Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock.....Why Can't You Hear It?

Managing Real Estate Broker with Pino Agency NJ - 9235504

tick tock clockA settlement was supposed to take place Friday morning here in Carneys Point, NJ.  The Sellers were ready.  So ready, in fact, there was nothing left in the house - not even a beverage in the fridge!

The Buyers were ready.  Those folks have all of their monies, paperwork and boxes in order.

Both the Buyer's agent and the Seller's agent were ready.  All of the necessary inspections, certifications, utility transfers, etc. in their respective files.

The title company wanted to be ready. 

The mortgage company?  They just didn't have a clue.  Today, a mortgage company, based out of California strung us along all day long.  They kept us by our phones and on our phones as if we were expectant parents waiting for our first child to arrive.  This lender didn't seem to care that we may have had better things to do today then spend it repeatedly calling/pleading with them, calling & checking in with one another ("have you HEARD anything?") and finally speaking the age-old "can I speak with your supervisor?". 

This merry-go-round of wasted energy began at 9am and ended at 5pm with not one, but two delays of game.  Today's settlement was postponed to Monday which was then postponed to Wednesday. 

Sadly, this is not the first mortgage company to behave in this fashion.  I'm sure they will not be the last.  It's just impossible to understand what goes on in their offices on days like this.  They MUST know they are not going to make settlement happen ---- two days ago!  But up until 5 pm today, they had our undivided attention - it was as if they were in possession of the batphone-under-glass and we were helpless on the other end of the line, just waiting to swing into action.

My advice to this lender is to consider how disrespectful it is to keep four households of consumers, four Real Estate offices and two title companies on the hook for an entire business day.  Four households of consumers who expected to be moving in to a new home, unpacking their belongings, celebrating the sale/purchase of a lovely home and filling their empty fridges with fresh veggies and, oh yeah, beverages. 

As it stands now, they'll be in a continued holding pattern for the entire weekend........while those mortgage folks go home and relax for a couple of days.  Thanks, Guys.

This is exactly why I always advise my clients to use the services of local lenders.

Just a thought for today.

Comments (71)

Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

How rude and inconsiderate for everyone. They had to have known that there were issues/delays and should have extended the courtesy of a call the day before.  I feel sorry for everyone involved.



Jul 10, 2010 12:37 AM
Kathryn Maguire
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

I am pleased to say that this has not happened to me in a very long time.  This is why I recommend using lenders that I have a track record with.  It is important to have a relationship with the person on the other end so that if something comes up, you can work together to fix it.

Jul 10, 2010 01:02 AM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

HMMM these are particularly hurtful to the seller(s) hopefully everything will be resolved on Monday. .please keep us posted 

Jul 10, 2010 01:18 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Chris, I've worked with clients who insisted on working with out of state lenders because of a better rate. It seemed there was always a delay with getting the loan package for the closing. Hope everything works out for you and your clients next week.

Jul 10, 2010 02:16 AM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Although I live and work in California, I am not going to defend the lender. It is vital to work with a tema of professionals. SOmetimes it is hard to get clients on board with the fact that you can recommend three or four qualified lenders, and they should not just go with a random one for which there is a coupon in the mailbox.

Jul 10, 2010 02:22 AM
Susan Jackson
America's Network Realty Group, Inc - Sandy Springs, GA

I knowthe pain, I truly can relate .  However, this goes on with local lenders also. 


Jul 10, 2010 03:15 AM
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

What I might have missed in your post, here in California, we usually have the buyers sign loan doc's prior to funding a loan, they head into escrow sign the paper work and then the lender calls out funding of the loan which usually occurs in 24 hours. Once the loan has funded the title company will call out the recording to escrow and escrow informs the agents. So, it might be that the lender being from California did not have the same understanding as to the way business is done in your neck of the woods.

Jul 10, 2010 03:26 AM
Anne Clark
Metro Referrals - Gainesville, VA

Probably best to work with local lenders.  You can actually drive down the street and stare them down if it even looks like a situation is headed this direction. 

Jul 10, 2010 03:47 AM
Phil Cogan
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Coral Springs, FL

Local is better, in-house, if you have one is best. I recently closed a sale where my buyer (VA loan) went on line and got 3 replies and picked the "cheapest". It almost cost him the house. The loan officer had never done a VA loan and seemed too proud to get help. We got it closed, a week late! It doesn't mean your local or in-house won't have problems, but being geographically closer does seem to make it easier.


Jul 10, 2010 03:48 AM
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

There is absolutely nothing so good as having the LO or assistant attend the closing. They get motivated to get it done much faster when they are sitting there, too!

Jul 10, 2010 04:18 AM
Kim Dove
Watson Realty Corp - Jacksonville, FL
Realtor - Jacksonville FL

Chris, this is almost mirroring my transaction. The buyers lender has taken almost 70 days to close on my listing.

I told them no more delays and the buyers agent says "You are the most pessimistic Realtor that I have ever known".

Can you believe they wanted us to wait another 28 days? ?These banks and some agents are just unreal these days.

Jul 10, 2010 04:39 AM
David J. Stiles
Waynesville, NC

This is why when a client asks me when do I know have a done deal and I say "When the sellers walk out the door with their checks and are told not to turn around if someone calls their names and not to answer their cell phones." That is what is coming down to.  There are still local lenders, be it the small community bank and credit unions.  With the right loan officer and processor there is nothing wrong with the national lenders.  What is wrong is the lender found on the internet who has no clue how a closing is held in your particular state.  NY closings tend to drive lenders who are not familiar with our customs crazy.

Jul 10, 2010 04:55 AM
Jenna Dixon
Momentum Real Estate Group LLC - Marietta, GA
55 & Over | New Constructions | Horse Farms

I agree with Lenn, if you can't look them in the eye when necessary then it's not likely to prove to be a good choice.

One recent LO got "looked in the eye" by my son who was TRYING to purchase his first home.  Let's just say that the apple did not fall far from the tree and after the "looking" was over my son's file was handed off to another LO.  Haha!

Jul 10, 2010 05:33 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Chris,  I appreciate your concern and frustration !  My feeling is that your post would be more effective had you included the name of the lender so that the rest of us would be aware !

Jul 10, 2010 05:37 AM
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I so feel your pain...recently I had a closing involving Bank of America (boo, hiss) where I represented the seller;  the closing was ONE WEEK LATE. Fortunately, the sellers were renting back for a while, so they really did not care too much as long as it eventually closed.  The following week I had a closing involving SunTrust where I represented the buyers - and the loan package was one week early

I was so baffled when I found out the title company already had the package, I thought perhaps I had written down the wrong closing date on my calendar! LOL I like to think there was some cosmic justice in all of that...hang in there, hopefully you'll close Monday. 

Jul 10, 2010 11:58 AM
Tricia Pearson
Tricia Pearson - Pearson Real Estate - Texas Hill Country - Boerne, TX
Real Estate Broker, San Antonio/Hill Country Homes for Sale

Local lenders are the best way to go. My LO actually comes to the closing!

Jul 11, 2010 03:31 AM
Don Jones

Folks, as a banking professional, I want to tell you that your comments are right on.  What your buyers (and you) had to go through in so many of these situations is just wrong.  As an industry insider, I can tell you that, in my opinion, most of the things that go wrong could have and should have been fixed by the lender, if only the lender was as focused and professional as you were. A real estate transaction is not really about the transaction. It is about the hopes and dreams of the buyer, as well as the seller.  The absolute worst thing a lender can do is to be less than diligent and shatter those dreams, after you've put YOUR reputation on the line.

As a loan officer, I can tell you that I know Chris personally. She personifies the kind of professional that every lender should want to partner with. I worked for a company with a good name (headquarterd in California), and Chris was kind enough to send some of her valued clients my way.  My bank (at the time) did not support her very well at all, and I think she showed great restraint in not "kicking our butt".  This kind of conduct by a banking giant was totally unacceptable to me as well, and I left the company for a much better lender, with best-in-class customer service. 

Chris, while I do hope someday to have the opportunity to show you that there is a lender in your backyard who DOES get it, that's not the intention of my post. Instead, I want all of you who posted here to know that for the sake of your buyers and sellers, you MUST continue to demand excellence from the lender. Insist that they keep you in the loop, and insist that the loan officer visit YOU personally at your office, and then that the loan officer appear in person to meet with you and/or your buyer at your request, as often as is necessary.  And of course, insist that your loan officer attend closing.

If someone tells you that this lousy excuse for service is "just the way the industry is now", don't believe it for a minute.  The company I used to work for, that treated the buyers in Chris's transaction so poorly, used to feed that line of baloney to me and to Chris.  She didn't fall for it, and neither did I.  I'm happy to say that it's not the case. You just need to find the right lender to partner with. Don't give up until you do.


Jul 12, 2010 08:00 AM
Phyllis Lerner call 914.438.7556
Corcoran Legends Realty - Tarrytown, NY
Corcoran Legends Realty

Dear Chris ...I know exactly how it feels... so do a couple of my clients which experienced similar disrespect from their lenders this year...

And yes, they realized once they got jerked around by their lender that they should have selected one of several service providers I had suggested to them (because they do their job)...

We as professionals must certainly know which bank, lender, mortgage officer or broker knows respect and delivers... unfortunately almost everyone in the public seems to think we get a "kickback" when we offer a recommendation, which is of course absolutely not true (and highly illegal)... 

The only reason why we recommend reliable servicers is that we and our clients get great service... I wish people would understand that this is one of the "perks" that they receive when working with an experienced Realtor... reliable lenders, attorneys, home inspectors, contractors, pest control, movers and much more...

Jul 12, 2010 03:34 PM
Christine Hooks
Pino Agency - Pennsville, NJ
Celebrating 25 Years in Real Estate!

Thanks for all of the comments of support and guidance.  Everything turned out all right in the end......just a week late.  My sellers lived through it, with a smile, no less.

Hopefully, this won't happen again.

Jul 27, 2010 07:47 AM
You've got it in one. Couldn't have put it beettr.
Feb 02, 2012 01:57 AM