Asking the Right Questions

Mortgage and Lending with HomeStreet Bank NMLS #404052

I had a lady come into my office who needed to refinance her home due to a divorce.  She had already started a loan with another mortgage company.  However, she recinded her loan when she received the final package prior to closing. (Remember, because of the HERA/HOEPA act, clients now must receive a final TIL before closing, and if the APR changes by 1/8 or more, the client has to wait 6 business days(Saturdays count) before closing.

The reason she recinded:  The mortgage professional assumed that the client wanted the lowest rate possible since she had just completed her divorce, so he charged her discount points, origination points, and put her in a 5/1 ARM(adjustable rate mortgage).

After asking the borrower several questions, what she really wanted was a fixed rate mortgage and the lowest possible fees. Thus, her interest rate was 1/4 of a point higher than I could have gotten her, but the payment was still affordable for her and the costs were considerably less, thus allowing her balance to not go up so much from her existing loan balance.

Does this sound familiar?  How many times do customers get themselves into these type of situations because the professional did not ask the right questions or take the time to determine the customer's needs.

For loan officers, we always want to give them program choices and loan choices, whether it is a higher interest rate with low closing costs, or the lowest rate possible with the option to do an adjustable rate, if they are comfortable with that.

Same goes for realtors.  If client can qualify for up to $300,000, are you necessarily going to show the client nothing but $300,000 homes, or are you going to take the time to find out the neighborhood they desire, the payment they desire, and the type of home they desire. 

I have had complaints from clients to realtors that I have referred to who said that the realtor did not take the time to find out the type of home(s) they wanted. Instead, they just sent RMLS listing of all homes that were in the upper limit of what they qualified for.

It comes down to basics.  Take the time to determine the customer's needs, and then you can define yours and your client's search more and avoid a lot of wasted time.

Thank you for your business



Paul W. Thompson

Home Mortgage Consultant

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Posted by

Paul W. Thompson

Home Mortgage Consultant


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Sandra Scott
DPR Realty - Payson, AZ
REALTOR of Choice! Payson, Pine & Strawberry, AZ

Listen twice as much as you talk.  Good advice is any profession

Nov 23, 2009 10:12 PM #1
Paul W. Thompson
HomeStreet Bank - Vancouver, WA
Getting It Done..

Thank you.  By the way, how are things in your market?  Is it beginning to rebound?

I know there are quite a bit of Wells Fargo offices out there?  Do you work with anybody at Wells Fargo?   If not, let me know.

I can lend in all 50 states(conventional), and would love to be a resource for you.



Nov 23, 2009 10:14 PM #2
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

You should ask because you can't assume at all. It makes your job somewhat easier when you ask the right ones.

Nov 28, 2009 01:22 PM #3
Amy Wood
Guaranty Trust - Murfreesboro, TN

Paul, I love this post.  Let me tell you why...the previous lender is a prime example of why the rest of us have such a bad name and I HATE that.  I personally do not put customers in an adjustable rate (one reason is my company does not do them) becuase I think they are one of the reasons we are in this mess today.  Times change, people change and we cannot predict the DON'T PAY INTREST ONLY, make an investment into your home :)

Amy in TN

Dec 02, 2009 11:43 AM #4
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Paul W. Thompson

Getting It Done..

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