Buying Advice

How to Choose the Right Lender

A Former Loan Officer’s Guide on How to Choose the Right Mortgage Lender. Plus, Tips on How to Spot Red Flags.

For many, the home buying process can feel complex and overwhelming. More often than not, the mortgage experience is the primary source of frustration and pain for buyers. As a former mortgage lender, I can attest that many Buyers select the Lender based on interest rate and fees. True, rate, payment, and fees are important; however, in today’s market, choosing the right Loan Officer is crucial to a successful purchase. Here are three traits to look for when interviewing loan officers.

1. Responsiveness

asian woman at computer

Everyone is slammed in today’s market, and successful loan officers are constantly in and out of client meetings/phone calls. While they may not answer your first call, you should absolutely expect a response same day. If they don’t respond in a timely fashion when you’re trying to offer them business, think of their response time should issues arise during underwriting!

2. Heart of an Educator/Consultant

young couple meeting with mortgage lender

Granted, this may seem “fuzzy” or subjective, but the heart with which your loan officer interacts with you is vital. What kind of questions do they ask? Are they fully present when you interact? Have they taken time to educate on loan programs, the loan process, the market, etc.?  Do they discuss holistic strategy – taxes, retirement planning, cash flow planning – or do they jump straight into rate and your max pre-approval amount? Even if you’re a seasoned Buyer, the lending world is ever-evolving as is your situation. If you’re a move-up buyer, the best-fit mortgage solution may be very different than what was utilized when you bought your first home. An excellent loan officer understands their role as an advisor. They’re motivated to help move you closer toward your overall goals vs. simply closing another loan.

3. Follow-Up and Follow-Through

pick the right mortgage lender to buy a home

From the start of your house-hunt to receiving keys, the loan officer provides crucial information and updates.  Delays and/or inaccurate information can make the difference between securing and missing out on your dream home.  For example, imagine that you’ve just walked through your dream home and want to write up an offer. You check your inbox to review the payment breakdown the lender promised, but it’s not there…You call, but no response so you wait. Finally, late the next afternoon you receive the promised information. By the time you submit an offer, 3 competing offers have already been submitted!  The speed with which your lender responds could make the difference between a winning offer and missing out altogether!

Today’s market is fast-paced and competitive, but Buyers who work from a position of knowledge and sound council are finding incredible opportunities.

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May 27, 2021

Nice write up…very informative…I’ll take this into consideration when purchasing

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