How To Choose The Right Mortgage Company
How many of you can relate to this story:
Michael and his wife Christine were looking to buy a home. They chose an amazing realtor who found them the perfect home, and it only took her three weeks. Christine was picking out paint colors and living room furniture and everything couldn’t be smoother. That is until they didn’t close on time and the stress began. They had originally decided to use the mortgage company they saw on TV instead of doing their research.
While Christine had properly vetted their real estate agent and her brokerage – two of her friends had used this realtor, the brokerage had great online reviews, and she was a properly licensed agent with extensive experience with the area Michael and Christine were interested in. The same diligence was not applied to the selection of a lender. Instead, Michael and Christine relied on a multi-million dollar television campaign to decide the direction of their largest investment.
“Choosing the right mortgage company is critical to your smooth sailing to closing.”
The money spent advertising on television or sponsoring your favorite sports team shouldn’t be a determining factor in selecting the broker of your family’s home. Even holding your checking & savings deposits doesn’t make an institution an expert or even the right fit for managing your mortgage transaction.
Do your research; look for the right qualities in this financial expert. Ask…
1. Local and small enough to avoid the layers
Bigger doesn’t mean cheaper. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Big banks, lenders and credit unions are like onions. You’ve got to peel back a lot of layers to get to the core of who is handling your loan and each of those layers is a cost to you. Fees and rates to cover the cost of that Multi-Million $ add campaign, to pay middle and upper management, to pay for expensive office buildings and naming rights. A small to medium-sized well-run company gives you personalized service and doesn’t charge these ‘overlays’ and ‘junk’ fees’. When you use a local company, you’re supporting the community and local jobs AND saving money.
2. A Leader in Technology
Easy document gathering and distribution should be on your shortlist. In the last few years sending documents securely and collecting your income and asset paperwork can mostly be done online.
A loan officer or banker who suggests you should email your paystubs and bank statements should be ashamed of themselves. Cybertheft and identity theft can cost any of us tens of thousands of dollars.
A good mortgage expert knows their products and those of their competitors in the market. Brokers often offer more products than banks, credit unions, and regional mortgage lenders. What does this expertise cost you? Many brokers offer rates near or lower than the market, don’t have ‘junk’ fees, and are paid as a rebate back from the lender they are writing business with.
A person who is paid only on commissions is as motivated as you are to ensure you are HAPPY; with your loan, with their service, and with your payment!
Look for happy customers who share your situation. It is imperative that with a financial transaction so critical to you and your family, that you properly vet the individual and company you’re doing business with. Do they have happy customers who are willing to recommend them publicly? If not, move on!
5. Is properly staffed
Can your questions get answered by the person picking up the phone, or are you punching in a Nintendo cheat code to get to a person who can assist you? Knowing that there are experts on staff who can answer your questions without round-robin transfers is peace of mind.