This is the 1st part in a series of articles on this topic. The series and other mortgage related articles can be accessed on Dave’s blog located on his website: www.lenderinsider.com
When shopping for a mortgage, many people overlook the role of the loan officer. But a good loan officer is essential. He or she is the “stick that stirs the drink,” so to speak. The quarterback, the one that controls the entire process.
A good loan officer knows how to make things happen, how to meet deadlines, how to get you the best rate and lowest possible closing cost. They know how to utilize their resources in every step of the process including, processing, underwriting, closing, appraisal and title. A good loan officer knows the value of having a good working relationship with everyone that touches the process.
Mortgage shopping is not as easy these days. The internet has given consumers a vast amount of choices to say the least. Obtaining a referral from realtors or friends, or searching online for the best mortgage rate, is not what it once was. With so many choices, do you feel overwhelmed?
In my opinion, it is smarter to shop for a mortgage if one focuses on finding a good loan officer. Most consumers focus on finding a lender with the lowest rate. But what kind of loan officer will you end up with?
A good lender with a good rate is nothing without a good loan officer to work with (and a good loan processor, more on that later). What good is the best rate and closing cost if you can’t close on time? And it does happen, where you get to the closing, and the rate and cost you were promised are now higher.
Ask the loan officer how long they have been with the company? How long have they been a loan officer? Depending on the type of mortgage you are seeking, ask them if they have experience with that type mortgage?
This is very important as many loan officers may be good at originating Conventional mortgages but might have limited experience originating FHA mortgages. There are many examples I could sight here, but I will expand on this in future articles.
Mortgage shopping can be difficult enough, make it easier by focusing on shopping for a good loan officer. A good loan officer would not work for a lender that does not offer competitive rates and closing cost. A good loan officer will increase your chances of having a hassle free experience, and get you to the closing table in a timely manner.
The credentials of a loan officer are important, so you need to learn what those are. Are they skilled at evaluating tax returns? Are they Tech savvy? Today’s loan officer needs to be well adept at the technical requirements of originating a mortgage. The software systems (LOS) that lenders use are more complex today than they ever have been. If they’re not good at managing this aspect and being good at multitasking, you will not get the service you deserve. Again, there is much to write about on this area and I will expand on this in future articles.
A good loan processor is also very important. Most likely you will be working directly with the processor in completing the process and satisfying any and all conditions prior to closing. So ask the loan officer about his or hers processor. How long have they been working with that processor? A good working relationship between the loan officer and processor can make everything go more smoothly. Remember time is money and your mortgage rate lock is only good if you close your mortgage within the rate lock period.
In summary, finding a good loan officer can make your mortgage experience a much better one. Interview potential loan officers and make this your focus. Everything else will fall into place if you do this. I’ll drill down more into the various aspects of a good loan officer in future articles.
David Mully has been in the mortgage industry for 26 yrs. He writes for a social media company and a national consumer mortgage website: www.mortgageloan.com/contributors . He is the President and CEO of Lender Insider, a consulting firm. He has formerly worked as a mortgage loan officer for several years as well as in the B2B sector of the mortgage industry. He formerly wrote a column in several newspapers and online for 6 yrs. titled “Mortgage Search”. His Blog can be accessed on his website: lenderInsider.com. David’s direct ph: 248.767.1950 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org