we are the best and have the most liberal product mix, and our rates can stand up to anybody in the marketplace,” he says.
In recent years, it’s become harder to buy a house. “It’s always a good time to buy,” he says. “But the transactions are more complex. The team you select as a buyer and borrower is very critical. You need the right realtor, attorney, and lender to make sure the transaction goes smoothly.”
In Hinsdale, the market is about to get exciting again at the start of spring. Dietrich has always approached his work in the same way. He sells confidence in his ability to execute, and is truthful with all his clients. “I view myself as an advisor. People come to me for information, and I allow them to make appropriate decisions.”
His key approach is pretty simple: “Tell people the truth and do what you say,” he says. “If you do that, everything else takes care of itself. Let’s talk.”
George Dietrich is a residential lender with First Midwest Bank, located at 520 N. Cass Avenue in Westmont, 630-725-3310, firstmidwest.com/georgedietrich.