One year ago I made the rather scary move from years of a guaranteed steady paycheck in mortgage operations to the uncertainty of full commission as a loan officer. There were several events in my life that led to the decision but ulitimately it was the idea of uncapped income potential that really attracted me. I've had minimal sales experience but always felt that if I found a niche in the market and really focused on taking care of my clients and putting their needs first I would be able to build a consistent business. It's not where I want it to be, in fact some months it has been pretty thin but it's getting there.
Recently, a couple that I've known for sometime reached out to me to pre-qualify for a loan. They remembered that I had carved my niche in the down payment assistance programs here in Arizona and they were interested in one of the programs. This was prior to the changes in the HFA Preferred program so given their goals the Maricopa County Home in 5 ended up being their best bet at that time but they had a lease until the end of November so we determined it would be best to start looking near the end of September. In August, when the changes were made to the HFA Preferred Program it was potentially a better fit for their needs. (There are two different HFA programs depending on credit score) I had spoken to both of them and we had agreed that I would try to run their credit again at the end of September to see if they qualified for the best of the three programs we discussed because it was only a few points off back in July. I had kept in contact every couple of weeks to let them know what was going on.
So late last week I shot them an email letting them know it was probably time to get moving on everything. I was not expecting the response I received. "Hi Mike, we spoke to our realtor and found a home. He went upon himself to contact a loan officer to help us with financing.." It was very apologetic from there. I followed up asking if the L.O. had discussed any of the other options with them to see which was the best fit. As it turns out they were just automatically placed in the Home in 5. Perhaps the new L.O. is unfamiliar with the other program or his employer is not a participating lender? Either way, I took the time to give her a breakdown of the differences between the programs based on the purchase price we discussed. I'm not sure where that went and I even told them that I am doing it soley so they had the information as switching lenders in the middle of a purchase transaction isn't always a good idea.
The part I don't understand is the real estate agent. I know agents and lenders have "trusted partners" that they've worked with that they know get the job done. But if a client tells you they've been working with someone, especially someone they've known for a long time, would you not at least give them the courtesy of a phone call to get to know them? I mean this person is the whole reason that your client knows that they're qualified in the first place. It's not as if I or any lender can offer better terms on these types of programs as the IDA sets the terms. If he/she had done so and determined that there was no reason to be confident that I could get it done then refert them. Would it be unprofessional for me to pre-qualify a client that already has an agent and convince them they should go with "my agent" in hopes that I can parlay that into more referrals from that agent? Part of me thinks that this agent probably has an MSA with the lender (which the CFPB hates by the way).
Either way, you win some and lose some and I hope that this family's transaction goes smoothly and they get into their home with no issues. I really wish that the other L.O. had reviewed all of the down payment assistance options with them and determined that Home in 5 truly fits their needs better than the other ones. (It doesn't because I discussed their goals with them).