For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is Newtonian physics at its best. In politics we have the Thermidor reaction to the French revolution. In finance we have the bank reaction to the mortgage crisis.
Never mind that the crisis was created by the very lenders, at least those still standing, in the first place. Never mind that a short sale should really take 1/10th of the time a foreclosure does since everybody comes out better. The banks today are in a state of change and shock. This is the reality we have to deal with.
So you may know 5 banks that SAY they do rural development loans but unless you have dealt with them be careful. What happens is once you get into underwriting the reaction sets in. If the underwriters have not seen rural development (USDA) before you WILL be in for a rough ride. More and more paperwork will be asked for up and to the point you either run out of time or your buyer runs out of patience.
So in this market of reactions the key to staying sane and getting to the closing table is KNOW YOUR LENDER. It is not enough to know if a lender offers a product. You need to know if the lender has actually written loans for that product. As Realtors we know we should know our buyer. We help assist in helping them get the preapproval letter for a mortgage. Now we must also know the lenders ability to write a mortgage.
Now more than ever buyers need Realtors to help them through the process. It is a real tragedy when a qualified buyer does not get a loan due to lender reaction to something in the buyers profile or unfamiliarity with the type of loan the buyer is applying for. It is the reaction of the lenders that are creating a lot of this problem. But it is the reality so we must deal with it.