I'm Tellin' Everyone!

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Hobin Realty, LLC - Hampton & Rye, NH, USA

A few weeks ago, we had something wonderful happen…. One of our listings went under agreement for full price AND we found the buyer!  The buyers are first-timers and needed to go for 100% financing and some seller contribution.  We knew this up front, so they offered over asking in order to make sure that the seller still netted full price.  This was all well and good.  The home inspection came back pretty good with only a minor issue that was quickly resolved. 

I know what you’re thinking… WOW… This sounds too good to be true!  Well, you’re right!  As with any good real estate story, there’s a twist!

As always, we tried to explain to the buyers that they should use one of our trusted lenders.  Unfortunately, they had a “friend” who happened to be a mortgage broker and were intent on using this company.  They company is out of state and we had never heard of them, but okay… ultimately the choice is the buyers to make.

So, as always, we put a call into the lender and proceed as usual:

  1. Give them our names and contact information
  2. Fax them a copy of the P&S Agreement and a copy of the MLS sheet
  3. Inform them that the buyers have signed a release (via the P&S) allowing them to talk to us on the buyers loan.
  4. Ask them who the title company or closing attorney will be
  5. Give them the important dates of the P&S (loan commitment date & closing date)

Well, every time we tried to call the company, we got their voice mail.  It was as though nobody was every actually in their office.  I started to become suspicious, so I did a little checking around on line to see if I could find another number to reach them.  I found a couple numbers, but one had been disconnected.  Luckily, the other went to a lady who worked in their office.  She wondered how I had found her cell number.  Well, it was listed on the state banking web-site

Okay, so we start talking and I find out that they generally use a particular attorney for their closings.  This attorney is located out of state.  I ask her if they would have any objection to using a local title company instead.  She tells me that it would depend on their fee schedule.  Okay, fair enough.  So, I fax her the fee schedule and contact information for our preferred title company and await her reply.  I wait……

And I wait….

And I wait….

I call back several times to check on the status of the loan.  I tell her I don’t even care about who closes the loan, but that I would like to know how things are going with the loan.  Did the appraisal come in all right?  Will they be able to meet the commitment date?  Will they be able to meet the closing date?  Of course all these questions were left on voice mail because no one ever answered the phone, EVER!

So, a few weeks go by and we get notice that the loan was sent to an attorney’s office in Massachusetts, so we get all the information together that they will need in order to get the pay offs, etc.  I ask the attorney’s office if they can email me a preliminary HUD (settlement statement) showing their fees.  They do this and I find that they charge the buyer $650.  This is $150 more than the company that we offered.  So, obviously the lender didn’t care how much the buyer had to pay, they just wanted to use their preferred closing agent.  Okay, fine.  We’ll make the buyer aware of this, but we have bigger fish to fry in that we need to know what the heck is going on with the loan! We have a commitment that is coming due and a closing that is supposed to happen!

We keep telling the buyers that we are not able to get in touch with the lender, but they tell us that the lender is in contact with them, so we figure that they have CHOSEN to keep us in the dark.  I even wrote a post about this a local group to see if we were alone in this problem.  This isn’t the only lender recently keeping tight-lipped. 

Well, unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) the lender turned these folks down.  They never told us, but told the buyers.  Of course, we needed a denial letter and were having one heck of a time getting it.  I finally left an irate message at the office and on this one lady’s cell phone stating that we must have the denial letter immediately and that if they were afraid to call me to just fax the dang thing to me.  I had it in about 30 minutes! 

Okay, so that’s the BAD news.  Are you ready for the GOOD news?

The buyers are completely distraught and are now willing to do ANYTHING to get this house.  We put a call into our trusty Coldwell Banker Mortgage Advisor and see if he can save the day.  He says that he can probably get them done in about a week so that we can still close the same day!  I’m sure that you’re thinking… TO GOOD TO BE TRUE!  Well, I understand that thinking, but know from experience that this guy is good to his word.

That was last Friday.  We are closing today with our preferred title company  .  We got the loan commitment (including appraisal) this past Wednesday!  Everyone’s happy! 

We have another one that we are trying to move to our trusty Coldwell Banker Mortgage Advisor  right now, but the buyer (through another agency) still seems to be putting trust in his friend, so I’m not sure how that one will turn out.

I told Mike that if he could pull this off… “I’m tellin’ everyone!” – So, that’s what I’m doing!

The moral of this story?

Buyers:  Don’t put all your trust in a lender just because your friend works there.  Trust your REALTOR to protect your best interest.  If you’re unsure, ask for a referral.  I’m sure your REALTOR has many past clients that would be happy to vouch for the referral you are receiving.

REALTORS: Don’t be afraid to push your preferred lenders, title companies, inspectors, etc.  If you have a Dream Team working hard on your transaction, maybe your next transaction won’t be a Nightmare!

Comments (10)

Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
Sounds like a messy situation that ended up well. Good for you getting it closed.
Mar 14, 2008 10:53 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH
When your customers say we have a friend who is in the mortgage business, run for the hills or put your foot down right then and there. Tell your buyer he has a much better chance of loosing the deal and the deposit if an out of state lender drops the ball.
Mar 14, 2008 11:11 AM
Billie Dalessio
Home Run Realty, LLC - North Haven, CT
congrats! glad to hear it will close.
Mar 14, 2008 12:14 PM
Keith Perry
Coldwell Banker - Hiram, GA
REALTOR - West Metro Atlanta
I'm in with Steve, are you looking to do your friend a favor or do you want this home. Glad it all worked out!
Mar 14, 2008 01:00 PM
~ TLC ~
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Branchburg, NJ
thank goodness for our trusty Coldwell Banker Mortgage Advisors! :)
Mar 14, 2008 01:22 PM
Debbie Malone
Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management - Lynchburg, VA
From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369

Katherine, That's a great example of why you want to work with a team you can trust. I have had two experiences with one lender (not my choice) who didn't have programs to help two buyers. The clients went to another lender who raised their limit and has been a breeze to work with.  

Mar 14, 2008 02:04 PM
Katherine Anderson
Coldwell Banker Hobin Realty, LLC - Hampton & Rye, NH, USA - Exeter, NH
Managing Broker
Thanks to all who commented.  We are still trying to get that other deal worked out.  The buyers agent initially indicated that her buyer would be more than happy to move over to the lender we recommended and even gave me her buyers phone number to give to the loan originator.  Later, she backed off that position and said that she felt that the current lender might be able to work it out.  She wanted to give them one more day, that was Thursday.  Again yesterday, they were still being strung along by the buyer's "friend".  Now we are on hold til Monday when they say that they will definitely choose another lender, but now it's a local mortgage lender that we aren't very comfortable with as we've recently heard of another agent's bad experience with these folks.  So....... We have given a short extension in hopes that they will get with the program.  We had hoped that they would go with the lender that we have faith in, but didn't think that we could legally force that.  I have seen on these bank owned deals where some of the bank sellers are requiring a pre-approval through a particular bank / mortgage company.  I wonder if we can do that in these types of situations.  Have any of you ever done this?  I think I'll run it by legal hotline too.  Thanks again.
Mar 15, 2008 01:16 AM
The Bartley Group SouthEast MN Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Home Connection - Owatonna, MN

Katherine, that is the advantage of having a great group of preferred vendors.  We have two lenders that we recommend (unfortunately not Coldwell Banker because they have no presence or rep in our market) they same title/closing company and 2 different inspectors.  When our clients choose to stay with those vendors everything always goes smoothly and wihtout a hitch.  We we have different closers or lenders involved paperwork is late or incorrect, funds are not available at the correct time, etc...  Sounds like you have good people available to you.

Brian Bartley

Mar 15, 2008 03:18 AM
Stephanie Ballou
Keller Williams Coastal Realty - Dover, NH
Nice job! I've had the "my friend is a brkoer" issue myself... and they turned out similar. Frustrating. At one, we got the HUD 20 minutes after the closing was scheduled to start! AND my buyer was suddenly charged far more than expected. Sounds like you just made clients for life. How nice.
Mar 18, 2008 11:38 PM
Katherine Anderson
Coldwell Banker Hobin Realty, LLC - Hampton & Rye, NH, USA - Exeter, NH
Managing Broker
Stephanie:  Thanks for your comment.  Yes, this has really gotten to be a big deal, especially in the current market with lenders going under left & right.  It still amazes me how incompetent some lenders are.  To send the HUD AFTER closing?!  That takes the cake!  I hope that the additional charges were waived for your buyers.  If not, I'd most certainly advise the buyers to file a complaint.  
Mar 19, 2008 01:15 AM