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Top 10 suggestions to Realtors that help Lenders get your borrowers financed! 100% included!

Mortgage and Lending with Funky Quail Vintage

 For purposes of clarification:                 OTP= Offer to Purchase           GFE= Good Faith Estimate      CHATTEL=Personal Property          MLS= Multiple Listing Service

With the ever changing lending enviroment, I think it is MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER that Realtors & Lenders work together and from a unified front!  To that end, I think education is paramount in accomplishing that goal!  Here is my first "suggestion list" to any and all Realtors, no matter where you are located!  Some of these items will seem trivial and small, but let me assure you that if you print this list and read it everyday, until it is burned into your memory like an old PONG GAME, you WILL close more deals and your deals will close more efficiently!

1.  Make sure the ZIP CODE is on your OTP!  This is especially important in larger metropolitan areas that have multiple zip codes!

The logic:  Zip code must match appraisal, and overall address must match title! 

2.  NO CHATTEL on OTP!  Ie:  Hot tubs, dog, cat, fish, bedroom set, POOL table, riding lawn mowers etc..

The logic:  If you HAVE to have it on there, and you cannot do some sort of side agreement, add the following language after the items on the OTP.   For example:  " The hot tub & dog are of no value to the borrower, and at no cost to the borrower."  Put this in at the beginning, and you wont have to go back and have some stupid addendum signed!  yippee!

3.  Make sure you TELL THE LENDER if there is anything wrong with the house!!!!! 

The logic:  This has become increasingly important, and has followed all of the appraisal issues you see in the market, web, and the like.  For example, if there is a huge water spot on the kitchen celing, tell the lender!  Why you ask?  Because it is nice to address these issues UP FRONT, rather than after an appraiser sees it!  It could signify a new roof, old roof, or no repair!  Remember, the roof must have 3 years remaining economic life in order for it to remain untouched prior to close!  However, because the seller, the listing agent, and sometimes even the buyers agent doesnt know exactly what TYPE OF LOAN the borrower is getting, this is easier handled earlier than later!!

4.  Make sure the OTP you send over is signed by all parties, and includes all addendums! 

The logic:  I realize this is basic Real-estate 101, but "repetition is the mother of learning!"

5.  Dont just EXPECT THE LENDER to read every line on the property condition report! Some lenders dont even know HOW to read them sadly!  Oh, that's a whole nother blog! :)  BRING UP THE ISSUES right away!  Point them out!  Make it IDIOT PROOF

The logic:  Sometimes we don't always get these, unless we ask for them!  Again, there are some programs that require a copy go to u/w and some don't!~  For example, a USDA Rural Housing Loan,requires either  A) an FHA APPROVED APPRAISER to do the appraisl  B)  A home inspection.  If you have a home inspection, you may OR may not be asked for it!  Remember, your trusted lender doesnt HAVE to send it in, unless asked for it!  

6.  Dont rely on the MLS to tell you the FACTS!  

The logic:  Though these are supposed to be correct, my experience is that many of them are INCORRECT!  Especially considering taxes, and # of bedrooms!  The borrower thinks that if you list on the MLS that there is a bedroom in the lower section, that should COUNT towards the entire room count!  In some case, it may not!  If it is below ground, it cannot be counted as a bedroom in most cases!  Perception being what it is, make sure that the customer understands it truly is recognized as a 2 bedroom house with a walkout and additional bedroom in lower leve, not a 3 bedroom house!  This becomes difficult to explain to a borrower when the appraisal says two bedrooms, and dependent on the price of the house, may account for the difficulty getting comparables!

7.  Send a copy of the MLS to the lender along with the OTP and property condition report!

The logic:  This give us other potential red flags, but more importantly allows us to provide a more accurate GFE!

8.  Please send copy of check & receipt for earnest money, HOWEVER................. 

The logic: More and more, our funders are requiring more on this issue.  We are also now being required to provide a copy of an updated bank statement showing the check has cleared prior to closing.  Where this becomes a serious issue, is when the down payment is really tight, and we get our final deposit statement, and it is $500.00 less than the previous statement.  Yes, this comes off at time of closing of what is needed to bring to close, however, if the deal was sent to underwriting assuming that had already cleared, you might be 500 short to close at time of document draw!  Potential real problem here!

9.  Work with a lender that calls the listing agent ALSO and provides his or her contact information at the inception of the OTP! 

The logic:  Your job is to sell and keep selling!! :)   So, if the lender can help by fielding some of the calls directly, it is this 21 year veterans opinion that they SHOULD!  It relives stress, lack of return phone calls, gives you all the warm & fuzzies!

10. Please Please PLEASE, write $1500.00 - $2000.00 closing cost credit into every deal!!

The logic:  In years past, Realtors have been historically against this.  They felt that it "weakened the deal", and didnt want to just be blown off by the seller!  However, today, this will strengthen every single deal!  I PROMISE!  Short sales, foreclosures, everything!  Again, nobody knows except for the borrower, their specific needs and situation financially or otherwise! Hence, the loan program can be aided HUGELY by this!  I tell every Realtor I deal with that they should write a closing cost credit into every deal!  This helps the borrower, especially considering asset verifications are changinig daily!

I realize that these suggestions might be very basic, and they are NOT intended to insult anyones intelligence, or the job that they are doing!  Overall, the point is always to give the customer the best service possible!  That includes making the transaction as smooth as possible!@

Thank you for reading!  Hope this helps...

Darin -  One Source Mortgage, LLC

Ps:  TIP #1  Realtors, if you have house listed in a small town, have your lender partner look it up on the USDA website!  If the address qualifies, list the following in the comments section of the MLS!  " This property qualifies for 100% financing, under the USDA Rural Development Program!  Call me for details!"

I have done this for 4 realtors now, and instead of getting no calls a week,they are getting 3 or 4! True enough these start out as prospects, but remember, what we do today affects the bottom line 3-6 months down the road!  Happy selling!  D

Michelle Chamberlain
Above All Financial Services -Pennsylvania Mortgage Broker - Secane, PA
Suburban Philadelphia Mortgage Broker

Yo Yo D-Money,

I'm assuming the above comment left was for me.  If so I have to give you props for guessing that I'd visit your blog instead of just responding to your message.

Anyway, glad you thought I was funny and weren't offended.  Sorry had to close off comments on that one because it got out of hand.

I will leave the "hot guy" comment alone though...


Dec 16, 2008 01:36 PM
Ted Komenda
Dunhill Group - Osterville, MA

These were all great ideas!  Thanks for the post....


Dec 17, 2008 02:50 AM
Jake Forbes
United Country Forbes Realty & Auctions - Hertford, NC

Darin thank you for some good information. 

Dec 17, 2008 02:51 AM
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Northumberland, NH

Great points made.  Thanks for sharing this blog with us.

Dec 17, 2008 02:53 AM
Dinah Lee Griffey
Windermere Peninsula Properties - Allyn, WA
Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties

Great info. Thank you for taking the  time to share with all of us!-Dinah Lee

Dec 17, 2008 02:53 AM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

D-Money - I will call you that because I think you are pretty fly for a Mortgage Guy:)  Heck, this post had been bouncing around my head.  I was thinking of writing something similiar and probably still will.  I will post later and include a link to yours here.

Dec 17, 2008 03:44 AM

Jason Sardi,


What can i say, the pride of Pennsyyvakia!

Thanks you!!


Dec 17, 2008 05:36 AM

Jason Sardi,


What can i say, the pride of Pennsyyvakia!

Thanks you!!


Dec 17, 2008 05:37 AM
Gerry Suarez Jr.
New American Funding NMLS 6606 - Orlando, FL
FL Mortgage Guru

D-Money brotha!!!!

Good post and so true on all counts. Props to you on the feature too! Love the "check with your lender" idea regarding USDA loans. It should be common practice for ALL Realtors unless they know the property doesn't qualify.

Gerry Suarez, Jr.

Your FHA Loan Pro!

Dec 17, 2008 05:58 AM
Beth Forbes
The mortgage help you want when you need it. - Center Valley, PA
Your 24/7 loan officer

Congrats on the feature!

Dec 17, 2008 06:29 AM
Tom Burris
NMLS# 335055 - Baton Rouge, LA
Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience

Congrats on the star Darin.... We need more good mortgage content on AR

Dec 17, 2008 06:41 AM
Tiffany White
Keller Williams Realty - Franklin TN - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Real Estate

Darin - I wasn't aware of some of these details!  Thanks for your post and congrats on the gold star :-)

Dec 17, 2008 06:46 AM
Lissa Uder
RE/MAX Next Generation, LLC - Lebanon, MO
Your Lebanon MO Real Estate Agent

Great info! Any ideas to make things run smoother are always welcomed!

Lissa Uder, Your Lebanon MO Real Estate Agent

Dec 17, 2008 06:52 AM
Michael Wayne Jackson
Coldwell Banker - Novato, CA
Broker - Seniors Real Estate Specialist Novato

Are there any loans besides VA, Calpers, and USDA that's still doing 100%?

Dec 17, 2008 07:05 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Darin... forgive my friend Tom Burris... he doesn't know how to write, but he can certainly cut and paste stars.. lol

Seriously, this was very good.  In regards to writing in $1,500 to $2,000 into every deal, I semi disagree with that though....  I first ask what the house might actually be worth... and what ever they need, just ask them to build it in after the offer is agreed upon... but there are different methods.... 

Overall, some very good points in here.... that we could beat people silly with and it hasn't changed.. lol  # 3 is a biggie..

jeff belonger

Dec 17, 2008 07:33 AM
Beth Forbes
The mortgage help you want when you need it. - Center Valley, PA
Your 24/7 loan officer

@Jeff working stuff in after the fact on purchases can be very problematic.

Dec 17, 2008 08:12 AM
Gloria Bumanglag
CENTURY 21 Superstars - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Good things to know.  Thank you!

Dec 17, 2008 11:26 AM
George Bennett
Inactive - Port Orford, OR
Inactive Principal Broker, GRI

Thanks for the USDA tip.

Dec 17, 2008 04:39 PM
Janice Roosevelt
Keller Williams Brandywine Valley - West Chester, PA
OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker

So glad I found out OTP, I do sometimes get taken aback by others acronyms and need to stop and evaluate the ones I use.

Dec 17, 2008 10:55 PM
Diana Blair
Formerly RE/MAX 8 Manager - Blacksburg, VA

Another lender issue that has cropped up for agents using the Virginia Association of Realtors contract is that the FHA Amendatory Clause does not have the "truth statement" included in the verbiage so many lenders are asking for execution of the clause as an extra addendum.  Use a separate form so that you don't have to back track if your buyers are FHA. 

Dec 18, 2008 02:34 AM