I’ve worked with some top-notch loan officers and mortgage brokers. There are others who come into the real estate transaction via the buyer, who we may not have experience with. Those are opportunities for the loan officer to make an impression (or not). Some have done a remarkable job.
From the consumer point of view, it’s often all about the interest rate and they may not clearly understand why the person doing the job is so important. If the lender doesn’t stay on top of the buyer’s file, or correctly evaluate their situation from the get go, the transaction may never come together.
Below are the qualities I look for in a loan officer/mortgage broker partner:
Someone I Can Get a Hold of Easily
Buyers are out there writing offers at days and times that fit their schedules or those of the sellers. Lenders who are easily accessible via cell phone or check their email over the weekend are a big plus.
Someone Who is Knowledgeable
Sounds basic, but there is an ever-changing landscape on the lending front. Does the person know about 203K loans, state and local home buyer’s assistance programs?
Someone Who Educates
Buyers don’t know what they don’t know. How many have ruined their chances of loan approval at the last minute by running up credit cards with new furnishing and appliance purchases? Lenders who coach buyers all throughout the process are golden.
Experience helps a lender know what an underwriter may look for in terms of documentation. Anticipating those needs ahead of time helps keep timelines on track.
Someone Who Is a Good Communicator
Consistent and timely communication is key. All parties should be kept in the loop – the client, both agents where appropriate, and the escrow company. Preferably in writing – paper trails are always helpful to keep the details correct.
Someone Who is a Problem Solver
Not every escrow has problems, but many do. A loan officer who advises of trouble spots early on, with contingency plans for solving them is a winner in my book.
Real estate transactions are much tougher than they were 5 years ago. It does take a team of professionals to help buyers through the sometimes cumbersome process. I’m grateful to have a handful of exceptional lenders as trusted partners.