Great blog! I agree with not returning phone calls or the ghost question.
I can't tell you the # of times a Realtor has come to me and asked: "Can you close
this in 2 weeks; we're having trouble with the Loan Officer at (you name it, typically
a major) Bank and it looks like we're not going to close on time - because no one is returning our calls.
AND: It would be great if all LO's were tested on their knowledge of : Basics (Like LTV and DTI - loan to value and debt to income ratios); figuring out income (esp. for self employed borrower who may "earn" a ton, but write most of it off and won't qualify); or, how to take a COMPLETE application. It really isn't brain surgery; but it is about being "professional".
And, wouldn't it be great if LO's called you back right away (or better yet, actually ANSWERED their phone!). I recall being an AE (Account Exec) in Chicago and an anxious LO called me at midnight to go over a file and he said "Why are you answering your phone at midnight"; my response: "Well, you were calling and I figured you needed help with something". WHAT is the big deal about answering a phone; it's pretty Simple, isn't it?
I can't tell you the number of LO's I've trained and worked with over the years, that say - "Why can't we be treated like professionals - like a Dr. or an Attorney"; my response: You have to act like a professional first.
So much for the rant; loved the blog!
I can’t tell you how often I hear that a home buyer had a horrible experience with their mortgage lender. It happens way too often. And it got me thinking, are there signs you can look for that will you help you decide if that mortgage lender is not very good. After some brain storming, here is my list of 5 warning signs that you are about to have a Bad Mortgage Experience:
Does not returns Calls or Emails Promptly- Too many times I have heard someone say “maybe he is busy”, when they do not get prompt communication. This is no excuse for this, no one wants to feel like their lender is too busy. But even more important than your feelings, is what if you need to talk to them asap. Or you need an estimate or pre-approval letter on a home before making an offer. If it takes them a day or more to get back to you, you could lose out on that home. So if early in the process you notice they are slow to respond to do not respond at all, this is a HUGE warning sign that this lender is not very good.
Are they a GHOST?- Is your lender a ghost? Weird question, but think about it. Does your lender or loan officer exist? Can you find out more about them by googling them online. Were they referred to you? If you can not easily get more information on them, your lender may not be very good at what they do. You want to feel comfortable with your loan officer when making the largest purchase of your life!
Which state are they in?- You want to make sure your lender is in your state. Why…. You ask. Great question, if they are in your state then their underwriters are familiar with your state and area. This is a big deal when it comes to your file. And maybe even more important when it comes to your appraisal since their appraisers will not be familiar with the homes in your area. As an appraiser not familiar with the area they may under value the home you are buying, possibly causing you problems or even cause your loan to get denied. And think about this, if they are not in your state they may not be in your time zone. And then you could have bad service, much I talked about in #1. Ex, not being available when you need them, as they work different hours
NO FEES- As your parents have probably told you, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Many times I hear a lender tell a client that they have “no fees” only to see an estimate with fees. So do not fall in love with the idea of no fees, until you see for yourself. And trust me even if they say no fees, one way or another you are paying for it
Have not reviewed your Documentation- When getting pre-approved the lender many times only has time to pull your credit and review your general information. But many times there is more information needed to pre-approve you for your mortgage. Such as reviewing your tax returns to qualify your income if you are self employed, paid commission, paid a 1099 form, etc. In general the more questions your lender asks you, the best. If your lender does not seem to be asking very many, I would be concerned. As this could cause questions later on when it is too late to ask and your loan is getting denied.
While some times it is hard to know if your lender will cause you to have a horrible mortgage experience, these are 5 greats signs that should get your attention. And when looking for a lender there is no better place to start then to go off of friends’ and your realtor’s referral!
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