How It Works, Mortgage Philosophy, Your Mortgage File

A Good Loan Officer

Recently, I was asked to evaluate the qualities of a successful loan officer. The timing could not be better. I had just read an article about pain borrowers experienced during the mortgage process.

Loan officers catch flack when things go wrong. And why shouldn’t they? He is the face of the transaction and deserves to bear the burden when things go wrong. When ‘closing-in-thirty’ turns into sixty, when the appraisal comes in low or when interest rate jumps, the loan officer takes the verbal beating.

Boiled down, the best thing a loan officer can do is set the right expectations. This is a paradox because he might be afraid to tell the whole truth else you’ll stomp over to the competition.

I know!

I’ve been that loan officer and I have the bruises to prove it.

It doesn’t end that way if it starts out right. You can take a part in that if you know what to look for.

Ready?

–knuckle crack–

Let’s begin with some words

  • Pushy
  • Vague
  • Promises
  • Chatterbox

Now – let’s tear it down:

PUSHY! “This rate is the best you’ll ever see”. “We need to secure money for the appraisal, let’s get started now”. “You need to sign this so we can get things started”. You feel more rushed than the last time you opted to self checkout in Walmart.

Stop! A loan officer is an adviser, not a used car salesperson (sorry, no euphemisms here). You need someone who will take it slow, work out the details. This is a HUGE transaction and it deserves patience and respect. It’s a relationship, not a one night stand (yeah, went there)

VAGUE! You know things were unclear in the beginning, but now you have a pen in your hand and things are still gray. The dotted line stares up at you and a zillion questions bounce around your head.

Stop! A loan officer is teacher. She will take your hand and guide you gently through a maze of foreign terms, complicated disclosures and options. You know she cares because she’s patient, repeats without hesitation, and spends time explaining. She WANTS you to understand. This is a BIG deal!

PROMISES! “This loan is no problem”.  “We won’t need anything else from you”. “We’ll get you closed in twenty days”.

Stop! A good loan officer is a coach. Without scaring you, she will outline a plan of events and what you can expect to encounter. She will also know that issues might come up. Heck, she might even ask for patience because this process is complex, time consuming and arduous   But,she’s your advocate and will work with you. Yes, you might need to provide additional documents, have patience, and need to vent. She’ll communicate and explain and together you’ll get through it.

CHATTERBOX! Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The loan officer that won’t stop talking. He is more interested in sharing his life and you struggle to laugh at those lame jokes. Maybe if you just sign the application he’ll shut up.

Stop! A loan officer is as good as your counselor. She listens to your needs, works with your situation and helps find solutions. She wants to know about you! How else can she fit you into the right product. You should be the one talking!

Let’s end with some words:

  • Adviser
  • Teacher
  • Coach
  • Counselor

Next time you’re sitting in front of a loan officer, measure him!

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