The Realtor’s Goals
Realtors often say they have three primary goals:
- Work with ready, willing, and able buyers so they can find the right property that meets their purchase criteria.
- Negotiate the optimum deal, so the buyer gets the right property on the best terms.
- Ensure that everything from contract to settlement is smooth and successful, so their buyer will be happy and more inclined to refer their friends, family, and associates to them in the future.
How the Right Loan Officer Helps Achieve Those Goals
Achieving those goals takes professionalism, experience, and teamwork. Every successful realtor builds a team of specialists to work with who value those same goals.
One critical team member is the loan officer. Many buyers, and some new realtors, think that money is money; one mortgage is the same as the next mortgage, and what matters most is the interest rate. But – and it’s a big ‘but’ – how a new homeowner gets the right kind of mortgage is both a critical link in the chain and unique to the abilities of the loan officer and their company. The mortgage must meet the buyer’s particular needs.
Mortgage Process Essentials
What is just as important is the mortgage process, i.e. going from first contact with a lender to getting keys to the new home. To achieve this, the loan officer must:
- Willingly provide thoughtful advice throughout the entire mortgage process.
- Give full, clear, and detailed explanations of loan options and their advantages as applied to each buyer’s specific situation.
- Provide immediate answers to all questions, 7 days a week.
- Deliver full loan approval in a timely manner.
- Avoid hassles, worries, or failed expectations for the buyer, their realtor, and settlement agent.
- Maintain a continuously open channel of communication between themselves and everyone else involved.
- Ensure all required documents are delivered to each person involved in the settlement on time, every time.
Getting the Job Done
Succeeding in all seven of these essential actions is what separates me from many other lenders. With those in mind, let us discuss how a realtor can meet and exceed buyer needs by following this path from first contact to successful close.
Buyers should be ready, willing, and able. That begins with getting prequalified and then pre-approved. When the prequalification can be easily completed online, it gives the buyer a good impression, showing them that they chose the right realtor with the right team of specialists on hand.
As soon as the prequalification is completed, the loan officer begins the next step, which involves giving and getting information so that all parties know how to proceed. Each buyer’s situation is unique, and that is why the loan officer has to provide advice on the right kind of financing – VA, FHA, conventional, etc. – because it will affect down payment, loan life, interest rates, and more. Because FSM specializes only in residential loans, and because we handle everything in-house, we are able to suggest ‘niche’ loan products to meet specific buyer situations.
Once the most appropriate mortgage type is identified and agreed on, the necessary documents will be provided so the buyer can be fully pre-approved. Listing agents and sellers want to be confident that a potential buyer can proceed without a hitch, so it makes sense for the buyer to get a letter confirming they are good to go.
TRID documents are produced, delivered, and explained, so the buyer knows exactly where they stand. Speedy production and expert explanation eradicate the worry that many buyers feel. Having a dedicated loan officer available to answer any and all questions also helps the buyer and realtor feel comfortable.
One element of speed, efficiency, and accuracy is having every process done in-house. Many lenders do not offer their own products but are brokers to the actual lender. In those cases, the underwriter, who actually approves the buyer’s loan file, may be far away and even in another time zone. This can cause disruption, especially at settlement. A remotely based lender may not be as available as a professional team based locally and all in the same office. Unless the loan officer is part of the primary lender team, there is less guarantee of a quick, smooth, and complete process. It wouldn’t be the first time that a settlement was delayed because an inexperienced officer based in the west coast turned in paperwork late because they assumed that the time difference wouldn’t matter, even though the east coast based contract said ‘time is of the essence.’
When the perfect home has been found and an offer has been made and accepted, the detailed and time-critical work really begins. The loan officer and title agent must work well together. Professional expertise and advanced technology are critical here. When the buyer, realtor, and title agent know they are being served by a company with the latest systems, they know that everything will be done expeditiously, efficiently, and accurately.
The Bottom Line
Knowing a buyer is ready, willing, and able is an essential first step on the path to successful loan completion. Working with an experienced and successful loan expert is a major part of achieving success. Realtors should know, respect, and trust their loan officers, so they can confidently recommend them to their buyers. If you are a realtor and would like to learn more about how I will support you and deliver for your buyer, please give me a call. If you have a buyer who needs to get prequalified today, please call me direct. I look forward to being part of your team.