I am sitting here reading everything possible trying to predict what we will face in the last couple months of 2008. Boy this has been a year for surprises and a roller coaster ride that would rival any in an amusement park.
For some strange reason, I didn't think the market changes would have a negative affect on me and my business. I always strive to give excellent customer service, over-explain everything to my clients so they will understand the program they choose and always stand behind my word. In doing that, I felt like all of these other loan officers and lenders that were closing the doors must be not doing something right!?! The effects of the market took a little longer to push into my world but eventually I new something was terribly wrong.
Media started reporting what seemed like only negative news about our industry. They made it sound like the whole Country was in foreclosure and soon none would have a home. After hearing something for long enough Americans started to take notice. Many used this as an opportunity to express their negative feelings and soon we were the National scapegoats. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of bad apples but I think most of them have shut their doors and moved on to the next profitable scheme. Some great loan officers and lenders were victims of circumstance and were forced into career changes. I am honored to still be in business today and hope blessings will still come my way. We have a long way to go to get the respect we need.
During the past year I have repeatedly said if something is not done to get us back on track we are all going to see days of economic disaster and it seems we may have arrived. The rescue plan was not soon enough, there is too much red tape for the programs that have been government backed and today investors scrutinize every detail of the loan regardless of credit scores, documentation and reserves. In return, it is hard to close on time every time, it is hard to give the clients an exact bottom line payment amount if they are financing over 80% because the mortgage insurance almost always comes back higher than quoted and having to go back to the client for more and more documentation makes it extremely hard to earn a clients trust and stand behind your word.
When a realtor refers a client to a mortgage company they are putting their trust in the loan officer. We must do our best to represent the client in their best interest, make sure the realtor gets paid, the builder sells their home and gets money to start another home and keep their contractors working, or the seller of REO's can purchase the next home... and so it goes. We hold the cards to the life breath of many. WE should be honored and also realize what a massive resonsibility we have to do our jobs to the very best of our ability. To know our programs and guidelines and to be thankful we are still in business. Not only are Realtors helping to give us a paycheck but they are trusting theirs to us as well.
In closing, I am not sure whether we will face a blood bath or bubble bath over the next few years, but we must all do our parts to communicate with each, work hard for our mutual clients and use only professionals we can trust to not drop the ball. The end result will be worth the extra effort!!! We are in this together working for the best interest of our clients.