Whose job is it anyway?????
There is a lot of discussion about who is responsible for notifying the buyer about the closing costs as seen from Ralph Gorgoglione post The buyers didn't know about closing costs? Whose fault is that: The buyer's agent or the lender? Seems like a relatively simple and harmless question, but it opened a firestorm in the AR community.
To me the answer is very simple; it's my job and my responsibility as the mortgage guy. I am responsible for making sure the buyer understands the parameters of the deal, what their responsibilities will be, what their actual closing costs will be, what the amount will be they are to bring to the table, what form that amount needs to be in and whole host of other items the buyer may be confused about. I am the "money man" and as such I take full responsibility and if that buyer comes to the table without prior knowledge or even one penny short, I have no one to blame but myself.
It is my job to help the buyer to understand about the closing costs, the escrows and prepays in detail. I want my borrowers fully understanding what they sign, the process, the fees and feeling comfortable about it and I cannot for one minute assume they understand the process as I do. I do this day in and day out where they might buy one house in a lifetime.
There are some loan officers that say the buyer should know what is expected of them simply by all the disclosures and many forms the buyers are required to sign at the beginning of the process; I say bullcrap. Those loan officers assume the buyer will understand the (or even read) the myriad of forms they are requested to sign at the disclosure stage. In my experience most buyers will, not only not understand the forms but most won't even bother to read them, they'll just sign on the dotted line. To add insult to injury the new GFE (the one form that is supposed to shed light on all the "money") is not worth the paper it's written on. It has one from a one page fully itemized and detailed form to a 3 page monstrosity that even some loan officers struggle with to understand or prepare properly.
It's not that buyers are stupid, ignorant or lazy it's simply that they are overwhelmed by the entire process. The buyer is excited at the prospect of buying a home, stressed at the prospect of taking on such a large financial commitment and confused about the entire process. They are nervous and excited about the deal all at the same time and it's my job to make my borrowers fully understand what they sign, the process, the fees and feeling comfortable about it. I will have failed miserably if they are not comfortable about the financial impact of their decision.
I go over all the numbers with buyer and calculate IN ADVANCE (at time of application) how much the buyer is responsible (and in what form) to bring to the table. I will go through the numbers with the buyer at the time of application, upon submission and once again the day before closing to allow them time to get to the bank and get the cashier check. There is simply no excuse for the buyer not feeling comfortable about the funds and process.