I had something interesting happen recently. Have some borrowers prequalified on a new purchase. I received a phone call from their Real Estate Agent stating they were going to write up an offer on a property later that evening. He needed from me a preapproval/prequal letter. He asked me to reference the purchase price and the fact that they would be putting ten percent down in the letter. Pretty standard stuff...no problemo.
But then he asked me to include some additional information. He stated they were going to ask the seller to contribute to closing costs. Again, pretty standard stuff in terms of the offer. What was interesting however, is that he wanted me to reference that the "seller contribution" was in essense, part of the actual qualification. In other words, the borrowers would only qualify for the loan, if the seller contributed to closing costs. In all my years of lending, I had never had that asked of me, and admittedly, the agent said he had seen only a few letters ever written like this.
After we hung up the phone I really wracked my brain trying to figure if there was some possible way for me to gently reference that in the letter, without jeopardizing anything or disclosing information I can't disclose.
Bottom line: Negotiating with the seller is part of the contract. Unless a loan officer also holds a Real Estate License, they can't assist with the negotiations. I felt that by me referencing anything in terms of seller contributions could be looked upon as "me" assisting with the negotiations, which again, I'm not at liberty to do.
I drafted up my standard letter and sent it on its way, and gently reminded the agent that we wear two different hats.