A recent announcement by HUD relating to the reduction in FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums has spurred an uptick in refinance applications nationwide as well as, hopefully, a renewal of interest for home buyers seeking an FHA Loan. This reduction will save consumers possibly thousands of dollars over the life of their loans. All of us in the real estate industry are super excited about this announcement and we are gearing up for the boom in refinance as well as the up-tick in home sales.
BUT, as was the case in years past when we were experiencing a boom in refinance transactions, we in the title field are again faced with having to explain to our consumers why we prefer not to do their refinance transaction in their home, after business hours, during dinner, with their children. Let me set the scene for you as an example.
It's Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m.and you are ready for your closing transaction on your refinance! Your professional, licensed closing agent has just shown up with all of the legal documents that you need to sign and have notarized and he/she is ready to get started explaining all of the 90 or so pages in the lender's closing package that you will be required to sign, which will obligate you to a debt secured against your home.
While you were waiting for him/her to show up you have gone about your usual evening ritual, preparing the family meal, reviewing homework assignments, going over the mail, walking the dog, etc. You invite the closing agent to have a seat at your kitchen table and ask him/her to go ahead and get started with the paper work.
And so it begins. The closing agent starts going over the documents with you and the 5 year old spills his milk onto his 3 year old sister's lap which then starts a fight between them, which gets the dog to barking which scares the 3 year old who then starts to cry. And now... you need to clean up the spill and settle the dog and the children and get them back on to task of eating their dinner. The closing agent patiently waits while you take care of your family and after some time, begins again....FINALLY! Now we are making some progress and it's only 7 p.m. We are half-way through the closing documents and the title agent is hopeful that he/she will get home this evening by 8 p.m. so he/she can spend time with their own family before bedtime for his/her children. After all the closing agent has been work since 9 a.m.; and then....the dog has to go out, the 3 year old is tired and fussy and won't be consoled unless you rock her.
I think you get the picture.
Your real estate transaction, whether a purchase, sale or refinance is a business transaction which is best accomplished during business hours in the office of the professionals with whom you have chosen to work, without distraction from such things as children and pets.
I have often said that I would never contact attorney or my accountant and ask them to meet with me to discuss a business matter in my home, after regular business hours. What if during this meeting in my home we needed to consult with another professional (ie: loan officer, support staff, etc.) to resolve an issue before we could begin or continue with our transaction? What if we needed to make copies of documents? What if a document needs to be amended? Am I sure that my home printer has ink? Do I have any paper? Again, I think you get the picture.
Title agents, like attorneys and accountants, are professionals. They have educated themselves in their chosen field, they have gotten the appropriate license, they take continuing education classes to stay informed and up to date on the ever changing rules, etc. Please try to remember that when you ask your title agent if they can meet with you in your home after hours for your refinance. A professional title agent wants you to understand what your are signing and to ask questions as needed and to get the answers you deserve.
Please give them the opportunity to give you the attention and service that you deserve by meeting with them in a professional setting during business hours.