In slower markets, some loan officers may feel pressured to close deals that aren’t in the homeowner’s best interest. In order to avoid getting into difficult and financially compromised positions with their mortgages, borrowers are well advised to be acutely aware of the signs of a responsible loan officer when selecting a mortgage professional.
First, look for a Mortgage Planner whose values are focused on helping individuals to achieve their financial goals in both the fastest and the safest way possible. A reputable Mortgage Planner will show you the numbers associated with the proposed loan and provide you with concrete information that backs up his or her claims. Review all of the numbers. If they don’t add up, ask for clarification. If your loan officer can’t or won’t answer your questions, move on--without the loan.
Secondly, a responsible Mortgage Planner will present you with financial information that goes beyond the point of the transaction, and will illustrate the total cost of the loan over time. If your loan officer is focusing only on rates and fees, you may be working with someone who’s looking out for his or her own best interests, not yours.
Responsible Mortgage Planners will also tailor their strategies to fit your unique situation. In other words, they always take your personal financial goals into account. No one should try to place you into a loan without knowing the intricacies of your personal financial situation.
Finally, if your loan officer is advising you on issues other than mortgages, you could be working with someone who is compromising your best interests. Issues like investment rates of return and real estate appreciation aren’t the areas of expertise for the vast majority of mortgage professionals and should be left to the professionals who have training and direct experience in those areas.
When seeking a loan officer, look for someone who specializes in mortgage planning, which is the process of evaluating a borrower’s unique financial situation and advising the borrower on a loan that best suits his or her individual needs and goals. If your loan officer is trying to put you into a loan without evaluating how that loan will effect your entire financial situation--including debt management, tax benefits, investment goals and net worth--it’s quite possible that you’re only getting half of the picture.
The bottom line is that your mortgage representative should always be looking out for your best interests, regardless of market conditions.
Hayden Gerson is the Branch Manager of America One Mortgage Group located in Sherman Oaks California. He is also a real estate coach focusing the success of the Realtors that he works with. If you would like to inquire about free real estate coaching, Hayden can be contacted at (800) 505-7554 or go to his website, Sherman Oaks Mortgage.